“A great brand is a necessity, not a luxury,” stated Scott Bedbury, the brand guru whose work with Nike and Starbucks is legendary.
Brands need to—and must—thrive. If for no other reason than it’s the proper reward for when a brand is done well. That reward comes in the form of loyalty, sales, growth, good word-of-mouth and more. As a result, it is important to know and understand the dividing line between winning brand strategies and ones that merely “try different things.”
The “That’s-Something-Nice-To-Achieve” Epidemic
Brand initiatives and strategies that don’t succeed fail due to a primary failure to correctly define “necessities” versus “luxuries.”
Put another way, the losing strategy will establish certain action items or deliverables as “luxuries” or “desirable” (e.g., “it would be nice if we had X”) when the winning strategy knows these to be “necessities.” They’re not targets for the future but the bare basic necessities of conducting business. Not “nice”…. No! Mandatory.
While one athlete strives to achieve a certain stamina level as “something that would be awesome” (perceived as a luxury), the world-class athlete who wins the races and is awarded the medals knows this is the fundamental baseline. I’ve compiled a list of examples below to help you understand this fully so your brand can benefit and grow.
Examples to Elevate Any Brand
- ATHLETE OBJECTIVE: STAMINA
One athlete has stamina as the fundamental foundation for all the other skills one needs to perform. The other strives for it as something nice to achieve.
Which athlete do you think will win the marathon?
- CHEF OBJECTIVE: COOKING EXCELLENCE
One chef has it, maintains this knowledge and imbues his creations with ingenuity. The other strives for it as something nice to achieve.
Which chef do you figure has the awards and customer loyalty?
- BUSINESS OBJECTIVE: SOLVENCY AND GROWTH
One business knows there is no other option, and uses that solvency to grow the company. The other strives for solvency as something nice to achieve.
Which business will win awards and customer loyalty?
- COFFEE HOUSE OBJECTIVE:
CONSISTENCY OF PERFORMANCE, FLAVOR AND SERVICE
One coffee house consistently achieves smooth, non-bitter coffee and espresso and settles for nothing less, knowing this is the base line minimum. The other strives for this consistency as “something nice to achieve”.
Which one will grow with customers and positive reviews?
- DRUMMER OBJECTIVE: GOOD TIMING
One drummer considers good timing and rhythm as the bare bones foundation for more inventive creations and jam sessions. The other merely strives to simply “keep time without speeding up.”
Which drummer will grow with the band, empower the band and gain fans?
- CITY OBJECTIVE: QUALITY OF LIFE AND CULTURE
One city builds some culture and quality of life and, knowing its value, embraces it and fortifies it with actions and messages that relay it, embody it and broadcast it inventively and intelligently. Another city considers this something that “might be nice to achieve (someday).”
Which one will retain talent, win visitors and tourists,
attract new businesses and foster the pride of its citizens?
To achieve the above standard of performance successfully (i.e., knowing what steps will grow your brand), it is crucial to establish, “What is the threshold that separates losing strategies and tactics from winning strategies and tactics?” Or more simply: Is your brand just doing the bare minimum and thinking that’s enough to really make a difference?
In my 30 years of branding, I’ve seen this one factor to truly separate the greats from the wannabes.
We will soon release the BRAND SURVIVAL ASSESSMENT to help isolate that exact threshold for your brand and its success. In the meantime, use the above to deliver more, initiate more, sell more, and market more to drive your brand upward.
Very soon, you’ll see what sticks and what doesn’t. And if your brand isn’t growing, that’s a sure sign you’re not anywhere near the threshold necessary to take your brand over the top.