Brand vs. Commodity

A discussion on the difference between a brand and a commodity is going on at one of my groups on LinkedIn. This discussion was initiated by Marco Monfils from Hungary. More than 150 comments have been made so far, highlighting marketing and sales professionals love for this topic. It is interesting that respondents presented their own definition and description of a brand and commodity, no author was quoted and the comments varied greatly. I noticed two significant trends as follows:

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Big Isn’t Always Beautiful

2009 – Toyota became the biggest car manufacturer in the world surpassing General Motors.

2010 – Toyota recalls 8 million cars worldwide to fix problems with brakes, accelerators and steering.

In their quest to be the biggest car manufacturers, it seems Toyota (TMC) lost sight of quality and focused on quantity producing more but defective cars, consequently tarnishing their image for “Toyota’s Reliability”. It will take the TMC a while, huge resources and investment to re-gain their market position. Earlier, the GM was the biggest car manufacturer for years and became so bloated that they lost touch with their customers and lost their loyalty, got consumer perception for low quality, focused on push sales and short-term gains and could not stay profitable. Result – the US government had to intervene to rescue the GM from bankruptcy but not before major layoffs and closing of several plants. Read more of this post

My Favourite Brands

 Harley-Davidson: For over 100 years, Harley-Davidson has successfully targeted, satisfied perceived needs and touched the lives of its target market, that is, men and women of 40+ years. It understands its target market well. It cultivates emotional bond via innovative graphic advertising and classic conditioning through exposure to its ads, merchandising and branding. It fulfills the brand promise with consistent product quality and meets perceived needs for freedom and sense of achievement. Harley Davidson is an iconic brand with highest brand loyality from generations of customers.

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