Summary: Comparatively, brand advertising is like gambling as a business strategy whereas performance marketing involves measurable, scientific strategy to achieve a return on investment.
Viral marketing is another inferior strategy and it’s also like gambling as a business strategy. If you had a limited budget of $50,000, for example, would you put it on a hit or miss viral marketing campaign?
Why would companies spend ridiculous sums of money on non proven campaigns? Viral marketing and brand advertising are siblings. In my opinion, they both involve an assumption that spending money on non proven factors will benefit the company. In reality, and to be blunt, they may only impress your boss or be funny. Funny doesn’t necessarily translate into bottom line results.
To be fair and balanced, I didn’t state that branding is completely a waste of time. A brand, as you know, is similar to a reputation.
Important Discovery Based on Empirical Data: People are not nearly as brand loyal as many brand advertisers would have you believe. I commonly hear this human misjudgement that if you creating a popular brand, humans will stay loyal to it. On average, I’ve found consumers extremely fickle and interested in trying new things. Similarly, I believe measuring “share of mind” is unproductive. Who cares what a consumer has in their head at any given point?
Regardless of what even some of the brightest minds state, people will try new soft drinks outside Coca Cola. People will try new fast food restaurants outside McDonald’s. People enjoy variety and trying new things.