Thanks for writing this post.
I have never believed that brand and dr are mutual exclusive.
While I’ve spent much of my career in DR ultimately DR is a specific tactic that can be used when the business situation warrants.
DR is most warranted any time the business doesn’t have wide distribution/availability. Also when it’s a one time purchase brand advertising is often hard justify. I would argue that many subscription businesses are kind of in between…you can’t order the services just anywhere and while it’s not quite a repeat sale you do have to make sure give people a reason to stick with you month after month (or at least not give them good reason to cancel).
Also I once heard definition of a brand that was quite helpful…a brand is an agreement with the consumer on what they can expect when interacting with the business.
I always love any presentation that references Howard Stern!