Many Roads, One Goal is based on my most popular blog post ever. It’s about why it takes more than one strategy to find the best strategy and how you can develop a portfolio of strategies to overcome challenging times, implement and test them in batches, and then manage the portfolio down from many to whatever the market has revealed works best.
As we start another year with all the usual wishes to do better, it’s sobering to review how your intentions from this time last year panned out. What didn’t happen, and what do those disappointments tell you about your brand and the state of your brand heading into 2016?
The intuitive answer is market share. But perhaps there’s another way of looking at this: one that is increasingly being pursued by brands with a strong purpose agenda. If your brand must be bigger than what you make, perhaps the basis on which you compete must be greater than what you can distinctly own.
Twitter was built on 140 characters. Even though the limitation was serendipitous, it remains a defining characteristic of the brand in the minds of many. Concise thinking, hash-tagged to provide simple, global connection – there’s the Twitter value equation in a little under half the consigned quota. But the question Carl Miller asks is a good one. What happens when the idea that defined you starts to work to inhibit you?
Consciously or not, many brands are now running a freemium model. They are giving away a lot more than they used to, particularly across social media, just to keep up with the changing competitive landscape. And they are hoping to recoup on that significant content investment when consumers do buy. So has any of this changed the fundamentals of brand economics, or has it merely altered the manner in which brands achieve visibility?
Well, the IPO for Fitbit got off to a flying start, but will it last? Can the company continue to grow at anything like the rate it has? Here’s the good news. This certainly looks like a market on the march. According to the Guardian, 16 million fitness trackers were sold globally last year, with just under 34 million expected to ship this year and 56 million in 2018. So, on the face of it, plenty of organic growth.
Back in Florida in a few days to speak at this year’s Un-Conference at the Versace Mansion in South Beach alongside Derrick Daye, Gerard Gibbons, Brad VanAuken, Pete Canalichio, Chris Wren, Hilton Barbour and Ashley Konson. This year’s theme is brand leadership, something we’re all thriving for. And with a line-up like this, expect plenty of opinions. Should be fun. If you haven’t booked yet, there may still be places left. Acknowledgements Photo of “Entrance Gianni Versace Mansion”, taken by Phillip Pessar, sourced from Flickr
Just as brands reflect the business they are part of, so they must systemically modify how they operate to reflect technological and systemic changes in the business.
Marketers often talk about brand leadership as if it is one thing. But there are many different brand leadership strategies that a brand can use to distinguish itself in a marketplace. The critical decision for brand owners is deciding how you will lead and why that will work.
Familiarity is something every marketer craves for their brand. They want the marque they are responsible for to be known, asked for, a household name. But does icon status in and of itself guarantee anything anymore?