The key challenge in today’s competitive world is to build strong, lasting brands. Brands with some ability to transcend their age and to stimulate and captivate those that they are designed for. While the role of these relevant (i.e. the ones they are designed for) users needs consideration the fundamentals of great marketing and brand development do not change.
WHY? You may ask… because
- consumption is a large part of everyday life.
- consumers constantly sift and choose among a huge array of goods and services.
- in many cases, brands – words, symbols, designs, sounds and ideas furnish the primary rationale for consumer decisions.
Today, a successful brand will…
- be imbued with special qualities – this helps insulate against price competition
- deftly travel the consumption landscape and develop an emotional relationship with the user.
- act like a leader by being confident and assured of the offering and take the stance of category leadership .
- develop a realistic and differentiated positioning in the marketplace. Beware of “target audience greed” – rarely can you be all things to all people unless, of course, you’re the Lonely Planet brand which is positioned as “making people’s dreams come true”.
- be able to determine and accept what it is not.
- challenge the norm – be a little unexpected, surprising and fresh in approach.
Ultimately, there are 2 key platforms which enable your business to succeed in an increasingly cluttered landscape of brands. You need to ensure these platforms are part of structuring your brand for success.
1. Brand Differentiation:
Challenge yourself as the brand custodians to really strive for defining the brand’s point of differentiation. Think about how this may work within your category and consider whether there is room for improvement. Analyse the competition, directly and indirectly substitutable offerings, and be honest about whether you truly have something that sets your brand apart from the pack. Being different not only drives revenue but creates a bond between people and products that reaches further than a one-off engagement and operates as the foundation of powerful and motivating brands.
2. Brand Positioning:
Challenge, develop and enhance the differentiating idea for maximum competitive advantage. Interrogate the rational and emotional components, develop symbols and words that express that difference and finesse the most effective messages for maximum impact with your customers.
These pieces my be the hardest to crack but be assured that they are also the most fulfilling part of building the foundations for a successful brand in your business.