Brand Marketing Is Not a Science


During our daily industry readings, we came across a refreshing article titled “Our Biggest Brands Can No Longer Be Managed By Nerds,” by brand consultant Tom Hinkes. Companies have been scaling back recently on creatively-led brand solutions, and focusing more on the numbers approach. It was refreshing to hear from a well-respected and experienced brand marketer that great marketing requires a balance of both strategy and creative.

More Data Is Not Better Data

“Marketing departments used to be the creative engines powering successful corporations. Now they're overrun by number-crunching nerds. As a direct consequence, despite all the conspicuous focus on "change management," the way brands respond to change in the marketplace has deteriorated. A McKinsey Quarterly article several years ago argued that the key to "better branding" is to build brands "more scientifically." If managers would combine "forward-looking market segmentation" with structural-equation modeling, they could "build a better brand more efficiently." In short: more data, more regressions and more conjoint analysis mean the "brand crisis" is solved. But fluency with buzz words and expertise with spreadsheets do not guarantee brand-marketing competence.”

-Tom Hinkes,

We agree that there is a need for consumer research, but brand marketing is not an exact science, and therefore cannot be driven solely by metrics or statistics. We approach brand marketing with the analysis, discipline and detail it requires, but also with the emotion, vision and creativity that feed a brand’s sustained success.

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