Positioning can be a real headache. That’s fine. No pain, no gain. But for many brands, positioning on purely functional benefits can cause heartache too. This was the case for Advil, the number two brand in the highly competitive and commoditised US analgesics category.
Why is it so hard to execute a solid brand strategy? Why does your agency just not seem to get the brief? Why do different agencies come back with such dramatically different interpretations of the same brief? And why does every new brand manager seem to have a different understanding of the same brand strategy?
As anyone who has set foot in the world’s largest potential market knows – it’s a land of great contrasts. And many contradictions. The complexity of just about everything can be overwhelming. Especially when it comes to making the difficult decisions that are so important to creating and implementing great strategy. Choosing your big bets and deciding where to focus your investments can be daunting.
Iconic brands have three things in common; a strong connection with their consumers or customers, a strong identity and an ability to envision the future.
Easy to see. Not so easy to do.
The first part of the equation, a connection with your market, is the foundation of any truly forward thinking brand. Being rooted in what makes people tick can give you the edge. These are the people who hold the purse strings. They are the men and women who stand in the shopping aisles and choose one brand over another. Understanding your market is Marketing 1.01. But few people really get it right. They’ll commission a study, do a couple of focus groups and leave it at that. Those reports gathering dust on the shelves of their corner view office.