Stand up and Be Counted!

brand, brand strategy, brand values, branding, Business Strategy, Jane-Michele Clark, marketing, marketing strategy, perceived value, value

Brands must boldly declare who they are and what they stand for. In response to the economic crisis of the last decade, many companies tried to cast a wider net by appealing to just about everyone. With multiple marques in a category doing similarly, the lines between the brands blurred – so much so in some cases that there appears to be little appreciable difference between them. As a result, most brands no longer resonate deeply with anyone.

It does not serve your business, your brand, your employees or your customers to be innocuous. Neither does being beige, bland or boring. To succeed, brands must have a distinct, clearly-identifiable personality and set of values.

People who share or respect these ideals will be attracted to the brand – and will vote your favour when opening their wallets. For the diminishing customer constituent that doesn’t care one way or the other, this stance will not cost you their patronage – and it may even earn you their respect.

When I say this to audiences, someone always worries that this approach might alienate potential clients. My response: It is not necessary to be all things to all people. In fact, that approach is detrimental to business. Companies must choose the types of clients they wish to serve based on the type of product they wish to offer, and the way in which they wish to do business. I’m not using the word “wish” in the same manner as lottery hopefuls, but as in the kind of clarity of purpose that enables you to carve out a niche dominate it.

Once you have determined the right niche, own it by boldly declaring who you are, and why your product offering represents great value (think “cost/benefit equation”, not “lowest price”). After all, fortune favours the brave… and now is time to be brave enough to wrest back control of your brand and the way you want to do business.

Until next time, I wish you a fun, profitable and mentally-challenging week!

Jane-Michèle Clark