The conventional wisdom is that marketing expenditures help brands steal share from their competitors. This assumes a fixed pie in which one competitor’s gain is another competitor’s loss. This also implies that products and brands are at least somewhat interchangeable in customers’ minds.
There is a much more productive way to approach business growth. Expand the pie by better understanding and meeting customer needs, not just once but continuously. Through greater customer intimacy and insight, you will find ways to better meet your customers’ needs, meet more of their needs and even anticipate their future needs. In this way, you will become more valuable to them and they will become more dependent on and emotionally connected and loyal to your brand.
Another approach beyond stealing share is to bake a new pie that only your brand owns. That is, redefine what you offer in a way that make’s your brand a “category of one,” that is, the only brand that can fulfill the new category’s need. Branding Strategy Insider has more here on “category of one” brands.
And finally, consider the wisdom offered by Adam Brandenburger and Barry Nalebuff in their book, Co-opetition: A Revolution Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation: The Game Theory Strategy That’s Changing the Game of Business, which is to reframe other businesses and brands operating in your brand’s categories not primarily as competitors from whom you need to steal share, but rather as partners with whom you can expand the pie.
Brand marketers should know and consider that stealing share is a much tougher and less rewarding business strategy than increasing your revenues through new product and service development, innovation, reframing the category and forming strategic partnerships.
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Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education