I meet Utah small business owners from all different industries. They range from apparel companies, candy makers, health supplements or sporting goods. One thing that is common with each, they think the solution to their marketing problems will be a new website or creating a video for social media. Now don’t get me wrong, a great website or engaging video is important to have but using them without a marketing strategy is like pouring water into a leaky bucket.
Brand strategy or marketing strategy is nothing new; however, it is often overlooked. We see what our competitors are doing and think, “I need to do that, too.” That is the wrong way to spend your marketing dollars. Instead, you should be looking at the areas where your competitors aren’t occupying and make it your own. This is strategy.
Consumers are bombarded with advertisements every day and people are paying less attention to any given product, service, or message. So how do we stand out in cluttered marketplace like here in Southern Utah and Nevada? First, we need to build a brand that is radically different. What makes you different than your competitors? Your differentiation needs to be more than the latest feature, a new color, a lower price, or a higher speed. Radical differentiation is digging deeper and finding something that no one else can offer, a whole new market space that you can defend, resulting in profits for years. A great example is a Utah sporting goods company that chose to redesign the standard backpack and create something that is completely customizable to the consumer. They didn’t start with the concept, either. We discovered this innovation while building their brand strategy.
Here at Flitch, we often talk about good and different. If you look at the chart below, you can see four categories that fall within good and different. Typically, people feel like they should be in the GOOD BUT NOT DIFFERENT box. In this space, you typically test well with focus groups, go to market easily, and generate some profits. The problem is that you are easily repeatable and own a very small market share. Where we want to position you is in the GOOD AND DIFFERENT category. In this spot, you might not test well and have some difficulty entering in the market. However, your customers will soon begin to equate DIFFERENT with GOOD. You will generate lasting profits and own much of the market share.
Brand strategy is all about positioning yourself for success. Rather than trying to keep up with your competitors, look to blaze your own trail. Building a strategy will take thought and time; however, you will have developed a marketing plan that will last for years rather than months. Your competitors will be looking to you, rather than you looking to them.