My Skillshare class has been relaunched – and I wanted to make sure that my readers know about this resource.

Have you ever wondered why top shelf liquor can command a premium price, when people can rarely tell the difference in a blind taste test? Well, as you may have guessed, that’s the power of branding. In this 4-module course, I will provide you with the key building blocks toward building a brand. Topics that will be covered include target consumer, benefit ladder, marketing mix, and more. This is a beginner’s class. (I’m working on a more advanced class for long-time readers of this blog.)

This course is available free with membership.  Check it out here!

Thinking about the active evaluation phase of the consumer decision journey, it gives context of the zero moment of truth.  Zero moment of truth (ZMOT) was coined and publicized by Google about three years ago.  Before Google coined this term, there was the first moment of truth – which is purchase.  Then, there is the second moment of truth is at use – whether the consumer enjoys the user experience or was left disappointed.  However, as the consumer decision journey showed, consumers go through a long journey of active evaluation before they arrive at that first moment of truth.  In eras past, consumers gather information via magazines, consumer reports, friends and families, etc.  In the digital age, consumers have in their disposal a lot more information sources.  Search became an important part of this consumer decision journey (hence why Google has a vested interest to ensure all marketers know about this ZMOT).  When a consumer is triggered, they usually don’t recall the whole story.  When they watch a commercial, they may not have perfect brand recall.  Search becomes an important engine toward discovery of your product.  So, investing against active evaluation, or ZMOT, is first ensuring that you’re found when people are looking for you.  Secondly, when they found you, you’re serving up content that pushes them down the funnel toward purchase of your brand.  That is winning the zero moment of truth!



If you have trouble viewing the above video, please follow these Youtube links:,

There are certain foundation to any marketing efforts.  When McKinsey debuted the concept of a Consumer Decision Journey that was anything but linear, it changed how marketers view the world.  Today, this framework serves to ensure that we spend efficiently and effectively in all phases of the consumer decision journey toward purchase.

The consumer decision journey starts with a trigger – this jolts the consumer into considering a purchase.  This moves him into initial consideration.  This is where he forms his consideration set.  Many brand spends in this phase in order to get into the consideration set.  But what brand sometimes neglect is that is only the beginning of the journey.  Then, he moves into active evaluation where he’s researching.  Depending on the category, this research may happen online or at the shelf.  Finally, the moment of truth – purchase.  This is the important phase where the deal is closed.  However, as this is the moment of truth, it is perhaps the most important moment as well.  Research suggests that the final brand choice is not made till this moment.  So, packaging, education at point of purchase, etc. can all influence this final decision.


If above video doesn’t play, please follow this Youtube link:

I don’t know how this happened.  Maybe a consultant start spewing that this is a good idea.  Or some article got published that this is a good idea.  Multibrand companies recently has started a huge effort toward building the equity of the parent brand.  For example, Nestle and Unilever had been tagging their commercials. 

If one were to examine the relationship of parent brand to its house of brands, one must look at P&G.  P&G with its house of brands is a powerhouse in the consumer goods space.  It also has a lot of advertising dollars.  This affords P&G to actually have commercials about P&G.  You’ve seen them say during Olympics. 

Recently, riding on New York subway, I notice another campaign by P&G that was actually designed to feature its house of brands.  The campaign centered around the idea that P&G brands are tougher. 


However, I still wondered, does this type of messaging works?  I think the idea of building the parent brand is to provide scale.  Like any operations, if the various child brands can share the assets of the parent brand, there is efficiency to be gained.  For example, if several brands can be manufactured in the same plant.  Or several brands can use the same research and development, but just put its own twists.  So, why not marketing?

I think scale can definitely be applied to marketing, but it’s not as easy as just putting a logo.  If the parent brand was to benefit the child brands, then the parent brand needs to add value.  A good example is SC Johnson.  SC Johnson has been building equity into the parent brand for years.  SC Johnson, a Family Company, is a tagline that has been used for years.  This parent brand execution adds value in telling consumers that no matter which brand we’re talking about, if it’s part of SC Johnson, it’s going to be about protecting your family, because SC Johnson is all about families. 



If you had problems viewing the videos, please following these links:  Nestle commercial Unilever commercial, P&G commercial, SC Johnson commercial

I’ve written many times on this blog about the 4Ps of marketing.  It’s one of the most fundamental frameworks in marketing.  The 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.  Firepole marketing has this excellent video that brings this framework to life like no others.  I thought I’d share it here.

If the above video doesn’t play, please follow this link to Youtube: