Branding has become one of the most important aspects of business strategy. Yet it is also one of
the most misunderstood. Branding is sometimes considered to be merely an advertising function.
And many managers and business writers hold the view that branding is about the management of
product image, a supplementary task that can be isolated from the main business of product
This note provides an alternative perspective, arguing that:
• Branding is a strategic point of view, not a select set of activities.
• Branding is central to creating customer value, not just images.
• Branding is a key tool for creating and maintaining competitive advantage.
• Brands are cultures that circulate in society as conventional stories.
• Effective brand strategies must address the four distinct components of brand value.
• Brand strategies must be “engineered” into the marketing mix.
This note develops a set of concepts and frameworks to guide the design of brand strategies.
by DOUGLAS B. HOLT