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Brand Strategy

There Are No Safe Assumptions For Brands

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Brand Management Assumptions

“I think we can safely assume …” Actually, I doubt it. You can conveniently assume. You can quickly assume. You can naively assume. But I can’t think of any brand that can safely assume.

Because to safely assume how you will continue to compete, you must depend on what you’ve known, or feel you’ve known, for so long.

Truly competitive forces, the ones that redefine industries and shatter business models, don’t seem to behave that way at all. They seem to come from nowhere. Which is also a fallacy. Because many of them are actually derived from someone simply asking “What if we don’t assume…” about some aspect of the current working model.

A great brand must be constant, because that’s how it retains integrity. It must be  consistent in its application, because that’s how it retains familiarity. Yet it must assume, and proceed, on the basis that everything it counts as a strength now will fade in time, because that’s how it will retain vigilance. I’ve christened this need for lingering doubt over the ongoing value of what seems so proven The Feynman Principle in honor of the great man himself and his extraordinary sense of curiosity.

The brands that find new answers are the ones that continually and unsafely question…everything. A key aspect of innovation that too many overlook too easily is buried in the smaller word that overly-vaunted term contains. No.

Or at the very least – not necessarily.

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2 Comments

Chris Wren
Twitter: chriswrenla
on March 05th, 2015 said

“A key aspect of innovation that too many overlook too easily is buried in the smaller word that overly-vaunted term contains. No.” This is absolutely true. A takeaway from Edelman Trust Barometer I took was that customers in general have concerns that new developments and innovations are moving too fast – and we’re seeing this reflected in everything; from the sequels hollywood is releasing (versus new storylines), to an interest in preserving subculture. Despite our easy access to information, the rate of change in the world is creating new pressures for consumers… different pressures for different segments. Understanding what those pressures are and how to alleviate them (whether by brand story, or directly with an experience) requires many assumptions, which after testing, might no longer be assumed! Great article Mark!

markdisomma
Twitter: markdisomma
on March 05th, 2015 said

Excellent point, Chris – and one of the reasons I believe in a Feynman principle. Moving forward is pointless if the basis for doing so is flawed. Thanks for your thoughts.

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