If everyone thinks alike, no one is thinking – Benjamin Franklin
Everyone believes that their brand is unique. A differentiated product is essential to marketing success. Distinctive branding is the root of clarity in brand positioning. This means, knowing who your target audience is, who the competition is and how to beat it. Some of the best brands achieve success due to their uniqueness. While there may be some similarities between competing companies and brands, the similarities are not a hindrance to differentiate one brand from another. The best example in front of us is that of Hair Oil – a generic product by all means but each brand carved out its distinct identity.
TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
Take a path and forge ahead. Putting your feet in two boats will mean you fall flat in the water. The essence of positioning is sacrifice. You need to give up a part of the target audience to establish a unique positioning. So to avoid branding failure, focus on a specific target audience instead of trying to reach out to the vast majority. It is impossible to appeal to all sensibilities. Therefore, focus on in-depth branding at the most attractive niches the brands can carve.
LACK OF LONG TERM SUPPORT
Branding goes beyond well designed colourful logos and package designs. It has the power to lead and influence the market share and needs to be part of the long-term strategy of an organisation. Brand leaders hold their leadership position for decades as they strive for brand consistency. Brands need long term support visually, verbally and tactilely across the various global markets they function. Only then do they deliver a largely consistent customer experience, i.e. each McDonald’s burger will taste the same no matter what part of the world you bite into it. This is a long-term strategy and is supported by an integrated marketing effort.
PUTTING DESIGN ON THE LOW PRIORITY
For some reason, when it comes to design, we tend to put it on low priority. The design includes product design, logo, website design, and much more. In short, the whole visual aspect of the brand. A good design means that the brand will be instantly identifiable by the colours or font or logo. The logo and design are vital parts of the brand, and the first impression the potential customer will form comes from these. The potential customer makes a decision through the subconscious communication that the brand will give them.
The brand need not be “sophisticated” or “happening”. Each brand is differentiated by the market it serves and it needs to communicate to its ideal customer profile. For instance, if your product is a shampoo aimed at the lower end of the market, the ad need not be shot in exotic foreign locales that the target audience cannot identify with. Also, the branding and advertising cost must justify the margins.