Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Marketing Communications: An overview with Cunard

Marketing Communications is a phenomenon that connects a product/service offer to the end customer. It elevates the product/service offer from mere functionality and adds emotional value and experience to it.

As against the common myth that marketing communications is only the responsibility of brand manager, it actually is a comprehensive, coordinated and institution wide strategy. It draws heavily on top management buy-in and the support. Marketing communication challenges include issues of strategic vs. tactical resource allocation; centralized vs decentralized communication; integration among various departments.

A good MarCom structure requires well integrated departments with strong top management support to ensure standardized, consistent and continuous communication.

Advantages of IMC in an organization:
Optimal utilization of resources: When budgets are limited, organizations try to build synergy between individual and corporate brands so that both can benefit from each other. As in the case of Cunard, the same advertisement space was used to promote both the Cunard brand name and the individual ship brands. Even in tactical advertisements, Cunard name was given space and visibility to strengthen corporate brand image.

Helps in building consistent brand image: The central communication department understand the core values and ethos of the brand. They can hence ensure consistency in brand communication across brands or SBUs. For example, Dove communicates with its customers through multiple media including hoardings, TV and Press ads, Internet, Mall activation, POP promotion etc. The brand manager has to ensure that the core values of the brand which include, premium, moisturizing ability, independent and confident women and the look and feel of brand experience is maintained across the mediums so that consumer is not bombarded with conflicting messages. Similarly Cunard communication manager, Leslie in the HBS case ensures that Cunard brand communication has consistency across the ship brands. It should be elegant, luxurious, rich and 'very british'.

Helps in building focused effort by understanding distinct need of customers and reaching them with a relevant and well defined message: A good communication plan starts with great consumer understanding. Segments are today based more of needs, benefits and requirements rather than demographics and psychographics. Marketing communications helps to reach these consumer segments with customized messages and propositions.

Key Takeaway

Impactful Communication: Clear* Consistent* Continuous* Customized
Integrated and synergistic media strategy
Enduring Brand Image



  1. I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight.
    Brand Identity Guide


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