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.
As some of you know, I’m working with Pete Canalichio on a new book about how brands can rethink their growth strategies. Together we’ve been studying how and where many of the world’s most successful brands partner up to reach consumers, how they grow engagement with their brands by expanding their market sector reach, and what that means for business models. On Thursday evening, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how the strategies of global brands can be applied to businesses of all sizes looking for growth and profitability in today’s super-competitive environments. Building Brands in the Connective Economy Level 2, 318 Lambton Quay, Wellington Thursday 13 October 5:00-7:00pm Admission is free, but please register at Future of Business. Hope to see you there.
Is there ever a right time to get on the front foot and challenge your competitors by name?
It’s not always easy to spot that your brand is falling out of favour with consumers, especially if, on the face of it, things look healthy.
Differentiation is acknowledged by most as the goal that every marketer should be seeking. But the enthusiasm for the pursuit masks a common misunderstanding – in the context of brand strategy, different and difference are not one and the same.
It’s increasingly easy to be a brand that people talk about in glowing terms, part of a sector that appears to be booming, and yet on a downward slide financially. It’s a sign perhaps of just how much we now focus on (the wrong) numbers at the expense of understanding true value.
Christopher Zook’s article on why companies with strong founders are more innovative, generate a greater number of patents, and more valuable patents at that, and are proactive in investing in and adapting their business model is a reminder to all of the very human qualities required to keep a company (and its brands) growing.
The hardest thing you can do as an owner I believe is to insist on building a powerfully simple brand. It’s hard because single-mindedness is difficult in a world where the consideration set is huge and where others will quickly seek to engage you in a relentlessly upgraded features war.
Our gut instinct as marketers is to go with what is working, because everything in the corporate rewards system is geared towards that: lack of risk appetite; the quest for short term results; even performance incentives. The irony for brands of course is that the more you go with what works for others, the less likely those ideas are to work for you.
In my latest article for Entrepreneur, I challenge entrepreneurs to articulate what they intend to disrupt. As per the article, “if you are not entering a sector to turn it upside down, then chances are you are dooming yourself to being just another participant”. Hope you like. If you do, please share.