Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Developing Brand Dominance

I love talking brands! Why? Because, it's always -- and I mean, ALWAYS a popular topic. In 2011, I finally came out of my shell to bring my thoughts out for public discussion on social media. Myself and many other like minded PTs passionately shared our ideas via the hashtag I helped start: #brandPT. The strength of that hashtag was a centralized search marker for internal insights. However, the weakness was just that, it didn't focus on our consumers enough. This post will help bridge that gap.

Developing Brand Dominance

Brand dominance is a really interesting concept within the construct of positioning. As the brand is the image our minds have of a specific firm's representative qualities, it gets interesting when we have all these mental representations and in turn, select one as our brand of choice.

Just like when we seek out a drink of choice, we have a general selection we favor then finally a winning brand. If you like vodka, you probably know the names Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Belvedere, and Ketel One. Which one would you choose if someone was buying you a drink? Probably Grey Goose or Belvedere, right? Why? Because they are top shelf. They are known to taste the best, feel the smoothest, and hold the most favorable undertones one can appreciate. THEY have brand dominance.

How did they get there? Well...! Through these following Ps:
  1. Position. Brand dominance is all about positioning. Belvedere stamped itself at the top. This is where they are located. This is where they are priced. And, no matter the competition, people still buy it -- all for the same odorless, colorless, tasteless spirit.
  2. Presence. Grey Goose is loud about its brand. It is trumped by celebrities and holds the best advertisements. Not only that, the bottle itself is a work of art. When it comes to presence, make it known, make it loud, and hold your ground!
  3. Proactivity. Having an active brand which either joins or cultivates a community is a sure way to attain brand dominance. The interesting thing about Grey Goose (GG) was how many people attested to the brand promise of being the best taking vodka around as the company came out with that very loud presence. Consumers rallied together as vodka snobs, buying only the best for drink - this is community. Not only that, blind taste tests were popular on television shows (to which sometimes, GG held up, other times... not so much). But, GG still sells, right? Exactly. BRAND DOMINANCE.
  4. Profits. Brands that make money are wise to reinvest their profits. Let me say that again. Brands that are making money, do well to REINVEST IT! You don't need to be a top shelf brand for this to be a choice strategy. Look at Walmart and Target. They reinvest in their brand all the time. Why? They need to continually secure their position in the eyes of the consumer.
  5. Preparation. Brands that forecast the changes in their industry, market, and world event at large do the best in retaining brand dominance through any company crisis or disruptive innovation. This is best done with the popular #JobsToBeDone approach. It's no secret, if you provide what your customer wants, they'll buy it! So, what job are your customers hiring you for? More importantly, what jobs in the future might they need to be fulfilled? Can you fulfill their needs? Can you make them want to hire you first? Perhaps more intriguing is the question, can you provide for their future needs and let them know that as they realize their emerging needs?
If you want to become relevant and stay relevant, you have to continually battle for the top. Dominance is a hard place to defend. Keeping an audience engaged is tricky and can be quite challenging. Engaging your consumers with a visible brand (link to guest blog) is a wonderful place to start. As for the rest of it, it means you have to follow these five steps because these 5 Ps develop POWER behind your brand. And, power is a good resource for developing a dominant brand.

One last (shameless plug) THING!
I've been slowly sharing the exciting new that I'm scheduled to give a webinar titled: "Advanced Branding Concepts for Physical Therapy" through the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. It's going to be a very exciting time as I'll be sharing some of the most cutting edge concepts, and more importantly, METRICS in how to account for the financial effects of your branding initiatives.

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