Finding High-Potential Avenues For Brand Growth

It’s not enough to have a strong vision or a single great idea. To successfully innovate—in a way that doesn’t mimic every other competitor—you need to see the range of opportunities open to you.

A serious customer-centric view of the landscape will tell you what routes contain latent opportunities for you to exploit. It can also lead you away from uncomfortable pain points associated with current approaches and guide you through the pitfalls of getting customers to act in unfamiliar ways. Importantly, a true customer-centric approach will pinpoint the ways in which a new solution has to excel over existing offerings and lead you down the right paths to making money.

The Central Role Of Jobs To Be Done

All over the world, people go about their days getting things done. Much of what they do is aimed at satisfying a collection of short- and long-term objectives that they see as being related to their well-being. The many decisions that they make throughout the day—which toothpaste to use, whether to drink coffee or tea, what product to buy for their company—are all part of satisfying these objectives, as each person defines them.

But what if people know only part of what they want? Or—even more radical—what if they don’t really understand why they want what they want? While such confusion at first glance seems like a recipe for innovation disaster, it is precisely in this knowledge gap where opportunities for new growth exist. Throughout this section, we will answer such questions as: How can companies use this knowledge gap to attract new customers or launch new products? How can figuring out the known and unknown drivers of consumer behavior give companies an advantage in the marketplace? And if people themselves don’t know what they want or why they want it, how can someone else figure it out?

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How Brand Purpose Propels Brand Profits

We’ve all been in those meetings. The subject of the company’s brand purpose comes up and the C-level executives around the table roll their eyes or become fidgety.

For them, the P-word is a soft thing, nice words, lofty and aspirational, and notoriously difficult to measure. Purpose may remind them of a plaque in the boardroom which makes employees cynical about hollow leadership initiatives and mantras. Or it may sound like a branding, public relations or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tactic, not worthy of a board-level discussion.

But they would be wise not to dismiss the P-word. In fact, today many leading CEOs and companies are finding that embracing a core purpose is not only a ‘good’ thing to do but also drives top corporate performance. Bottom line? Purpose means growth, and growth means profit.

What Is Brand Purpose?

Purpose is the reason the company exists not only materially and economically but also emotionally and spiritually. It is the enterprise’s unifying statement of commitment to customers, employees and the larger world it operates in.

A higher purpose connects the business and peoples’ work to societal goals such as reducing hunger in the developing world or improving public health in the US.

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Learn about 9 Insights For Meaningful Brand Differentiation

We have explored the topic of Brand Differentiation from many angles over the years to help brands break free from the pull of ‘me too’ strategies. Today we’re highlighting nine insights that will help you think through and discover the meaningful point(s) of difference your brand can represent.

1. Is Brand Differentiation Still Possible?

There’s a shift of focus: from big picture, broad brush disruptive market plays to a new era of personalized, specific, individualized small plays. In the new world of the quantified self and the emerging Internet Of Everything, brand differentiation today is really about what a brand does for “me” not how it revolutionizes whole swathes of a sector.

2. Either A Brand Is Different Or It Is Dead

In today’s world, everyone is searching for the same best practice. Everyone benchmarks against each other. And everyone optimizes their communications plans. Everyone is copying each other. And so their brands are becoming clones.

3. The Brand Differentiation Mandate

Choosing among multiple options is always based on differences, implicit or explicit. Psychologists point out that vividly differentiated differences that are anchored to a product can enhance memory because they can be appreciated intellectually. In other words, if you’re advertising a product, you ought to give the consumer a reason to choose that product.

4. The End Of The Unique Selling Proposition

Brands need to fashion their products round their viewpoints rather than looking to drive preference around their features. And that’s led me to wonder whether, as strategists, our goal is no longer to position brands in relation to function but rather to platform brands as promoters of a worldview, even a world change. In essence, to ditch the Unique Selling Proposition in favor of the Unique Brand Perspective – an outlook on the world, and a hope for the future, that drives everything the brand does.

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