It is the age of the nimble business who can engage with consumers. Michael Porter’s classical 5 forces are becoming less relevant. In a digital world the barriers to new entrants and substitute products is being lowered. The competition can come from anywhere. The key source of supply is talent, and talent can easily leave. Consumers hold the information on pricing, products, features and competitors, they now hold the advantage. In this age the sustainable source of competitive advantage is deep knowledge of your consumers and constant engagement with them.
A recent emarketer article gave data showing that spend on display advertising is set to surpass search by 2015. The article points to the rapid increase in online video as the reason. I believe the underlying fact is that in a world where products and services can rapidly become a commodity your brand is becoming even more important.
For a product to work it has to be functional, it has to work. That is the basics, if you want your consumer to love your product then it has to exude emotion. The Lenovo X61 is a great functional laptop. The MacBook Air exudes emotion.
To get to emotional value the key is to understand how the product fullfills people’s needs and desires. Build it that way and market it that way. What is the deep consumer insight?
If no one told you how you were supposed to feel about a product yet by using that product you felt in the know, cool, sophisticated, trendy…….
Now we are on to something.
For any business especially small and medium size businesses there are lessons to learn from the rise via social media of Lady Gaga. In particular she has done 3 things very well.
- Develop a personal story, who are you, Lady Gaga talks up who she is different and born to be creative. Find something which resonates with your consumers.
- Create a group identity, who are we, these are your core target consumers. The people you want to make brand fanatics.
- Have a collective mission, where are we going, make sure it has a consumer insight and is something your customers care about.
The above will help build emotional commitment.
For more information see: Schumpeter: The angel and the monster
Less is More: Less POP, less copy, less product, means more sales. Why do we forget this and do more and more, degrading the brand and reducing margins. I believe it is in the hunt for short term sales and lack of a balanced scorecard. I was recently in Bangkok and saw a lot of less is more and a lot of more and more. Here are pics of a few places doing it right. Where less is truly more. The Metropolitan hotel, the Thai Restaurant there, Nahm, and the Thai Restaurant in the Grand Kipinski. They excel at less is more and are places that I strongly recommend.
Nahm in the Metropolitan
Grand Kipinski Thai Restaurant
Green Curry Fish with Beet root
Tea Ice Cream
Keep it simple, less is more, don’t chase short term gain and forget about long term branding.
Yesterday is gone
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift
That is why they call it a present
One of my favorites, help me remember why each day is special and to make the most of each day.” —