Brands are living, breathing things. Figuratively at least. They require constant care, focus, and attention. Nowhere is this more important than on the retail battlefield where brands compete fiercely for the consumer’s mind and pocketbook. To be successful, your brand will need to change, periodically and sometimes dramatically, to remain competitive. Our advice: anticipate and embrace change. Be proactive. Be prepared to reposition your brand strategy and fine tune your brand vision. And, with urgency.
Leverage Your Strengths
Every brand has strengths. For Beefeater Gin, these happen to be authenticity, heritage, and quality. But even leading brands get a little dusty over time. In focus groups, consumers referred to Beefeater as “not my, or my father’s gin, but as my grandfather’s gin”! Ouch. While having strength as a “martini gin” (a good thing), the brand needed a strategy adjustment to appeal to new consumers and to achieve sales targets. For Beefeater, the solution was to leverage the brand’s superior quality perception through mixability. This required an innovative approach. The big idea: “Summer Gin”, a successful, multi-faceted campaign featuring a unique (summer) gift box that showcased the brand’s refreshing new image.
Beefeater’s Summer Gin campaign was highly successful. As a result, the brand increased it’s U.S. market share of the imported gin category from 32% to 40%. Maintaining success is an ongoing challenge for brands. Competition is fierce and always shifting, and changing position and advantage. Beyond mixability, Beefeater had to become more relevant to consumers, especially new, brand-unaware consumers who are constantly entering the category. To sustain its new found advantage, Beefeater had to appeal to more youthful consumers. Quite simply, the brand had to loosen up a bit.Create your battle plan:
1. Never be comfortable. Realize that the battlefield is constantly shifting, changing. What worked yesterday may not work today.
2. How’s your brand holding up? Is it as relevant, battle-ready as it used to be?
3. What strength(s) can you leverage to increase sales and capture market share?
4. Draw up your plan of attack. Reposition your forces. Look for new opportunities and competitive advantage.