Tag Archives: Brand Differentiation

Live from #TMRE14: How To Be a Standout Brand in a Crowd. Really.

Youngme Moon

Harvard Business School Professor and Senior Associate
Dean for Strategy and Innovation Youngme Moon helped us unpack what it means to be truly different’and burst a lot of
bubbles when she told us that despite what we may think, most of us are

According to Moon, author of ‘Different:Escaping the Competitive Herd,’ while 99% of business leaders she talks to earnestly
believe that their brand is unique in its competitive set, in truth the vast
majority of brands are indistinguishable to the average consumer.

‘Think of yourselves as wine
connoisseurs for your category,’ said Moon. ‘You may be able to easily see the differences, but for the average person looking at a hundred labels in
a wine shop, it’s all just wine.’
Moon said the problem of “sameness” is pervasive
because we have so many choices. As the selection set in a category grows, the consumer
starts seeing ‘same’ and tunes out.
It is possible to stand out in such
an environment, Moon said, but it’s exceedingly rare.
Her research found standout brands do
so by ‘flipping the fundamental”they upend a fundamental assumption about
their category.
She provided examples’Ikea, Twitter,
MINI Cooper’of brands who differentiated themselves in a big way because they
defied the instinctive urge to ‘stay close to the competition’ and inverted a
value proposition. Often, this involves taking a presumed negative, putting it
front and center and turning it into a positive.
Moon also noted most brands struggle with appreciable differentiation because:
1.       In a really competitive industry it’s almost impossible to resist the
pressure to match the competition (this leads to the ‘flocking birds’ effect).
2.       Game-changing ideas don’t typically survive in most company cultures
because they tend to look a lot like crazy ideas and they’re scary.

3.       We look to customers to tell us how to be different when they can usually
only tell us how to be better.

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Proof Symposia: The Evolution of Packaging and Purchasing Environments

The Evolution of Packaging & Purchasing EnvironmentsCraig M. Vogel, FIDSA, Associate Dean, DAAP,University of Cincinnati

This session covered the evolution of ideas and how they connect to what’s going on today.

Coca cola is one of the most powerful global brands. When does a brand become known? When enough people have a visceral understanding of the brand.

How do you understand how your brand is viewed externally?

There are five ways to look at your brand:

A company needs to understand when a product is invisible to the consumers. The package delivers the message about the product, from first buy and throughout use. It’s starting to lose its ability to build on any more equity than it can handle.

When you change the images of your product, you can increase the value, stronger message, and then shift the strategy of the packaging.

In the 1990s-2000s, experienced economies are primary drive to buy people to buy more and more services. With failure of the economy, many products are sliding back to basic goods, and few are staying up at premium experiences. Many products people buy are from choices.

Companies can no longer sell one dimensional products. Many companies must create messages about personal values and global issues. Box stores are obsolete concepts because of current costs and overinvesting. Many people are moving back to cities. Companies are creating local stores, example ‘ Wal-Mart. Many of these large needs and want centers are going ot go back to decentralized shopping. Smaller scale neighborhoods and investments. Starbucks will go into contextualized stores without name. Mega centers are too hard for people to get to.