Don’t Have a Confusing Brand Strategy. What B2B Marketing Can Learn from HBO.

Do you know the difference between HBO GO, HBO NOW, and HBO MAX? Neither do I. Neither do a lot of people. I assumed HBO Max was HBO + Cinemax, but it’s not. Cinemax is yet another subscription from this same company.

WarnerMedia must have also realized how confusing their product offerings and branding were because they recently announced that after significant brand confusion around the HBO apps, they were officially sunsetting HBO GO and renaming HBO NOW to simply, HBO.

Still confused? It’s a huge marketing and branding failure by WarnerMedia.

Market segmentation is important. It helps you define who your target customers are and better understand who might buy your service or product. It makes sense to separate your overall prospects into smaller groups with similar needs and behaviors so you can better customize services and target offerings to meet a specific group’s preference.

But if it is not driven by a strong brand strategy, it can often end up making things even more confusing. And confusion = less sales.

It’s not great when your internal market segmentation becomes your product offering. Is the incremental gain in charging more for HBO MAX going to make up for the massive lost revenue from not understanding the offering? I doubt it.

A good brand strategy means that prospects and clients know exactly what you deliver. They have a strong understanding of what you offer and their experience with your brand and your business supports everything you say. Like Netflix, for instance. Netflix makes sense to me. I don’t have to read their FAQ to understand the offering.

When you don’t have a good brand strategy it’s usually pretty obvious. Prospects and clients don’t have a good understanding of what you are offering. What you say, do, and offer can often appear contradictory.

What can we learn about B2B marketing from HBO right now? Don’t have a confusing brand strategy. This is very common in B2B – we want to create a product or offering for each of our market segments. We love to create new brands, sub-brands, and product names. But every single one needs a really good reason to exist or all it does is reduce sales. Just like it’s doing for HBO.

All the best,

Bill Bice
CEO

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