Thursday, December 01, 2005

“Purpose Brands” ?

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal featured a piece in the second section’s “Manager’s Journal” that can only be described as remedial marketing.

The piece, entitled, “It’s the Purpose Brand, Stupid,” advances the apparently-novel notion that products (and services) should be focused on customer needs.

Really? Do tell!

What struck me as I glanced at this piece is how low the Journal’s staff must be aiming to waste space on this type of pablum. And, thus, how uneducated the staff must feel their average reading audience is.

But there’s more shocking news. The piece is an exerpt of the authors’ upcoming article in the Harvard Business Review. One of the co-authors is a member of that college’s business school faculty.

The notion of developing products to satisfy customer needs is literally as old as marketing itself, and covered in an introductory marketing course at the undergraduate level. Why this would need to be re-stated as a special topic in the world’s leading business daily makes a sad statement about the state of mediocrity among business executives in general.

Perhaps this is because the MBA as an educational program is insufficient to impart the necessary knowledge in depth to lead and manage businesses effectively. With less than 24 months duration, and the last 6 of those typically wasted on job search, the educational program may be too short to really imbue its students with effective managerial tools. In my opinion, it seems to have become more of a financial- and other functional tradecraft certification, and much less of a management degree.

If this were not true, would an article such as the one mentioned in the beginning of this post be appearing in the leading business daily paper, as well as a well-known business monthly magazine?

No comments: