Friday, December 26, 2008
Since we know the business is about the same in the war, we compete on the basis understanding to drive competitors out of business, and such principles of competition, should always prevail in the organization or make known.
In the marketplace, all competitors are assumed to adopt the similar belief as they fight on the same platform, and compete on the same understanding to drive each other out of business. This is a way of life, and none should deny its existence, organization which treat the belief as against the fundamental business ethic will suffer the aggressive attack from competitors often, yet can only remain in a defensive mode due to the none- believer of this Predatory competition.
Company who preferred offensive mode will always remain in active mode; their strategy is always to attack the market, to grab market share, but their aims is to take it from [any] competitors in the markets, though they can have a neutral yet ambitious objectives. For instance, marketing objective is to increase market share by increasing penetration for a New brands; the aim is to take share from the leader of the segment, and successfully triggers massive switching. – Eventually, everyone aims to take share from everyone; this is a way of life.
How to attack competitor’s brand equity?
Should we or should we not attack competitors’ strongest element of their equity? Once, the well known business man said, ‘we should attack competitor’s strongest element of their equity, and leverage on the weakest element of their equity’. I totally disagree; I would deem such suggestion as full of stupidity, because none would want to compete head on with competitor’s strongest. The correct strategy should aim to attack competitors’ weakest and neutralize competitors’ strongest.
Attacked the weak point:
A brand should aim to attack competitors’ weak point, and create a new market opportunity by triggering massive switching from competitors brand. of those users, who are already frustrated or disappointed with competitors’ weak point.
Neutralize the strong point:
Attacking the strong point will drain your resources in the organization because you are going head-on with what competitors’ do best in the market. Competitors will act tough to defend their position; it means you have to spend more to attack. The right strategy should be “neutralized”, It means, do your best to improve that particular point, not to match competitors but to the level that satisfy the end users, and not out perform. Often, company will adopt a ‘me-too’ strategy but remain true, and consistent to their fundamental brand positioning. For instance, I am the most affordable brand in the market, yet I also give you the quality, versus competitors, who may be the most expensive brand in the market, with the best quality. Both also speak of quality, but one is giving you what you need, the other is giving you the best.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
In developed country, the risk of getting unreliable product has decreased as stated by Mercer Management Journal. Simply because the quality gap between retailer branding and branded product have decreased significantly.
# Misconception 1 – Brand are built mainly through advertising
Author subsequently claims that consumers experiences also important. I disagree with author; however, although, consumers’ experiences count, but it does not represent the whole branding effort. I agree that brand building does not depend merely on advertising, but also not merely on consumer’s experiences. Instead, brand building should be a systematic process to achieve the desire brand position in the competing market. Band building does not limited to only advertising, or creating favorable consumers experiences but it also involves utilizing multiple touch-point to achieve multiple brand building objective; each touch-point is to achieve a particular brand building objectives, e.g. advertising through TVC to create mass awareness, In store product sample to create trial to build consumer experiences, and more. In short, brand building required a concerted effort to support the systematic brand building process through every different stage in the process which aims to achieve a particular brand building objective.
# Misconception 2 – Brand are used primarily to influence customer
It is very true; Brands are not used primarily to influence consumers anymore, it can be used to influence investors and talent too. Powerful brands are able to convince talent to join the organization. Powerful brands also influence investor’s choices in placing their investment. However, one area which organizations neglect is employee’s perception towards your brands. As the proverb said, ‘Charity begins at home’, the strength of the brand is first nurtured within the organization; organizations must ensure that employees understand the brand essence and respect the brands and look up to the brands. Employees are important massager of the organization as they play an important role in consumer service cycle. They are the brand ambassador, and how they carry the brand personality contributes partly to consumers experiences with the company and is influencing the product experience as well.
# Misconception 3 – The key to successful brand management involves understanding the effectiveness of the brand in today’s marketplace
It is true that a brand must always remain relevancy to consumers. As the time goes by, when a brand has achieve significant market position or becoming the leader in the industry; Self Complacent kicks in. Brand ‘builder’ tends to be complacent, and in denial of change in the environment, and will gradually lose the relevancy with consumers.
# Misconception 4 – Brands are symbolic and emotive and therefore are managed primarily through creativity rather than analysis
Analysis is paramount to brand building. Creativity without conclusive analysis is tantamount to ‘a blind man with machine gun’ – shoot without aim, or unable to aim. Analysis of the market can tell you area of focus by importance, and it also tells you area of improvement to be better. Merely relying on creativity is insufficient if aims to strengthen the brand, you need to know what, why, and how in making ‘creativity’ possible and relevant to consumers.
# Misconception 5 – Brands are the responsibility of the department
Brand is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. Everyone plays a role in brand building process. The pillars to the brands are the ‘love and passion’ to the brands of the people in organization, the more ‘love and passion’ you have, the greater the strength of the brands…When people have love and passion to the brand, they will contribute more to the brands, a concerted effort is notice to take care of the brand and grow it to the next level…
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Immutable law of marketing has in fact not immutable, and is arguable for a few laws…
The Law of Leadership can not sustain the retaliation from the leader in the market…thus it may not be applicable if you are ‘already’ in No.2 position…
Being the first isn’t always won; unless you dominated the ‘very first’ position in the market. Otherwise, you just have to keep trying. You can be the first in the market for anything within your category but if you are not the first to the market; you are not match to the leader’s retaliation. For example, assume you are No.2 in the detergent market, and you launched a newly create detergent that kills germ in a minute to target the hygienic market; you are the first to launch a laundry detergent that anti germ. However, if you are the No.2 player in the market with a huge gap versus the leader in term of market share, you either have to be very good in your marketing skills or lose out to the leader when the leader retaliates. Predominantly, as a leader of the market already enjoy a positive and significant brand equity, brand trust and also brand affinity with the target market; which all these help to double effectiveness of me-too strategy. Thus a leader’s me-too strategy is likely to drawn your ‘most’ creative product launch.
The law of category
You can win by creating a new category, but you can’t win if it can easily be copied or duplicated. Again, you can win beautifully if you are already the No.1 in the market. The first law precedes all…
The law of mind
Being the first to market is important to determine if you are the first in the mind; company fails because they are resting at their laurel when No.1 is achieved through being the first to the marketplace, yet forgetting to create the first in consumer mind, then competitors slowly creep in. To win a war, company needs to always push, push and push…never give up.
The law of perception
Win consumers perception means you win the war; yet you also have to win the perception of what you want other to perceive. You win if you manage to get consumer to perceive what you want them to see you…
The law of focus and exclusivity…
You just got to own a word; for example, Post office express mail owns the word ‘speed’, Volvo owns the words safety, but owning a word does not grant you any advantage if it is not what the consumer wants…