Today’s winning brands can’t afford to play it safe. They don’t say "that's just how it’s always been done," and they understand that their brands are more just a sleek logo or a cool tagline. The brands that crush their competition understand that branding and brand strategy go much deeper than attractive website design and responsive mobile design.
Back in the early days of brand management, there were fewer brands, competitors, and product or service offerings in most categories and industries. Not surprisingly, in a world with fewer alternatives, it was far easier for any single brand to position itself as distinctive from all others. Marketers and brand strategists simply conducted market research and determined how they wanted to be perceived in the minds of consumers. They then created 30-second ads and reached audiences on one of only three broadcast networks.
Is your brand positioned in consumers’ minds against competitors in a meaningful way? Today, too many brand strategies lack strategic differentiation. Instead, they fall back on traditional differentiators like price points, product features, and customer service. Brands that rely on such ho-hum differentiators lose in the long run for three reasons: