The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
No doubt, the stakes for marketplace success are growing ever higher for marketers. Consumers have more choice than their mind’s can process. Against the backdrop of a dicey economy, over-crowded retail channels, and price pressure driving nearly every decision these days, marketers are neck deep and choking on more short-term marketing tactics to sell more stuff.
Few are granted the luxury of stepping back and making big picture assessments with clarity and confidence that the future they are busy creating will matter to anyone by time they get there. Brand building is like riding a bullet train these days. It’s easy to feel like your being left behind. Regardless, I believe it’s a good idea to be looking up and out right now.
In listening to my client colleague’s conversations, here’s my take on what may be the most important areas of focus for many marketing decision-makers and brand managers to pursue their best opportunities now and in the future.
The global economic reset continues to slowly shake itself out. As a result, more brand managers (with enlightened management) recognize the value of crafting a bigger, more compelling vision for their brand’s future. A future that will be rich in opportunity for those brands that truly know who they are, what they represent, where they’re going from here, and why they will matter to people. Vision is everything! Everything that ever was, is now, or ever will be, begins with a compelling vision.
How clear is your vision looking out onto the horizon of opportunity right now?
The marketplace is a vast slush pile – with more slush added daily. The brands that are rewarded with existence are the ones that continue to innovate better ways to be of value and serve people. This is where the real game is played. Innovations, both incremental and disruptive, are happening at light speed in every product and service category. There’s simply no room left anymore for me-too anything. More marketers must put their creative energies into innovating highly valued “meanings” for their offerings, rather than adding more competitive features and benefits – and in the process, create whole new markets.
Where do you see your best opportunity to change the game?
By now, most consumers are online. Increasingly, paid media messaging is less about awareness and more about engagement online. To genuinely connect with people there, the web has ever-evolving rules of engagement. Rule number one is you can’t control the message. Rule number two is you have to be invited. It is a continuing challenge for brand managers to align their brand vision and product innovations to stay relevant and highly valued by people. It is an understatement to say the social web is a sea change of profound magnitude for marketers. Brands must provide intrinsic value to people first, and the social web is the perfect venue for doing this. Brand managers who successfully connect the dots and add to the collective good in their customer’s lives dominate. Being authentic, honest, and trustworthy–is how the marketing gets baked in these days. Paraphrasing Seth Godin, “ideas have to ship” for your value to matter to people.
How aligned is the quality of your presence to your vision for a bigger future?
Of course, brand managers continue to experience much more pressure to deliver on short-term results. Unfortunately, that’s not changing anytime soon. This sucks up their creative bandwidth that otherwise might be directed to creating ideas that enable new demand rather than chasing what’s already out there.
Enlightened marketers focus more on creating, rather than competing for what has already been created.
As the “new normal” continues to settle in, and the consumer economy begins to warm up a little – or not, marketers have a perfect opportunity to renew their vision, bring new innovations of meaning to the marketplace, and align the quality of their presence in the minds of highly devoted people.
How important is vision, innovation and alignment creating influence and growth to your business?
Sponsored By: The Two-Day Brand Positioning Workshop