What is Affiliate Marketing’s Brand?

cookie.jpgJim Kukral, publisher of ReveNews and operator of BlogKits, has submitted a short but intriguing piece on MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

The main question he poses has reverberations that continue to expand like a rock thrown in a pond if you consider the essence of what he’s asking.

Here’s his question:

What is affiliate marketing’s brand? When you think of it, what comes to mind?

I should also point out that this is a good exercise for any marketer to put to use. I think what you’ll find, as I have in other areas, is that what your customer and/or the rest of the world thinks, is drastically different than what you think.

As you begin to form an answer in your head, remember that the audience of MarketingProfs is different than ReveNews or this blog. He’s asking this question to individuals who stand outside of affiliate marketing in general, but who also are deeply entrenched in other online marketing platforms.

Why be concerned over the definition of affiliate marketing’s brand? Why do some of us use the moniker affiliate marketing while others of us shun that term, but continue, in practice, to be associated with affiliate marketing?

For insight into this answer, I think back (as I often do) to an episode of ze Frank’s The Show where he launches into a brilliant tirade of why John Mark Carr would want to associate himself with Jon Benet Ramsey (it was August and that was the only news, remember).

Like Jim’s rock in the pond, Frank’s observations also expand outwards from his three minute video and have implications for the brand that many of us associate ourselves with: affiliate marketing.

ze Frank’s comments go along these lines:

“What the hell do you mean by brand?

Brand is an emotional aftertaste that is conjured up by, but not necessarily dependent on, a series of experiences.

Everything has an aftertaste, and everything is a brand.”

Nothing earth shattering there, unless you like to limit the definition of brand. Frank nails it on the head by saying that everything is a brand and has an emotional aftertaste, however… including affiliate marketing.

If everything is a brand (including affiliate marketing) why associate with a particular brand? Why seek out these types of definitions as Jim is aiming to do? Frank gives more insight:

“Right now platforms are fracturing. There are fewer specific places that have access to a large market share and it’s getting harder to speak to lots of people.

But the shared emotional aftertaste of brand is platform independent.

If you leverage those aftertastes, people pay attention regardless of where they are.”

So, I don’t have an answer for Jim’s question. But I do hope he finds one. There are such a wide variety of emotional aftertastes experienced within (and without) the realm of affiliate marketing, that to figure this out will require more than a few minutes of pondering.

Great question, Jim.

Visit the links below for more information and please do watch the episode of The Show…


Jim’s Marketing Prof Daily Fix Article

ze Frank’s Video Post on Brands

8 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing’s Brand?”

  1. Thanks for the rub Sam. I asked that question over there because it needed to be asked. Check the comments so far. The first person didn’t get that we even had a brand, and the second one thinks affiliate marketing is all about companies like iwon.com.

    What does that tell you? I fear that the rabbit hole may get deeper and darker as we probe outside of our industry more.

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