The New 4Ps of Marketing for Modern Branding (2023)

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Have you ever watched a vintage 1950s television commercial from a well-known brand? Outside of the obvious technological limitations, the way the marketing message was conveyed probably feels simple or even patronizing. Part of the reason it feels this way is that our collective standards for evocative and powerful marketing messages have evolved significantly in the past sixty years.

The New 4Ps of Marketing for Modern Branding (1)

A Lasting Strategic Framework

Have you ever watched a vintage 1950s television commercial from a well-known brand? Outside of the obvious technological limitations, the way themarketing messagewas conveyed probably feels simple or even patronizing. Part of the reason it feels this way is that our collective standards for evocative and powerful marketing messages have evolved significantly in the past sixty years.

Introduced in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy, the 4Ps Marketing Mix of Product, Place, Price and Promotion still stands as one of the most widely accepted marketing frameworks for making key marketing decisions. The 4Ps are central to identifying what makes memorable brands remarkable. Marketing academics have proposed adding additional Ps to the framework, but few have considered revising the original framework to better reflect the modern age.

The Existing 4Ps

The original theory behind the 4Ps was based on the need for a streamlined decision-making framework for marketing that incorporated market research, analysis and planning.

  1. Product—refers to an idea that satisfies the consumer’s needs or wants
  2. Price—refers to the amount a customer pays for a product or service
  3. Place—refers to providing the customer access
  4. Promotion—refers to marketing communications

Traditionally, brands and their various departments (marketing teams, sales teams and research teams) are in charge of guiding the decision-making process around the first 3Ps (Product, Price and Place) and collaborating with marketing agencies to develop the last P (Promotion). In the past decade, the lines have become considerably blurrier as marketing agencies adopt the consultancy model and gain influence over the other Ps.

Modernizing the 4Ps

The 4Ps was originally concepted for a world where brands pushed their customers through the sales funnel from awareness and consideration to purchase and brand advocacy. In 2018, good brands use a variety of additional tactics to influence, inspire and invest in their customers’ loyalty. To put it simply, customers expect to engage directly with their favorite brands.

So what do modern brands need to think about in today’s marketing environment? They need an updated framework that guides brands to do more than just sell products or services—because the modern customer wants to connect with brands that know their place in the world.

The First New P: Passion

We now live in a world where brands are more than products that meet needs or wants. Great brands are connecting themselves to their brand mission or reason to exist in powerful ways that provide a clear understanding of their founding desire.

Passion Example—REI’s Authentic Commitment

Outdoor outfitters retailer, REI, sells camping products and athletic equipment, but the company alsodonates millions of dollars to support conservation efforts nationwideand sends volunteers to clean up hiking trails, clean up beaches and more. The company also launched an award-winning social campaign known as #OptOutside, closing stores on Black Friday and encouraging customers to get outside. REI has associated their passion for enjoying and preserving the outdoors with their products.

The Second New P: Purpose

The price of a product or service rarely reflects the true value or motivation behind purchasing. Great brands now understand that a relationship occurs with a customer far before the point of purchase and extends long afterwards. The relationship must be constantly developed and maintained.

Purpose Example—Starbucks’ Meaningful Rewards

Starbucks, one of the world’s largest café restaurant chains, cultivated a devoted following due partly to the brand’sStarbucks Rewards™program. The more times a customer visits a store, purchases the coffee at a grocery store or uses a branded credit card, the more rewards they receive. Members can earn free refills, attend member events and more. Dedicated customers attain gold status, which means they earn bonuses even more often. Starbucks’ rewards program gives buying food and beverages at Starbucks a purpose that goes beyond a mere discount.

The Third New P: Platform

In our always-connected digital world, brands can exist entirely online or with very limited distribution at traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. Great brands are harnessing the power of their online platforms to capture the attention of new and existing customers alike.

Platform Example—Casper’s Intangible Trial

Internet mattress brand, Casper, has not traditionally been sold in stores. Target recently invested in the company, but the bulk of sales occur online as part of the company’s100-night risk-free trial. As part of their trial, customers are encouraged to share their trial experience via social media. Casper has fully utilized its digital platforms to disrupt the mattress industry, spread word-of-mouth recommendations and offer a more open, transparent purchasing experience.

