How do we recognise a brand? What do consumers see, and how different is that from the ways brands are structured?
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.
Everywhere you look today it seems, there are people and brands only too keen to spell out exactly what they think and what they want you to know, in the loudest terms possible. As the volume continues to climb, can you even be a quiet brand today?
Some events, like the Olympics, Formula One and the FIFA World Cup, attract huge audiences. If you’re a smaller brand looking to change how you are perceived, is it a responsible action to bet everything you have on being a brand sponsor?
Brands come alive for people when they encapsulate ideas that consumers want to have in their lives. That’s partly what makes brands distinctive and desirable. So what do you do when your core idea is no longer as attractive as it used to be?
Everything your brand does happens within a context. You can’t ignore that, nor should you. But here’s the irony – if you allow that wider context to drive how you manage your brand, then you risk losing control because the course you are steering is no longer yours.
Any brand manager worth their salt is looking to cultivate and manage a brand that is noticed and valued. But how far should a brand go in that quest for distinctiveness? Interestingly, the answer doesn’t just come down to taste.