The position of Branding in the Marketing Mix

One of the biggest dilemmas of a company, especially a new endeavor, is how to fit branding into the total promotional and marketing strategy. Ideally, the company needs sales in the beginning and most likely cannot afford to devote resources to branding. But if branding is not considered right from the start, there could be issues down the road since the company did not have a well thought out plan. So the question remains, what focus should be given to branding and specifically, “what position should branding hold in the marketing mix”?

Indeed, everyone wants to be or own the newest buzz word or gizmo. Everyone thinks that their ideas are the greatest thing and they can sell billions of “whatever”. And while some of them may be right, a brand can only become a brand if it has sales. Focusing on a brand alone is done at the detriment of revenue. Major corporations have the resources behind them to launch new brands without seriously impacting their structure. But for smaller companies and start-ups, finding a revenue stream is crucial.

A couple points that need to be remembered when addressing issues about branding is that getting a brand really known could take years. Branding is a long-term strategy. It is also not always quantifiable. When bigger companies come knocking with offers to purchase your product or company, you basically know that you have become a brand, but how do you work on marketing your product or service while at the same time trying to develop the brand?

The marketing mix generally includes four key components. Product, price, place and promotion. You need to advertise the right product to the right people at the right price. We can examine how branding fits into all four of these segments of marketing.

Product – The name of your product or service may be different than your company name. Whether you have one item under the brand’s umbrella or you have fifty items, you need to market your brand and not your company. It is okay for people to recognize the products in the brand and at the same time not know the parent company who manufactures it.

Price – What you charge for your product is going to influence your brand. Take for example luxury vehicles we did on If you sell your high-end car too cheaply, the image will be tarnished if your target market is high-income earners. They do not want to be associated with cheap, luxury cars. But, if your brand or message is “discounted luxury vehicles” that anyone can afford, then the cheaper price point works. Obviously the price of the product needs to correspond with the brand image of the product or more importantly with the target market’s perception of the brand.

Place – How and where your product is distributed refers to the “place” aspect of the marketing mix. Again, the distribution needs to correspond with the message you impart. If your brand talks about being young and hip, then teen retail outlets, magazines, and even shopping mall kiosks might be the right avenue of distribution. Connecting the point-of-sale with the brand is required. You need to be selective when choosing your method of distribution, as it has to express the same image to consumers as the brand does. Buying a Cartier watch in a Five and Dime is not going to cut it!

Promotion – The aspect of advertising can deviate a little in the sense that you can sell to your target market while at the same time building your brand. For instance, you advertise your product in the right venues to make sales, but you also use the brand as sponsorships for events. You might not sell a golf product, but you can certainly sponsor a hole on the course with your brand at a golf tournament.

Unquestionably, branding is not separate and distinct from the components of the marketing mix. The position of branding in the marketing mix is actually a segment of each component.

About Bert
Bert is the managing director of yxymedia, an online marketing and online advertising agency located in Belgium. He's had a passion for branding for ages - and blogs on NetBrands as an outlet for his branding-musings.

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