Friday, February 11, 2011

Service branding vs product branding and the role of marketing

In various articles related to services branding, there is debate on whether services branding process differs from the more traditional product branding process.

According to Teemu Moilanen, service branding does not differ much from customer perspective but rather on the company side.

Why service branding is different from product branding is because of the multiple features of services. According to Moilanen, services are intangible, they are produced and consumed simultaneously. Services cannot be stored. Services are difficult to standardize. Customers participate in the production process. In general, a service product is an experience related to service consumption.

This is why brand management models do not fit well to the development of service brands. Service experience models require in-depth dedication in order to set a clear expectation and in best case be standardized to provide efficiencies.

Considering the role of marketing in service branding vs marketing physical products, there are differences. In regards to products, marketing is normally able to communicate product benefits and the organization handles production and logistics. In service business, things are different. All of the levels of the organization are involved in creating the customer experience. Unless the organization and all of its employees are aware of the company values and messages, the service experience will not fly. Therefore, in order to deliver a consistent service experience and be able to do successful marketing efforts, internal communications need to be taken care of, being a vital element in service branding success.