Your Non-Conforming Brand
May 13, 2011 by Lance Parman
They want a new drug.
Consumers are constantly looking for that little something that can make their cars go faster, their hair smell better, their lives more meaningful. People change, lifestyles change, loyalties change, and every time they do, product categories are turned upside down. If you want to evolve with consumers, you can’t study their behavior alone, because few things are more unpredictable than human behavior. You must study the behavior of your competition. Because setting yourself apart from your peers is what makes the difference.
Conformity is suicide.
When you look at the category your brand resides in, what makes your product or service different? Is it the benefit to the consumer? Subtle manufacturing nuances? The company history? There is always something unique that can be communicated. How you communicate that difference is what makes or breaks your brand. Because consumers will never understand what makes your brand unique if it is presented in the same idiom as the competition.
If you build it…
Most brands do not have sustainable or sufficiently compelling differentiation to inspire brand loyalty. And brand loyalty is what allows you to not only avoid competing on a commodity level, but to avoid competing at all. If your company can offer a promise that no one else can deliver upon, then you have the makings of a dominant brand. It may live in a category that you created, but if you built it, you own it. And the customers will come.