3 Ways Companies Market their Brand, not their Products

If you’re like me and the rest of the consumers in the world there are a few companies that can put out products, and we would be interested no questions asked. But why is this? Why do companies care more about the brand than the products? Look at Apple and the iPhone there has been little change to the software for the phone, yet there are lines around block when I new one comes out. All the while companies like Motorola have been exploring new phone concepts in the hope that they will be more competitive with Apple.

Writers at the Harvard Business Review found that there were 7 strategies to building a brand: Efficient impact, customer retention, increased flexibility, brand equity, competitive strength, and stakeholder appeal. Each of these strategies are used in order to help companies build their brand, in order to market their product more effectively.

  1. Advertising the Brand not Products

Some companies use their brand to advertise their products. To do this companies highlight some of the emotions that are associated with the product the brand is selling. For instance Nike is associated with athletic wear and a healthy lifestyle, so for their advertisements they focus on people exercising or playing sports. This way when customers are buying athletic apparel they will associate Nike with being active/healthy.

2. Focusing on groups of Products accompanied by the Brand

Some companies will use a similar approach to the previous method, using the brand to sell products. A different way of doing this however is do use a brand of the company in order to market a specialized group of products. Staying with the Nike example, they also own “Jordan” which is a separate brand owned by Nike, and endorsed/ named after Michael Jordan.

Jordan is known as the greatest Basketball player of all time, so lending his name to these Nike shoes are a whole new way of advertising these shoes. This way Nike is able to advertise this different specialized brand to people who are more in that target market.

3. Using advertising to portray a message to the customer

The final way in which advertisers promote their brand and not their product is through portraying an emotional message to the customer. Companies use emotional appeal to “address consumers’ social and psychological needs for purchasing a product or service… Personal emotional appeals include safety, love, joy or happiness, pride, self-esteem, comfort, ambition or success ect.” (280).

One example of this would be during Budwiser’s Super Bowl commercial, where they portrayed an immigrant in the early 1920’s in order to parallel what is going on in the country today. By doing this they are able to create an emotional appeal to their audience with out ever advertising their beer.


Woodward, G. C., & Denton, R. E., Jr. (2014). Persuasion and Influence in American LIfe (7th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, INC.

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