Branding goes disruptive

In Insights

19 June, 2018
Photo by Wells Baum

The speed of change has never been faster, and the safest route towards going out of business is to stick to the route you’ve always taken.

Are you also dead tired of hearing this? Tired of hearing that, statistically, it’s more likely you’ll be out of business in ten years than that your company will still be operating? That more new companies were founded while you were eating breakfast than you have brain cells, and that their sole purpose is to put you out of business? That competition over skilled employees will become so fierce, it’ll feel like a corporate bloodbath?

I am. Tired of it. Maybe that’s because I’ve never much cared for communication by fear. Experience tells us it’s not an effective way to influence behaviour. It’s certainly not elegant, and I’m less inclined to respect those who do it. If you have to put a figurative gun to my head to get my attention, you probably need to rethink your communication.

So how could we illustrate today’s business climate in a less terrifying way? Well, how about as a deep pool, flooded with possibilities, refreshingly cool, with nice, positive people diving in to co-create with you? Sounds like a dream? It’s not. And it’s open to all, established or emerging.

For a brand strategist, it’s a wonderful swim. Brand positioning is in a pleasantly disruptive state, full of new possibilities. In mature markets, the traditional category positions have been occupied since way back – lowest price, premium/luxury, technology leader, customer leader, etc. But today, companies have the opportunity to shift brand positioning – creating new categories or skipping category altogether and position themselves on competence or attitude instead.

In disruptive branding, beliefs are the new black. In the future, I predict we’ll see many more brands positioned on who they are and what they stand for, rather than on what they sell or do. Why? Because we’re seeing a widening pool of customers choosing who they buy from almost solely based on what companies stand for. As products and services become generic, people buy beliefs instead.

So, in this disruptive business climate, branding irrigates new growth, as do all disciplines dealing with intellectual values. When physical and rational aspects become transient, emotional and intellectual properties spring forth.

Now is the time to dive into your brand’s beliefs. The water’s just the right temperature.


Guest author: Emma Nilsson, Brand Strategist at Graal Agency.

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