We hear a lot about the effects that technology and developments like AI will have on jobs and workforces. But powerful forces already operate in markets to actively undermine value and drive out distinctiveness. It’s one thing to know that. It’s quite another to develop a differentiation strategy capable of stopping it.
Branding is competitive. It’s about staking out the right to earn over others. So it requires a strong and competitive strategy. But when that competitive streak becomes obsessive, brands lose objectivity and that can cost them dearly.
The temptation for most businesses and indeed most brand managers is to look for growth right across their brand portfolio. Their strategy is developed on that basis. But that’s far harder and far less effective than it sounds.
Small brands are edgy, attuned and preferred. That seems to be a common sentiment right now. But there is nothing to suggest that any of this makes it easy to win as a small brand today.
Brands drive attention and income off awareness, but they derive their real value from their ability to shift and sustain longer term sentiment.
Every brand decision is a negotiation between what has worked to date and what is required to succeed going forward.
We often think of brand value in financial terms. But that value, I would venture to suggest, is actually a result of a broader initiative that brands need to think about in these busy times: finding ways to be valuable in the lives of those who buy from them.
Some time back, I looked at what it took to get a brand promise right. In this post, I want to examine the converse: when (consumers feel that) brands have not lived up to what they said they would deliver. What happens to generate customer disappointment?
Have we become so pre-occupied with the niceties of brand that we’ve forgotten the reason they exist? Where’s the link to sales?
Everybody wants to believe they work for brands that are among the best. But just as marketers are in the business of telling others stories, they also tell themselves stories about the brands they work for. And some of those myths are just not good.