No matter what brand you’re trying to create, the ability to stay focused, relevant and strategic will ultimately contribute to its success. It’s a lot about innovation and persistence and a lot about the nitty, gritty work of making sure the shit you’re selling is the stuff consumers want to buy. You might really dig the idea of opening a wine bar in your up-and-coming neighborhood. However, you’re competing for watering hole dominance with two taverns that have been around for decades and a new microbrewery that caters to the beer-loving locals.
Idea #1: Know what you’re selling.
Is this too obvious? Too bad, it’s important. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to identify your direct competition or know who the heck you’re trying to sell to. At the end of the day, you want to do an amazing job of consistently selling your unique product and not someone else’s.
Idea #2: Do your research.
Pay attention to the info mapped out in those multicolored graphs and Excel spreadsheets. Don’t let the data dictate your every move, but it’s important to do your due diligence before stepping out in faith with a new business or product venture.
Idea #3: Understand who your audience is (and who it isn’t).
Seth Godin writes, “If you want to grow a valuable brand…keep awareness close to zero among the people you’re not ready for yet, and build the most predictable, emotional experience you can among those that care about you.” What does this mean for you as you create a winning brand? Sell to those who will obviously love you and jump on the wagon without so much as a polite nudge. BUT make plans to appeal to the people who are gradually going to fall in love with your brand and use it to help define their lifestyle.
Idea #4: Know your competition but be open to collaboration.
By knowing what you’re selling, knowing your consumers, and figuring out how to reach them, it follows that you’ve figured out your competition. However, trying to beat the competition shouldn’t always be the goal. A recent panel at SXSW addressed this head on and made the point that “The only difference between collaborators and competitors is how you leave the relationship.”
Idea #5: Learn the curve and figure out how to stay ten steps ahead of it.
Forecasting is tough but worthwhile.
Idea #6: Emotional branding = Consumer desire
According to a Marketing Week article, “The brands people desire say a lot about who they are as a person. When thinking about a successful brand strategy, it’s essential to know who your customers are and how they use your brand.” Emotional branding is HOT; marketers have finally discovered that maybe brand loyalty isn’t always directly related to the pragmatism of a product.Marc Gobé wrote the book Emotional Branding and has an interesting perspective on it’s impact on advertising and the marketplace.