Prophet Study Identifies Challenges to Brand-Driven Business Growth

Jun 07, 2011, 10:06 ET from Prophet

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The increasingly complex ecosystem for engaging with customers is putting brands under pressure to perform more effectively, but senior managers aren't convinced their marketing teams are up to the challenge.

Such are the findings of a new study by Prophet, the strategic brand and marketing consultancy, which set out to gauge the challenges of brand building in today's environment.

"The majority (55 percent) of participating senior executives in general management and marketing said that supporting business growth through a well-differentiated and relevant brand positioning was their most pressing concern," said Mike Leiser, Senior Partner.

But other findings, he added, suggest that may not be so easily achieved.

  • A majority (66 percent) of executives still believe, despite increasing evidence to the contrary, that the company (rather than the customer or other stakeholders) is the primary "owner" of the brand.
  • Over the next three years, a quality offer (product/service) will continue to be the most important driver of brand equity, one-third of respondents said. Interestingly, however, 20 percent said word of mouth will play a key role in building brand equity, while only 6 percent gave weight to advertising.
  • Targeting customers in this environment is problematic; three-fourths of respondents said they're not doing it effectively. Over 90 percent are targeting more than one segment, and over half of these do so with multiple positionings of a single brand. Importantly, however, those multiple positionings are similar – what's different among most in this group are the tactics used in bring them to life.

Weighed against these sentiments, the survey group cited their marketing teams for having the traditional Marcom skills required to build brands, such as in-market advertising, messaging and creative (46 percent). But asked about skills they need to see developed, 84 percent cited more innovative approaches to targeting and marketing, and 68 percent, better capabilities in digital strategies.

Said Leiser: "Adjusting to this changing landscape will be a process. Our findings show that marketers must adapt a more visionary orientation to more effectively guide their organizations through it."

Prophet's survey group encompassed more than 150 executives in marketing and C-level or business unit management roles. They represented businesses with revenues ranging from $25 million to over $40 billion, and in a variety of industries.

Prophet ( is a strategic brand and marketing consultancy that helps its clients win by delivering inspired and actionable ideas. For further information about the study, contact Leiser at, or Jesse Purewal, Engagement Manager, at

Media contact: Sally Saville Hodge, Hodge Media Strategies, 773.325.9282 or

SOURCE Prophet