Many people and marketing agencies claim to have invented the concept of Brand nurturing. This website is not going to argue, but the debate seems rather pointless since what is clear is that if the expression did not exist, it would have to be invented. Because brands do need to be nurtured and they need it because:
- To be effective, a brand must be alive.
- Brands – just like people – die if they are not cared for and nothing in marketing is worse than a dead brand.
In that sense, a brand is like a child. Children are nurtured to keep them healthy and to bring them to adulthood. Brands need no less. The agency J Walter Thompson Japan claims brand nurturing as its original, but – as already stated – a lot of people make that claim. What J Walter Thompson Japan brings that is new and valuable (though, as will be shown, the value is more questionable in today’s marketplace) is a combination of the marketing approach of Japan and the marketing approach of the West.
According to J Walter Thompson Japan, the Western approach to marketing is based on three levels or “ideas”:
- The Brand Idea
- The Campaign Idea
- The Execution Idea.
The agency’s theory is that these three ideas arise from what it calls the Western “transmitter-oriented” marketing culture, while Eastern and particularly Japanese marketing cultures are “receiver-oriented.”
So far so reasonable, but the reality is that the last 20 years have seen a huge shift in consumer cultures in the West – even in “hard-boiled” cultures like America and Western Europe – and the buyer now has control in what was once a seller-dominated marketplace. This transformation is easy to see; just examine how totally the ideas of “delight your customer” and “exceed the customer’s expectations” have disappeared from current marketing campaigns. Customers can’t be delighted any more and nor can their expectations be exceeded, because customer expectations in the world of online buying are now total. Anything less than perfection is unacceptable and will see the brand trashed on social media.