No such thing as an unsinkable brand.
Over the last six months we’ve been working an iconic International brand who’s been a market leader for decades in Australia. As a business they’ve always had a firm grasp on who their market are, how they think and what their most important needs are. The problem for them is that the market does not stand still – and in their case it’s shifted rather rapidly over the last few years – leaving them in a new and unfamiliar competitive landscape. But they’re not alone. Every year we work with businesses and their brands helping them come to terms with the new landscape they find themselves operating in, with an urgent need to re-discover their relevance.
Whether it’s new technology, new competitors or shifts in consumer lifestyle and mindset – the world brands live in is constantly changing. But for most brand owners and managers the shift in landscape takes them by surprise. Sometimes it is a subtle change of consumer sentiment over a decade that leaves them exposed, sometimes its a competitor who has slowly grown through a proposition and marketing strategy that subtly shifts the market. There can be a thousand different reasons for a market to change, and if you realize too late, it’s a hell-of-a-job to win back market share.
Recently I was asked to comment on the latest crop of ‘micro-brands’ appearing across almost every category. My response was that this was nothing new. For the last thirty years at least we’ve seen the constant innovation of brands. Small brands grow bigger, big brands grow global, brands of all sizes loose their way and their relevance and fade-away, and germs of new ideas turn into new micro-brands, often connecting with a new need or desire that has evolved in a market.
The task for brands of all sizes is to stay across the changes that are happening in their markets, to stay involved with their consumers lives and to understand how they must also evolve to stay relevant and valued. Over more than a decade we worked with King Island Dairy – a much loved FMCG brand in Australia. Every year the brand owners invested in market research in order to have deep conversations with the market. The research insights regularly drove changes to packaging design, marketing strategy and product development. There is no better way to stay in touch with those people most important to the success of your business, and arguably no more important task for a CEO or Board to ensure the equity and business value of the brand is maintained.
Pic via Bluray.com