Kotler proposes a triangle of Positioning, Differentiation and Branding as the core of Marketing. Brand Identity is about positioning your brand in the minds of the consumers. The positioning should be unique for your brand to be heard and noticed in the cluttered marketplace. It should also be relevant to the rational needs and wants of the consumers.
Brand Image is about acquiring the consumer’s mind share. Your brand value should appeal to consumer’s emotional needs and wants beyond product functionalities and features.
Brand Integrity is about fulfilling what is claimed through the positioning and brand value through solid differentiation. It is about being credible to your promise and establishing the trust of the consumers to your brand. The target of Brand Integrity is the spirit of the consumers.
It is the main message of this triangle: marketing shall not be regarded as telling lies for selling purposes; instead it should be regarded as keeping the promise to your customers. (Kotler, p. 36)
The "Values-based Matrix"
Kotler also introduces a “Value-based Matrix”. He sees a company’s mission, vision and values as the DNA, where the mission expresses the business you are in, the vision is the picture of the desirable future, and the values are considered the standards of behavior. (Kotler, p40, 41) On the other axis are the hearts, minds and spirits of the current and future customers represented. For a company to be successful, it must practice compassion, proof sustainability and show that it creates a difference in the future. Marketing according to Kotler is about clearly defining your unique identity and strengthening it with authentic integrity to build a strong image. (Kotler, p 169)
10 Credos of Value driven Marketing: (Kotler p 170 – 178)
- Love your customers, respect your competitors
Win your customers loyalty by giving them great value and touching their emotions and spirits. Your competitors enlarge the whole market, you can learn from them your own strength and weaknesses
- Be sensitive to change, be ready to transform
Business landscape keeps changing, if you are not sensitive to that, your business may become obsolete and eventually die.
- Guard your name, be clear about who you are
Brand reputation is everything, people tend to purchase the brand that is stronger in their mind and a company must be clear about its position and differentiation.
- Customers are diverse; Go first to those who can benefit most from you
Use segmentation, do not try to address everyone, but make your case clear to those who are most ready to buy and benefit from you
- Always offer a good package at a fair price
True marketing is fair marketing. Do not sell anything with poor quality or a too high price.
- Always make yourself available, spread the good news
Make it easy for customers to find you. Use of information technology, specially the internet is a “must have”.
- Get your customers, keep and grow them
Get to know your customer so you have a complete picture of their wants, needs, preferences and behavior.
- Whatever your business, it’s a service business
Whatever your product is, you must have a spirit of wanting to help your customers. Serve your customers sincerely and with empathy to create a positive experience for them.
- Always refine your business process in terms of quality, cost and delivery
The task of marketing is to improve quality, cost and delivery. Always meet what you promise to customers, suppliers and channel partners.
- Gather relevant information, but use wisdom in making your final decision
We have to continuously learn, learn and learn. Knowledge and experience determine the final decision and the “maturity of spirit and clarity of heart” will enable you to use the wisdom that you inherently have to make the best decision possible.