The Fourth New P: Proposition

It’s not enough to have a clear, passionate mission, motivation for purchase and a platform that captures the attention of customers. The last element is to construct a compelling proposition or proposal that resonates and entices customer interaction.

Proposition Example—Subaru’s Deserving Following

Japanese automaker, Subaru, may not offer a large portfolio of vehicles compared to their Japanese rivals, but they have a focused communications strategy that highlights both the brand’s reliability and safety—“finding love in a Subaru.” Subaru has even developed a volunteer customer sales force, known asSubaru Ambassadorsto promote the brand organically with customer’s friends, family and neighbors. Because Subaru’s proposition of falling in love with their vehicles is built on the strengths of safety and reliability, it’s easy to discuss loving the brand.

The New 4Ps

  • Passion

    Old Category:Product

    Revised Definition:Refers to an idea that satisfies the consumer’s needs or wants connected to a larger mission

    Marketing Decisions Impacted:

    • Branding
    • Packaging
    • Product design
    • Services
    • Returns
    • Charitable giving
  • Purpose

    Old Category:Price

    Revised Definition:Refers to the motivation or incentive of a customer to buy a product or service

    Marketing Decisions Impacted:

    • Price strategy
    • Price tactics
    • Discounts
    • Loyalty programs
  • Platform

    Old Category:Place

    Revised Definition:Refers to providing the customer access and channels for communication

    Marketing Decisions Impacted:

    • Distribution
    • Inventory
    • Market coverage
    • Logistics
    • Customer service
    • Content
  • Proposition

    Old Category:Promotion

    Revised Definition:Refers to marketing communications that engage and develop community with customers

    Marketing Decisions Impacted:

    • Promotional mix
    • Message strategy
    • Channel/media strategy
    • Message frequency
    • Community development


For brands, the revised 4Ps Marketing Mix framework offers a broad way to think about how your brand should exist, behave and fill its role in the world. The new framework can also help you identify brand strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition. For marketing agencies, this is an opportunity to push clients’ brands to do more than just sell a product or service but to develop more confident brands that have a clear reason to exist.

To better understand how the revised 4Ps Marketing Mix apply to your brand, pleasecontact us.


The Four Ps of Marketing

Marketing Mix Wikipedia

Are You A Brand With Purpose… Or A Purposeful Brand?

REI—About Us

Starbucks Rewards Program

How Casper Flipped the Mattress Industry

Subaru ‘Love’ Marketing Campaign

Subaru Ambassadors


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How do you answer the 4 P's of marketing? ›

The 4 Ps of marketing is a model businesses use to control and optimize the essential factors of marketing a product or a service. The four components of the model are product (what you sell), price (how much you sell it for), place (where you sell it), and promotion (how you get customers).

What are the 4Ps of modern marketing? ›

The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.

What are the 4Ps of marketing and branding? ›

The 4 Ps of marketing refer to product, price, place, and promotion. These are the key elements that must be united to effectively foster and promote a brand's unique value, and help it stand out from the competition.

Are 4Ps enough for marketing? ›

Marketing plans usually are structured around the traditional four Ps of Price, Product, Place, and Promotion. But when it's service that is being marketed, three more Ps Personnel, Physical facilities, and Process management must be added to the mix.

What are the 4 Ps of marketing questions? ›

Using the 4Ps of Marketing
  • Does the product/service satisfy their needs?
  • Will they find it at the sales points they frequent?
  • Will they find the price to be reflective of the value that the product or service brings?
  • Will they be receptive to the messages that will motivate them to buy it?

What is the most important of the 4 Ps of marketing? ›

I believe this highlights why the product is the most important aspect of the four P's of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Without a product, you cannot implement any one of the other three elements of the marketing mix. And great products are easy to market as they serve both a need and want.

Are the 4Ps still relevant to the modern marketplace? ›

Traditional Strategies and understandings…

The 4P's of Marketing have been part of a fundamental process in getting the right product in front of a specific group of people so they can decide to buy. Although this is still used in Marketing today, even in the digital age.

