Is there a need to advertise after branding? A number of big brands boast there is no longer a need to advertise. But let us look closer at details. In reality, there is still advertising, but the platforms differ. Brands may no longer spend money on TV and print (and radio), but they still use other platforms to advertise. Point-of-sale on supermarket shelves is advertising. Internet social sites are another form of advertising. So, in reality, when brands no longer advertise in the conventional sense, that does not mean that true brands no longer advertise. Failing to do so could spell their demise.
The Huffington Post ran the article “10 Cult Brands So Popular They Don’t Need To Advertise,” explaining that Sriracha-Huy Fong Foods, the company that produces the cult favorite hot sauce, doesn’t advertise. It doesn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter account, and it hasn’t updated its website since 2004. That didn’t stop the company from selling 20 million bottles of the hot sauce last year, according to Business Week. Costco, the big box retailer known for its bulk toilet paper and fair treatment of workers, doesn’t pay for advertising, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to HuffPost in an email. And while only relying on social media and direct mail circulars to spread the word, Costco’s profits soared earlier this year.
Apparently, hot and ready signs are enough to draw the donut-loving masses to Krispy Kreme stores. The company doesn’t do any paid advertising, Lafeea Watson, a spokesperson for Krispy Kreme, wrote in an email to HuffPost. But they do use free resources like social media to get the word out. The trendy skin care line uses generous samples at its stores and other means other than ad campaigns to get shoppers to buy their products, according to ABC News. When Sarah Blakley first started Spanx in her 20s, she didn’t advertise the undergarments because she couldn’t afford it. Now, even though the company could spare some money for TV, magazine ads and billboards, Blakely says that she still prefers word of mouth: “The power of women discovering the brand from other women was actually a better strategy,” she told Forbes.
Truth be told, there are multiple platforms available to consumer products to “get the word out” about their products. Lest we forget and forgo awareness, which is a crucial part of marketing, there is the need to brand because there is no business model. Let us remember that a company only begins to brand once a business model is successful. No business usually means no need for branding.
Branding is the consistent delivery of the brand promise, generating the integrity that makes it the brand. So the answer to the question at the start of this article is “Yes,” advertising is needed in some form when branding.