Mercedes and Walmart

Once upon a time there was a car that exuded remarkable engineering and style.  It had a value proposition that almost no other car manufacturer had.  Its focus on its brand value created a very profitable company.  That car was Mercedes.  An untouchable brand star. Then along came Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Acura who changed the landscape of the luxury car brand.  And today all five of these automotive manufactures continue to invest in the brand experience.  These companies continue to believe that we make our purchasing decisions based on our emotional connection to a brand.  What do the luxury auto brands know that Walmart also knows?

Investing in the brand experience enables you to increase pricing, thus increasing profits. And the end game is all about profits.

We in the marketing game need to shift the conversion from increasing sales to increasing profit.  We need to start with the basic fundamentals of how we make a profit, and then look at how we protect our pricing to maximize our profit.  We in the marketing game need to move into the business game.  Too often we are charged with increasing sales by getting new customers in the door.  And we forget our most important and profitable sale...the sale to a loyal, existing customer.

An existing customer generates more profit as they become more brand loyal and less price sensitive.  Yes even in these incredible economic times, increasing the focus on the brand experience — taking the longer view — enables a company to see increased profitability.

Marketers need to work with overall management to ensure increased attention to detail on product development, service issues, alignment in innovation, and overall reduction in fixed costs.  The new economy demands that marketers are not only looking out as it pertains to the brand, but also looking inside the company to ensure that efforts there also increase the brand value while maximizing profits.