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Disruption: Brand Building Action Points

Brand Building Action Points


1.         Anticipate disruption

Watch the horizon and change before the storm hits, despite the many reasons for staying the course, including financial pressures, responsibilities to stakeholders, and sometimes just inertia.


2.         Create disruption

Big brands can disrupt when they leverage their size advantages, which include the ability to play in spaces there the cost of entry is high, and to invest in in-house startups that can create innovative products and services


3.         Find the fringe

Even in maturing categories, great companies that are brand-focused and customer-centric can find growth opportunities in growing spaces at the category fringe.


4.         Swim with the fast fish

When innovation is needed, it is tempting for a big brand to hook a small fish, the invasive species that have invaded the pond. But it is better to swim alongside the fish and learn its movements. The digested fish loses its distinctiveness and becomes just a part of the larger organism.


5.         Be a leader

Leader brands innovate and take a category forward. Too often, larger brands become staid and risk-averse. But continually innovating, leader brands keep moving the market forward and become more difficult to disrupt. Brands that have maintained leadership over time are both disruptive and shielded from disruptions.


6.         Build soft power

Scale may be an old paradigm. The way nations are shifting from empire and power to soft power and influence, brand building is becoming less about scale and efficiency and more about being close to the customer and not pushing products, but instead answering needs with locally-tailored innovations.


7.         Strengthen the brand

Brands need flexibility more than ever before, as technological and social changes disrupt categories. Brands act as shock absorbers, cushioning some of the impact with loyalty and love that give brands time to respond.