purchase/consumption habits, with a wildly changing media/messaging landscape,
the importance of brand differentiation has never been more important! I have written recently about the outmoded
concept of â€œBrand Loyaltyâ€ (http://ift.tt/27znU8r)
and in that dynamic, the need to regularly (possibly daily) refresh your businesses/brandâ€™s
â€œMarketplace Differentiationâ€ is required for survival and success.
topic. This company is a young,
emerging/disruptive organic food company driving great growth across retail. Even though they are only a few years old,
there are now even â€œyoungerâ€ emerging competitors working to take their
market-share and consumers. Rather than
grumble and complain about that reality (imitation is a form of flattery), I
worked them through the â€œD/P/Aâ€ model to see if it might help.
play a number of roles within the marketing organization at The Coca Cola
Company. At that time, Sergio Zyman was
CMO, a larger than life marketing thought leader across the company, and
someone who was not shy about sharing his ideas/beliefs. I remember a meeting where he asked a group
of young marketers to identify our competition.
Immediately, voices called out Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Tropicana, Starbucks,
to name just a few. In a fast and
furious response of â€œNO!!â€ he said that
the primary competitor/opponent of our marketing work at Coke was
â€œsameness.â€ He pushed us to see that in
a sea of marketing and branding ideas/messages, it was terrifically easy to get
lost in the clutter of mediocre, easily forgettable â€œsameness.â€ Our job was to work ceaselessly to find
â€œdistinctiveâ€ insights/concepts/messages/images to break through that clutter
and create a â€œdistinctiveâ€ spot in the landscape.
Here is where we need to keep two concepts in mind. When I say, â€œpreferredâ€, I mean that we need
to be â€œpreferredâ€ vs. competitive alternatives by the â€œcore userâ€ and the
â€œprimary shopper/purchaserâ€ for our business/brand. These are two different constituencies often
with very different considerations.
Bolthouse Farms juices and smoothies. My
wife and I are the primary shoppers for our family, often sharing the duties on
a busy weekend. We weekly buy multiple
Bolthouse Farms juices/smoothies for the entire family. My daughter loves the strawberry banana
smoothie and drinks it every morning as part of her morning routine. While she
has tried our brands, she loves the Bolthouse Farms version, clearly
â€œpreferredâ€ by the â€œcore user.â€ When our
local Publix grocer store discontinued the Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Banana in
the 32 oz. size, only having the single serve size available in that flavor, we
had â€œshopper preferenceâ€ issues. The
primary competitors all had a 32 oz. option in that flavor, just not Bolthouse
Farms. We now had â€œshopperâ€ value
issues, since the larger bottle was a better price/oz. offering.
my family, but to illustrate the important balancing act of insuring
â€œpreferenceâ€ vs. competition for both key constituencies.
entire â€œvalue chainâ€ for a brand/business, looking deeply at the â€œdemand chainâ€
and the â€œsupply chainâ€ components, to insure that we have a brand/business and
a business model that is â€œadvantagedâ€ vs. competition.
highly competitive bottled water category.
Having spent 18 years at Coke, and being part of the launch of Dasani
water, I know a few things about this business.
While the Coke system has some amazing advantages on the â€œdemand chainâ€
side of things (amazing bottler DSD network, focused and prioritized marketing
efforts/investments, unparalleled revenue management/pricing capabilities to
name a few), the Nestle waters company/system has tremendous â€œsupply chainâ€
advantages that allow them to be the case cost leader in bottled water. Knowing this it was clear that this bottled
water competitor was NOT â€œadvantagedâ€ in either the â€œdemand chainâ€ or the
â€œsupply chainâ€ side of the category.
Having limited competitive advantage in ANY competitive marketplace is
an early and dangerous warning sign!
your thinking and marketplace understanding constantly, and drive growth and
success through clear/strong marketplace differentiation and insuring that your
brand/business is â€œDistinctive, Preferred & Advantagedâ€!