My favourite brand strategy is one that takes a brand where the competitor can’t go or wouldn’t go. Even better, the strategy is a Venus fly trap. It may look inviting from the outside but if a competitor did dare to venture there, doing so would be to their disadvantage.
Finding such an approach isn’t easy. It requires a deep examination of a competitor’s business model to see where they are most awkward or feel most vulnerable – and then making that very thing the focus of your own brand strategy.
Highlighting as your own strength what your competitor is reluctant to address often puts them in a no win situation.
If they react by trying to change their business model, they are forced to try and change something that they feel self-conscious about anyway, something embedded deep in their culture and/or their systems. Chances are they won’t do that well. If they do it at all, it will take a great deal of time.
If they don’t react, then you continue to hold, and hopefully extend, the perceived advantage that you have in that space – and of course you can, if you wish, call them out in various ways on their lack of progress.
The questions you need to create such a strategy were first asked of me by Keith, and they are pearlers:
Where would that [other] brand never go?
When and how do we go there?
Photo of Venus Fly Trap taken by Peter Shanks, sourced from Flickr