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 honey-trap. It may look inviting from the outside but if a competitor did dare to venture there, doing so would be to their competitive disadvantage.
Finding such an approach isn’t easy. It requires a deep examination of a competitor’s business model to see where their brand is most awkward or feels 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 alter something that they feel self-conscious about anyway, something that may be embedded deep in their culture and/or their systems. Chances are their brand won’t do that well. If they do it at all, it will take a great deal of time. If they do it badly, it only seerves to highlight how good your brand is at it.
If they don’t react, then you continue to hold, and hopefully extend, the perceived brand 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 honey-trap strategy are, like the strategy itself, deceptively simple:
Where would that [other] brand never go?
Are we there?
When and how do we go there?