Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The strongest brands – which we practically every year find on the charts of top brands in the Adriatic region – are the brands which “work on themselves”, they work on the market, and consequently their strength, reflected in their ranking, increases or consistently holds them in the leading positions.
What are the directions that some of the successful brands from Valicon’s TOP 25 charts might have followed in order to retain their strength or even increase it over the years:
– First of all, it is important to ask ourselves whether our brand has a unique and famous product? If not, it is high time to create one. If you don’t have a famous product, you have no solid basis for building a good brand and further boost it, so it will be harder to remain on the store shelves.
– A clear brand identity. Can we describe the essence of our brand in just a few words – what we want to be, what are our ideals? We often come across brand identities that are complicated, even schizophrenic. If you yourself don’t know the identity of your brand, it will be even harder to communicate it further, and it will be even tougher for consumers to understand it. The modern environment requires clear stories.
– Visual coherence on the shelves. Is our brand quickly recognizable on the shelf? Do our products have a common visual code? Do they act as a “block”? Are our extensions telling the same story? Here we talk about the visual identity of the brand, where the visual distinguishability of a brand is the foundation for its expansion in other categories.
– Offer which is interesting to other markets in the region. Is our offer attractive to other markets as well? This doesn’t have to be the aforementioned famous product. The concept needs to be integrated and perfect in order to pass in other markets as well.
– 24/7 processes. Globalization accelerates all. What is today an innovation in Thailand, tomorrow will be an innovation here, and vice versa. All departments in the organization must be positioned closer to the market. Market is where the ideas and innovations come from. You must live your brands 24/7, because you are most present in the market in your free time.
– Outside the usual framework. How can we make something new if we move and think the same way every day? Stepping outside the box means to change the way of thinking, but also to see which patterns are valid in the domestic market. Look for alternative channels, strategic partnerships, opportunities for ‘co-branding’. Today, more companies are willing to play together than five years ago. Now is the right time again for “networking” of your brand.
A couple of final thoughts…
2017 will largely be marked by finding the proper way to help companies and their greatest asset – brands, on their path from growth to victory. It is no longer enough just to grow. What is required is that winning, entrepreneurial spirit.
Of course, changes of any kind will not be easy and will require a lot of effort and investment, both from the top of the company, from the management, as well as from the employees themselves, at all levels of the company. So, if we talk about a retailer for example, we are also talking about literally one of the last links in the chain, the lady at the counter, or the person at the deli stand, who are perhaps the strongest link in the creation of that everyday, tangible contact with the consumer.
It is more important than ever to have the consumer in the focus of each company… true knowledge of our consumer through dynamic segmentation and relevant insights is what brings that A-HA moment, and gives us a solid foundation for tailored creation and meeting the needs of consumers.
When we have mastered the consumer, we need to tackle the category with equal diligence and systematic approach – we need to get to know it to the core, to recognize the real current and future competition, both within and outside our category, because we must not think too narrowly. The idea is to create a brand that will be scalable to other categories and to other markets in the future. This means that from the very beginning we have to think of the name that the brand will carry, which mustn’t limit it, and the stories that it will have to tell credibly. As Seth Godin would say: “Marketing is no longer the stuff that you make, but about STORIES you tell.” Dietrich Mateshitz, founder of Red Bull, would add that the stories by themselves are not enough, they need to be lived: “Since the beginning, it has been a brand philosophy and how to look upon the world, rather than pure marketing for consumer goods.”
Stories of brands in this region usually lack consistency, and the easiest way we can tell the story clearly and consistently is to tell it through archetypal positioning of our brand, because archetypes are the ones that have the power to breathe the soul into a brand, and infuse a story into its core that is told in the same way since the ancient times…
Top brands differ from the average ones in precisely that – the archetypal story with which consumers can easily identify, and when they do, they want to become part of it.
In parallel with setting the archetypal position of the brand, there is also a time to make a decision internally, to prioritize the brand experience touchpoints and define the main challenges in the form of battles that we have to win.
“Battles” are often linked to development and innovation, however, not on their own, but guided through a strategy of categories, focused on brands, careful selection of channels and partners, and the fight at the point of sale, in that moment of truth, in those 15 seconds when a consumer chooses…
Dealing with changes, focusing and leading “battles”, they all fail if the organization is not ready for these necessary steps. What is written on paper needs to be made into practice – it needs to be implemented. In doing so, the key question is whether everyone in the organization has the will, the know how and the ability needed, and finally, is there a person who has the mandate to actually implement these changes.