David Milliken's Brand Marketing Blog

Why should I buy [your brand]? AKA, Brand Positioning.

Posted in Brand Positioning by dlmilli on November 19, 2009

Positioning, according to Merriam-Webster.com, is not a word (unless within “Global Positioning System”). But positioning is central to the lives of brand marketers. If used optimally, it underscores every activity, marketing or otherwise, a brand undertakes.

Forget definitions, here is an example …

= “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”.

(Says the sole message of billions in ad spend.)

Lots of experts (and blogs) can espouse about positioning. But the positioning of David Milliken’s Brand Marketing Blog is for you to live the life of a brand marketer. So let’s walk through the steps I recently undertook building a brand positioning.

Step 1: Hiring an agency that specializes in brand strategy. I developed a small list of potential agencies based on prior experiences and recommendations. (brandchannel.com is a good resource.) I gave each agency the same objectives and criteria. The agencies positioned themselves in their pitches – one for example, as the ultimate wine agency, and another as the ultimate wine outsider. After evaluating their proposals for methodology, experience, and cost, we selected the ultimate wine outsider.

Step 2: Conducting a communications audit of the messages our brand and our competitors were conveying to consumers and retailers. Along with the agency, I took winery tours (I get paid for this?!), reviewed websites, analyzed point-of-sales materials, visited wine shops, and viewed advertising.

… Come back soon for more experiences building a positioning …



Posted in Welcome by dlmilli on November 3, 2009

When I tell people I worked in brand marketing on the Coors Light brand I often get this response: What was it like working with the Coors Light twins?

Coors Light "Love Song" Ad

Many people hear the word marketing and immediately think of TV ads. But like an iceberg, the 10% of what we do that you see (like the famous twins), is supported by the mass of our efforts – strategy, research, planning, and more. So while ads of athletes and mascots roaming the halls of ESPN are funny, I promise they do not reflect the life of the ESPN brand marketing team. (Contrary to popular belief, the brand manager for Charmin is not an animated bear).


Charmin Bear ad

While there are countless blogs that offer marketing advice, the goal of David Milliken’s Brand Marketing Blog is to provide insight into the professional life of a brand marketer. Have no fear – I will also provide plenty of perspective about the right way to grow both sales and brand strength.

Who am I? The Senior Brand Manager at a large Napa, California winery. My marketing experience also includes MillerCoors, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Zagat Survey (yes, those awesome restaurant guides), and IBM. I have an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an undergraduate degree from Emory University.

So come along and share the new challenges, learning experiences, and fun I experience as a brand marketing professional. Please make this an interactive blog by sharing your questions, opinions, and experiences.