Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Can You Run Two Parallel Marketing Strategies at the Same Time?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Can You Run Two Parallel Marketing Strategies at the Same Time?

Article excerpt

Carling is to launch a multimillion-pound campaign to promote the brand as a premium product, while retaining its more blokey 'Belong' ads with the strapline 'You know who your mates are'.


Parallel marketing strategies are brave, but can work as long as the channel and media choices are clearly defined.

The danger is that any campaign which repositions the product confuses the audience. There is clearly a risk that the brand affiliation felt by the bloke in the pub - 'Carling man' - could be eroded if the product is positioned in a way that implies it's a drink for people not like him.

That's the issue. If the premium, upmarket positioning is confined to channels and platforms aimed at premium, upmarket consumers, there is every chance it will simply pass most Carling men by. So Carling man will continue to experience and enjoy the 'Belong' campaign, while 'New Carling man' is brought into the family by the fresh positioning.

It's a move that would never have been countenanced even a few years ago, but is now possible because of the increasing fragmentation of the media market and the proliferation of niche channels driven, in large part, by the web and the growth of broadcast.


Brand strategies, no. Marketing strategies, yes. Product diversification often demands that marketing strategies flex. The consumer demands it too. Take an iconic brand like Coke. Diet Coke's risque values are at odds with Coca-Cola's family appeal, but the brand is undiminished Consumers are savvy enough to self-select.

Of course, when a brand entails a single view of the customer, equivocation becomes confusing and unwieldy. In the case of banks, the products and service are so intimately bound up with each other that it would be self-defeating to run two brand strategies.

HSBC has a unifying strategy that uses its scale and stature as well as the relevance of its products and service. Lloyds TSB has become the UK's most-trusted bank because its strategy harnesses the single-customer view. Its simplicity and single-mindedness are its selling points. With the convulsions in the financial sector at present, that could prove to be the bank's salvation. There's no greater recommendation for a single view of a brand. …

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