Brand Offense, Defense or Nonsense?March 13, 2013 By Peter Weedfald
I visited Hong Kong last week to discuss the best paths for building new market opportunities, along with varying visions on what is next, and what will be hot in consumer technology. Again and again, the subject of just how to build a new brand or super-fuel an old brand with a new product overtook our conversation on the product planning process.
Imagine the rough and tumble task an entry company faces to build a completely new brand within the consumer electronics "x-widget" product category. Imagine this in a tough, over-exercised North American marketplace: clearly not for the faint of heart, surely not for the faint of investment capital.
We began to explore brand leadership and to clarify and expose successful brand offense and defense strategies. The basics? We recognize a brand is a promise. It is inclusive and righteously positioned on an x and y-axis. The x-axis correlates with brand value/equity while the y-axis represents shelf line logic, bearing competitive market pricing. Brands are built on foundations of products and services juxtaposed smartly versus competitive offerings. With this comes the formula to measure any brand versus competitive market dynamics:
Price divided by value (brand and or product value) equals the real competitive cost the market will bear, the cost a consumer is willing to pay versus your shelf space competitors. Of course the greater the competitive value, the greater the willingness from consumers to pay a few extra pennies for your product, for your brand experience. The less your brand and or product value, the less consumers are willing to vote with their pocketbooks for your brand, for your wishful profitable product future.
Successful, focused brand offense and defense strategies, especially when entering a new market include:
Brand strategy on the offensive:
1. Expose, aim and ignite your product and brand advantage versus the number one market leader's position you wish to gain and attain over time.
2. Attain net price profitability through a smart modicum of SG&A overhead versus the leader's hefty and mature infrastructure.
3. Explore, discover and study the market leader's brand weakness and strength to prepare for changing product, pricing and market dynamics.
4. Focus resources to fight smartly. Core down, heavy up all assets and narrow cast and focus intentions for high impact, fast time to volume gains.