There is a right way to conduct research to grow your market share and a wrong way. Unless you are asking the right questions, your research will fail.
You must go beyond theory and identify the emotional drivers of your target audience and use tough-minded strategies and positioning to steal market share from the competition.
Stealing Share has developed a unique process unlike any other brand company in the world that is designed with a single purpose, to steal market share.
Take this as an absolute: If you want your brand to steal market share, you must find a means to convince your competitors’ customers to change their minds and their purchasing behaviors. In other words, you must get them to stop doing what they are currently doing and choose differently. There are many reasons why exciting this customer change is a difficult endeavor. Among the most obvious is simply inertia of rest. Your customers, like those of your competitors, are change adverse. There is an old marketing adage that says, “It is easier to keep current customers than it is to get new ones.” Among many barriers to change, there is also force of habit, satiation and God forbid, your competitors’ customers might even be satisfied with their current product or service.
Strategically, there are many disciplines that we follow when creating brands and marketing strategies that steal market share. We utilize every one of them in the marketing strategies we create for our clients so that they can spend their marketing dollars more efficiently and win without having to be the biggest spender with the largest share of voice. When a brand firm, marketing company, or ad agency says the answer to growing market share is simply to “spend more” it demonstrates a simple lack of understanding about your customer and their relationship with the brands they currently use and buy.
Permission is an Imperative
For those of you who believe that you can effectively influence the purchase decisions of your most coveted customers without making fundamental changes to your brand — read no further. Our advice to you is “spend more” and watch your competitors, those who are dedicated to building their brand as an impetus for growing market share, take-off, even without the largest share of voice. For those of you who have come to realize that all of the marketing and advertising arguments that you put forth in the competitive market place find their permission to be important — in the DNA of your brand, read on.
Trying to fix your marketing and advertising efforts without a fundamental understanding of what your brand is and how it provides “permission” to your target market is like taking an aspirin to treat a brain tumor. The process may give you some temporary comfort but the outcome is anything but positive. Our goal is not a temporary spike in sales, any ad agency can do that by “spending more.” Rather our goal is to change customer behavior permanently through weaving the essence of our target customer into the brand. Changing customer behavior may be a bit of a misnomer really because in reality, your brand permissions must change to more effectively reflect the precepts of your customer, not vice a versa. But, the end result is the same… the customer chooses differently.
The Two Rules
There are two basic rules to get your target to choose differently – change their hearts and change their minds. You can’t expect your competitors’ customers to abandon their existing brand unless your brand can break into BOTH their emotions and their intellect. This is the foundation for what a successful a share-stealing brand does – it breaks into both the hearts and minds of your competitors’ customers. Most brand companies design brands that appeal to your customers’ hearts and a few build brands that appeal to their minds. This is because they see brand as equity and not as the very basis of persuasion. This bipolar brand strategy is not nearly enough. You have to be able to break into the customers’ hearts AND minds at the same time, to steal them. This is how the experts at Stealing Share build brands to maximize growth and it is surest way to ensure continuous share growth with your existing investments.
A Scientific Approach
How do we scientifically do this with great consistently? First you must research your customers’ emotional and intellectual precepts: 1. We identify their emotional bonds to their existing brand. 2. We identify their mental bonds to their existing brand. 3. We isolate their most powerful motivations, so we discover how we can steal their hearts. 4. We isolate their most powerful convictions so we can discover how we can steal their minds. Then we develop the most powerful emotional and mental strategy. 5. We combine our understanding of their emotional bonds to their existing brand with our understanding of their most powerful motivations to develop your strategy for stealing their hearts. 6. We combine our understanding of their mental bonds to their existing brand with our understanding of their most powerful convictions – to develop your strategy for stealing their minds. 7. We then fuse emotional appeal and aesthetics into a motivating and penetrating look and feel that will steal their emotional desires. 8. We then combine truth and reason into a message that will steal their intellectual self-description.
In short, we transform the research insights into an emotional and aesthetic appeal and to steal their hearts, and construct a factual and rational message to steal their minds. This requires more then just a logo and theme line, it requires an integrated and robust marketing plan and advertising program to be built around the key insights that formed the rock solid foundation of your brand strategy. One thing is for certain; your most coveted customers seek a defined level of consistency in their life. Not so long ago, brand management used to think that consistency was their hallmark for a great brand. However, our understanding of the depth of that consistency has changed as we have made effectiveness and permissions our science.
Consistency is about honest permissions. It is graded not on consistency of color, form and message (which are all important too) but in consistency of promise and scope of permission. Any promise or claim that your advertising makes that is not granted full permission from the brand strategy that it is built upon is less than half effective. Without full permission from the brand strategy derived from a complete understanding of the target whose essence is encapsulated in the brand, the simple answer is to “spend more” because more than half of your marketing dollars will have been wasted on an ineffective message. Following two simple rules, you can be more effective than your competition by making your marketing dollars work harder for you instead of having to work harder for more marketing dollars to spend.