What is an example of a company using the 4Ps? ›

Starbucks Corporation (Starbucks Coffee Company) has a marketing mix (4Ps) that supports the firm's industry position as the leading coffeehouse chain in the world. The marketing mix identifies the main components of the coffee company's marketing plan, namely, product, place, promotion, and price (the four Ps).

What is the advantage of 4Ps? ›

The advantages of 4Ps are as follows: (1) the subsidy really helps poor households meet their basic and immediate needs, (2) it provides financial support for their family, (3) the subsidy enables the school children to be able to supply their academic needs such as materials, supplies and school snacks, (3) they learn ...

Why is it important to define the 4Ps of business? ›

The four Ps are meant to help marketers consider everything about a product or service when they're deciding how to market it for their business. Framing your marketing around the four Ps will help you learn what the competition is doing and what customers want from you.

Why is 4Ps good? ›

Majority of the senior high school students agree that 4P's motivates themselves in going to school, pushes them to perform well in the academic activities that would lead them into the top of their class, helps them to submit all of the school requirements, provides financial assistance to buy their needs.

What are the 4 concepts of marketing? ›

The marketing concept rests on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing and profitability.

Why is branding important with examples? ›

It helps your consumers to know what to expect from you

Branding is also important to your consumers, as they know what to expect from you as a brand. For example, if your branding evokes a sense of luxury, but your products don't match that description, you risk selling a false pretence to your consumers.

What are the four Ps of the marketing mix and which of these is most important for a sport marketing program? ›

The four P's are product, price, place, and promotion. Each sports organization is going to utilize a different combination of these four P's. They'll each have a different product, a different price, a different place, and different promotions to attract any given target segment.

Why are the 4 Ps of marketing outdated? ›

Because it's an academic framework for marketing that is not practical or actionable. The 4P's marketing framework has been widely used since the 1960's after being formulated by E. Jerome McCarthy (see Wikipedia "4P's Marketing Mix"). The 4P's stand for Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.

How has the 4 Ps of marketing changed over time? ›

The traditional marketing mix, built around the 4Ps — product, price, place and promotion — arguably discounts the breadth and complexity of current-day marketing. Therefore, two Ps were added to the mix — process and people — which respond to crucial changes in customer service, e-commerce and social media.

Who has suggested 4 Ps of marketing? ›

Typically, the marketing mix refers to the four Ps: product or service, its price, placement, and promotion. This concept was developed in 1960, when marketing professor E. Jerome McCarthy first published it in a book entitled Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.

What is an example of a product in the 4 Ps of marketing? ›

An example of product

A media streaming subscription is an example of a product. The company may offer a limited, free plan but also provide another tier of service for a monthly fee. As the marketing team considers the product, they may note that this plan offers more types of media than their competitors.

How will these 4 Ps contribute to business success? ›

At least four key factors, known as the 4 Ps, go into a successful marketing mix and plan: product design, pricing, placement, and promotional strategies. Use a marketing mix of all 4 Ps to ensure that your goods or services are marketed effectively to the right customers, in the right way, and in the right areas.

What is 7ps of marketing and branding? ›

Since then, the theory has been expanded into the 7 P's of marketing. Which are: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Packaging, and Process.

What is the meaning of 4Ps? ›

The marketing mix, also known as the four P's of marketing, refers to the four key elements of a marketing strategy: product, price, place and promotion.

What is the difference between 4Ps and 7Ps of marketing? ›

As mentioned above, the 4Ps include Place, Price, Product and Promotion. The 7Ps model, on the other hand, is a combination of the 4Ps with 3 additional segments, which refer to People, Process and Physical evidence. People are presenting how our business works inside.

Which is the most important P in the marketing mix? ›

Price: The Most Important P in the Marketing Mix.

What are the 4 dimensions of marketing? ›

This paper discusses the 4 'P's of marketing mix, which comprise: product, price, place and promotion, and theconnection with integrated marketing. Marketing managers use the Marketing Mix model in an attempt to generate theoptimal response in the target market by blending these four variables in an optimal way.

What does the product portion of the 4 Ps of marketing focus on? ›

In short, the product is everything that is made available to the consumer. In the 4 Ps strategy, this means understanding what your offer needs in order to stand apart from competitors and win over customers.


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