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  • Writer's pictureBen Cornett

A Poor Marketing Plan is JAIL to a Great Brand

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Recently I had the privilege to join a colleague we discussed the essentials of building a brand with some advertisers. While we discussed some of the essentials with the group, two things hit me.  First, our culture is ultimately our brand.  Second, our brand was in JAIL do to an unclear marketing plan.

The first realization is that we build a great brand by first building a great culture as an organization.  An example of empirical evidence that supports building culture can be found in research around a phenomenon called Service Dominant Logic (SDL).  In essence the data supports that great client service and interaction builds a brand stronger than any marketing campaign will ever do.  However, the data according to Ordanini and Parasuuraman (2011), indicates the importance of a great company culture to drive brand valuation.

While an amazing organizational culture is clearly important to building the brand, the need for a strategic marketing plan is also essential.  In the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Marketing that just came out today, the introductory article by Feng, Morga, Lopo, & Regan (2015), a clear tie between marketing a firm performance is made.  While their article really drives into the importance of the marketing department, it also highlights the need for a marketing plan that defines actions taken to obtain predictable results.  Working with a brand and no marketing plan is essentially like having a brand that's in jail or being held back to it's true potential.  

Finally, the essential parts of a successful brand tie back to culture and the plan to share that cultural experience.  Some questions remain as our marketing plan is being finalized, such as, what are the best channels to demonstrate our culture?  What kind of content drives the best exposure in a plan design?  What's the most effective way to ensure a plan is relevant and timely for maximum impact?  What parts of your marketing plan are the most difficult to implement?


Fend, H., Morgan, N. A., & Lopo, L. (2015, September). Marketing Department Power and Firm Performance. Journal of Marketing, 79(5), 1-20.

Ordanini, A., & Parasuraman, A. (2011). Service innovation viewed through a service-dominant logic lens: A conceptual framework and empirical analysis.

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