Model Technique And Future Outcomes
Brand strategists think about the future because it's their job to figure out what their organization should do today to most likely achieve their desired business goals (sales, margin, and profit) and brand positioning goals tomorrow. The central challenge for brand strategists is therefore the problem of anticipating the future, the challenge of forecasting. And we all know that predictions are very difficult to make accurately. This is one of the reasons why major brand strategists are so rare and even rarer in a time of rapid change like today.
The overwhelming evidence in the economy shows that the poor prediction is to anticipate certain events at a tactical level. It is much better to focus on understanding and identifying certain forces and patterns of change, weaknesses in competition, hidden human needs that are not covered by the market, latent opportunities and other pregnant opportunities for growth and development. Wayne Gretzky's realization of what made him a great hockey player was that he ran where the puck would be and not where he was, and successful brand strategists do the same.
Advantage is in the truth
For example, when Nike was founded in the early 1970s, it was a tiny player in a global industry that consisted of multiple companies, each with sales of more than $ 1 billion. So how come a tiny group of running freaks from Beaverton, Oregon could turn the entire sports industry upside down? Critical thinking and values within Nike's culture and mindset are hallmarks of it, a unique mindset that opened up unique growth opportunities by seeing the world of sport in a new light.
From the earliest days of branding, there was a difference in perspective, an intense commitment to finding the truth about what sporting performance is about, and not what business managers accepted or wanted.
Innovation arises when we face the truth, recognize it and act accordingly. Well-founded business and brand strategy decisions are made in the same way. It may be the truth that a biomechanic in the research laboratory learns something about the shock dispersion properties of upholstery materials. It can be the truth about midsole materials that reduce injuries and increase protection. It can be the truth how weight loss can improve performance. it can be the truth of how it feels on the foot when one lacing design is used against another; An entire market segment may be looking for completely different performance characteristics than the one we have focused on.
Nike then took its intense, truthful values regarding shoe performance enhancement and applied them to sportswear, field tests and then to athlete advertising, advertising, retail displays, retail designs, internet products and services, and online branded content from leading cultural protagonists of everything good is cool and true about the joy of sports and fitness experiences.
In retrospect, it's possible to go back year after year and consider why Nike's key product launches, marketing campaigns, and business performance have led to a remarkable increase. Perhaps a more interesting question, however, is why all the other major sports brands at The Time of Nike's Birth stood by and watched this small, headstrong company build the foundations of its giant branded castle within their sight, while each had a much larger marketing war chest.
However, foresight is much more difficult. Nobody can tell us where the stock market will close next Monday at the end of the day or which team will win the next NFL, NBA or World Cup titles. And while there were certainly individuals and groups of people within Nike predicting which athletes and teams to sign, this was just one facet of how Nike executives thought about the future.
Even more fundamental than athlete confirmation was the truth-seeking traits in terms of product performance and emerging truth-seeking traits to reveal our understanding of the role that sport and fitness actually play in society and where the culture of sport goes. And the insights that developed in the world of searching for social truth led Nike to realize that the Just Do It Brief gave it a unique opportunity to slip into the role of a cultural protagonist for sports and fitness. No other brand in this category was so close to thinking in 1987.
Be the cultural protagonist
What is a cultural protagonist? It is a leader in defining, promoting and supporting key ideas and ideals that shape a culture.
At its core, Nike is a cultural protagonist who is passionate about sport and fitness and is equally passionate about promoting and promoting greater participation and enjoyment in sport. This requires business planning and presentation that goes beyond spreadsheets and financial metrics, although these metrics are actually used to evaluate the results.
Some companies rely heavily on sales promotions to push financial results and remove products from store shelves, often through price reductions, using push marketing. This tactic destroys a brand's image, just as managing goals by looking at tables never gives an insight into the creation of intangible value for consumers and society at large.
Better marketers conduct annual marketing audits as the basis for new marketing plans for the coming year by looking at consumer profiles and market segments to define easily perceivable and highly differentiated values and benefits for target groups based on what they consider to be most important . Marketing seeks to create products that the market desires and to generate demand for these products through advertising, promotions and events, reducing the need to lower prices to reduce inventory pressure.
However, strategic brand planning is the next level, predicting how new brand initiatives and innovations can dramatically change the user experience across the category, not just for a product, product line, or business. Strategic brand planners seek innovative ideas outside of their industry and use exploratory research to uncover latent and tacit consumer needs before anyone else. You read a lot, think imaginatively and deal with cultural protagonism. They use concept creation workshops to introduce new brand initiatives to reach the emotional climax in a category.
In this way, some have learned to take on the role of a cultural protagonist and thereby distance themselves from incrementally minded competitors. Strategic brand planning goes beyond product marketing by using far-sighted tools and thinking styles outside of established norms to achieve breakthroughs and build lasting brand and culture bridges.
You can find these and other key ideas in my latest book, The Brand Bridge – How to Establish a Deep Connection between Your Company, Your Brand, and Your Customers.
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