We have heard and read much stuff on Brands to-do list but generally what makes far more impact in terms of remembrance is ”Not to do List”
1. Refusing to shrug off past glory
Most successful brands fall into this trap of hanging on to themselves and making changes that are merely apologetic. Nike was the brand for athletes. The only problem was it was too narrow a platform and it alienated more potential buyers than those it attracted, i.e. those who were into serious athletic pursuits.
The ‘Revolution’ campaign attempted to broaden the appeal- the ad spoke to women as well as to men, the old as well as the young, and local town-level athletes as well as world-class athletes.
However, it was the ‘Just do it’ campaign that truly communicated to everyone aspiring for a walking or running shoe. By focusing on fundamental values cherished by world-class athletes and morning walkers, or even aspiring morning
walkers it established a broadest consumer connection platform it had ever created in its history.But to do that, Nike had to jog past its own history.
2.Brand Logo + Stationery + Font
Brands encompass the total customer experience and perception of quality, look and feel, the word of mouth of those who have used the brand, and hearsay by all including the planted ‘hearsay’ in media, online and off-line interactions within the brand, and the tone and posture of all forms of company-sponsored communities for the brand.
3. Not looking beyond the product
Brands are not just about physical experiences. Even those that deliver physical experiences must understand the basic psychological experiences that surround the physical product interactions.
Much of what consumers consume must feed their emotions their wanting to be acknowledged by their peer group, their need to feel connected with their friends, and their yearning for joy and fulfillment. Successful brands focus on these psychological needs surrounding their product consumption Starbucks which has chosen to chisel the features of the coffee consumption environment’ much more than the differentiations of the coffee’s product features, is the best example of building a brand more around its psychological experiences than around its product features.
4. Allowing the cost of re-branding to cloud the mind
Many marketers get disheartened by the cost of undertaking a re-branding exercise. What they fail to assess carefully is the opportunity cost of NOT making their brand relevant to the evolving consumer. It should also be borne in mind that a great re-branding exercise need not be one that involves crores of rupees. An in-house catalyst or a small specialist brand consultant may well steer a successful re-branding with a much lower payout..
5. Allowing the brand to regress into a commodity
Great brands are protagonists of their category. Surf and Dalda’s closer home have almost defined their respective categories. Kingfisher-Fly the good times’ has clearly redefined the flying experience, even though it was a late entrant into the category. Starbucks did the redefinition of coffee experience and so did Nike for sneakers. All these brands worked as much to enhance the experience with the brand as they did with product features. Delivering an abstract experience always requires greater attention to detail than crafting of product features.
6. Keeping the brand width too narrow
A brand benefits by touching its consumers at different touch points. This can be done in several ways brand extensions, co-branding, new sub-brands, and entering new product categories with the same brand name can be some ways to achieve this. The introduction of Wills Lifestyle clothing was a very intelligent way to broad base the equity of the Wills brand. Kingfisher’s extension from spirits to the airline business has broad-based its basic theme of ‘Good times manifold.
Lakme’s extension into branded fashion show event “Lakme India Fashion Week, which is now a part of India’s fashion calendar has imparted Lakme a broader base while enthusing contemporariness into its range of personal grooming products for women.
My sincere gratitude to all my colleagues, bosses, clients, agencies, vendors, and above all people/consumers of India (especially from the rural hinterland which I had extensively covered over my nearly 3 decades of experience)from whom I learned the ABC of Marketing but there’s a long way to go. I am also thankful to all my previous and present Org without whom I would have not got this exposure.
Solicit all your views in the form of comments.