The Disadvantages of Asset-Led Marketing

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Small business meeting.
Small business meeting. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Asset-led marketing is a strategy that promotes the features and benefits of the product. These features can include the product's brand, its image and its capabilities. While the primary aim of any marketing strategy is to promote the product, the asset-led strategy focuses on the product itself, rather than how it can meet the needs of the potential customer. When marketers employ an asset-led strategy, they leave themselves vulnerable to several pitfalls.

Missed Opportunities

A major disadvantage to asset-led marketing is that its focus on the product causes its proponents to lose sight of other marketing opportunities. The asset-led approach can be short-sighted, in that it concentrates on promoting the product's brand or image. If that brand has too narrow a focus, then opportunities to expand the product's reach can be missed. An asset-led approach may not only miss avenues to attract new customers but also fail to carry its old customers in its efforts to expand into new industries.

Lack of Flexibility

An asset-led approach fails to take into account the changes in the marketplace. While a market-led approach includes listening to customers and responding to their desires, companies that employ an asset-led strategy maintain an internal focus on branding and features. The asset-led approach leads to slow change and a lack of flexibility in a dynamic marketing environment. This lack of response can cause the customer to view the company as stagnant, obsolete and out of touch.

Limited Customer Research

Companies that employ the asset-led approach do not typically engage in customer research. They believe the strength of the brand acts as a sufficient basis for their success, but they might be unaware of the changes in the marketplace that occur just outside their conference room doors. For example, a company that brands itself as solid, established and traditional would find its response rates declining as its customers shift away from traditional structures and embrace new and innovative ideas.

Brand Loyalty Issues

Any event that can cause customers to question if the brand complies with its stated values can compromise brand loyalty. For example, a company that builds its brand around quality and reliability may suffer greatly if its products are found to be defective or have poor workmanship. While companies spend years -- even decades -- building a brand, those efforts can be destroyed in a single incident. A company that suffers a blow to its brand often requires even longer to rebuild the customers' trust in that brand.

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