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customer experience
Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Mar 23 2009

The Fifth P : Brands and Branding Revisited


“Your brand is created out of customer contact and the experience your customers have of you.”

- Stelios Haji Ioannou, Founder, easyJet

For decades the Four Ps of marketing ruled our view of how to market a brand - Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

It’s ten years now since Gallup polled 6,000 consumers and discovered the fifth P - People - is the most important driver of brand loyalty.

I have just received the new updated edition of ‘Brands and Branding’ published by the Economist. This has been written by 19 leading experts on brands and edited by Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand. I wrote the chapter on Brand Experience. The quote and statistics, above, are from that chapter.

In a downturn you need to revisit where the value lies in your brand, and ensure that your cost management strategies do not damage the real value of the organisation - the brand value.

Brand value is largely delivered by your people. This is the first recession when this fact has been more widely known than ever before. Yet the first on the list of traditional cost-cutting strategies is ‘cut headcount’.

The clear implication is that you need to be much cleverer about any headcount reduction than in previous recessions, to ensure that you are not impacting negatively on your brand value in removing people.

This is the definitive book for anyone interested in brands and covers everything from brand valuation to brand protection. In these days where everyone is looking to clarify where value is added within the organisation, the new edition is a timely update.