Marketing Competency Assessment

Over the past decade, The Blake Project has helped hundreds of organizations refine their brand management and marketing efforts. In so doing, we have gotten pretty good at making a fairly quick assessment of an organization’s or individual’s marketing capabilities. Here are some of the signs that the organization or individual knows what it/he/she is doing regarding brand management and marketing:

  • An insightful and nuanced (and often elaborate) description of the target customer groups and segments
  • Backed up by qualitative and quantitative marketing research
  • Including brand positioning maps for the brand in question and its competitors
  • Knows the difference between attributes, benefits and values
  • The brand strategy is based on benefits and values (especially emotional benefits and values)
  • The brand’s promise is unique, compelling and believable (with an emphasis on compelling)
  • The brand’s tagline reinforces the brand’s promise
  • Familiarity with self-expressive brand benefits
  • Understands the importance of category description and competitive “frame of reference”
  • Familiar with the concept of “category of one” brands
  • Understands(and has used) the following qualitative research techniques: projective, laddering and guided imagery
  • The brand’s media plan is highly targeted and efficient based on the target customer definition
  • Is familiar with the concept of customer touch point design
  • The CEO is involved in the brand strategy process
  • Good understanding of customer purchase and usage behaviors
  • Customer-centric, common sense approach to all marketing decisions

Test yourself and your organization against the previous bulleted items. How well do you stack up?

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Brad VanAuken The Blake Project


  • Ryan Hadlock

    February 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Great list – very inclusive. However, what’s compelling anymore? Seems like everyone has jumped on a current hot topic (e.g., green, organic, etc.) at the expense of real differentiating factors that create barrier to entry in a market. First movers seem to win, even if their strategy isn’t the “best”.

  • Franklin Grippe

    February 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Fantastic as usual.

    Ok. I am buying your book Brand Aid NOW.

    Although, I wonder about being “compelling” also.

    And is this as much a part of how well the creative is executed, or how the brand is visually manifested, at all points of contact, as much as it is an up front idea?

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