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.
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?
In a world where popularity is the ‘it’ metric for so many marketers, have you really thought through how your brand would cope if all your wishes came true? If your brand strategy is based on building your popularity, here’s some things you might like to consider as you rush to be noticed.
Distance is an interesting concept in brand positioning terms. How closely you look to cluster with others and how determined you are to remain some way away depends on your strategy and what you stand to gain from getting up-close.
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?
The aspiration drive that has dominated how marketers think and what they strive to achieve in building a brand’s mythology is increasingly being seen by consumers as unattainable and fake. Buyers are drawing a line under what they perceive to be airbrushed brands. And the push-back is manifest in everything from the acceptance of imperfect food to the increased use of plus-size models on fashion house runways.
At his presentation at The Un-Conference, Chris Wren included this deceptively simple observation: “Follow the insights,” he suggested, “Wherever they may lead”. I was struck immediately by the extent to which brands don’t. Too often it seems research functions as something of a confirmation bias – reinforcing beliefs that are already deeply held.
Marketers are under enormous pressure to get cut-through. Thing is – where’s the cut off point? How do you decide whether the claims you’re making are justified and how do you know you have pushed the boat out too far? Putting aside the legal considerations (not my space), here are four simple ways to filter what you should and shouldn’t say:
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.
Everyone talks about growth and for the need to become a market leader. But once you’ve become the number one player, then what? What do you do after that to retain the lead you’ve worked so hard to get and that has now made you the target of everyone else’s aspirations?