There’s too many brands in this world.Too much fighting for the same space. Too much same-same. That’s probably because old players tend to get stale, stop taking risks while new starters leap in, absent of mission and without being different or measurably better. And yet, against this backdrop, smaller, nimble, socially aware, product driven, community focused brands continue to gain share, standing out above the sea of sameness.
As they say, success leaves clues. I’ve spent the last few weeks deep in research mode specifically looking at the smaller emerging companies that are bread-crumbing a trail of ideas that pressed together, make up a modern brand framework;
1. Innovating the product
I really wish there was a vitamin for innovation. I’d be washing three down every morning. It’s so difficult to innovate products or services becuase it requires us to think differently. That is to step out of the daily motions, sit in silence, synthesise everything we know about our customers, markets, products — mashing that together with original thoughts to create ‘new’ and then test those assumptions.
We’re often lulled into what our customers want today and that creates a pattern of behaviour in our minds that’s often hard to break.
There’s some very good examples of Australian brands doing an excellent job at off-the-grid thinking, which is leading to innovative products. Brands like NEED essentials for example. Someone took an innovation pill and asked ‘what if we created a wetsuit brand with no branding at all, we manufactured it to the highest standard and sold it direct to consumers through online only channels for a fraction of the competitors price?’ Not only did they ask, they made it happen.
2.Breaking up with Tradition
If ‘product’ is a critical building block to brand, breaking up with tradition is it’s best mate. Let’s take the accounting firm for example. Hop in the way back machine to circa 2010 and accounting business had names like Smith & Smith, did your company tax and maybe the odd bit of business advisory when things looked a bit dire on your balance sheet. The ‘tradition’ lulled just about every accounting firm into doing the same thing. And then John Knight at businessDEPOT decided to break that tradition of stale, stodgy delivery of number crunching and replace it with something brighter, more inspiring, bigger than just accounting, anchored in advice, learning and a community for business owners where they could get all the answers in one place;