Because I work in advertising, I focus more on the advertisements than normal person. After spending the whole day crafting strategy, I have to always remind myself at the end of the day, that no normal person really cares that much. Serves as a good reminder before I bore non-advertising people at the dinner table. It is natural human tendency to place high value for something just because we spend much time with something. Being important for you does not equal being important to everyone, not even anyone else.
Marketers fell victim to similar thinking and end up living on their own “brand bubble”. When you live and breathe your brand everyday, you start become blind to its real meaning in people´s life. Usually that meaning is quite limited at best and totally obsolete at worst. Therefore it is always important to try to escape your brand bubble, go talk to real people and keep these five points clear in your mind:
1. Product feature is not a product benefit.
Consumer decides the product benefit, not the company. Even though you introduce product feature you have been developing for years, if the consumer does not find use for it, it is completely useless. You have to dig deep to really find why target audience uses your product or selects your brand. Sometimes the truth might be bad news for your brand (see 5.)
2. Do not follow your category: differ from it
I think that benchmarking your direct competitors is one of the biggest traps marketers fall. Usual fallacy is that when you conclude that your whole category is boring, you end up being boring yourself. Benchmarking should be used only in these two ways:
- Analyze what your competitors are doing and do something totally different.
- Benchmark other categories which are successful and use those tactics in innovative ways (Utilize retailing tactics in luxury products or vice versa, make your service a product, sell subscription model, etc..)
3. You compete against everyone, not just your category
Especially with digital, you are on the battlefield with the best ones in the world. On YouTube you are competing with Ylvis. On Facebook you are competing with the friends of your target audience. On Twitter you are competing with biggest opinion leaders in the world. You better be interesting or go home.
4. Being simple is being confident.
If you can make people to remember one thing about you, you have already succeeded. Usually marketer wants to tell too much. You have been spending time doing all these different features, which you mistake as benefits and want to cram them all on one banner ad. Telling too much is turn-off. You should intrigue the curiosity by letting the audience have the opportunity to find out more. Too many times we tell everything immediately, so there is nothing left to say and learn. Sexy lingerie is more erotic than nudity, because it leaves room for the imagination. You should do the same with your brand.
5. Be honest about your brand.
Does your market share represent the true strength of your brand? Many times especially with FMCG brands, you realize that the biggest selling brands might actually have quite low brand equity. They are just big because of the price point, logistics or lack of real competition. And there is nothing wrong with that if you know where the market share is coming. Low brand equity poses a threat for rapid market share loss because of the price competition. For example, your category might not yet been affected by private labels, but that does not mean it will not happen. Knowing the real health of you brand is really important, so you can prepare yourself for the upcoming challenges.
Every time you start falling too deep in your own brand world, go back to these five points and remember that you play only small role in the world on your audience.