Will your brand survive 2022?By Tom Dougherty
Will your brand survive 2022?
Wow. What a year 2020 was.
2020 was an eye-opener. If your brand was lucky enough to get through the storm without damage, good for you. But don’t think for a moment that you are safe from the tsunami of change.
Markets have changed forever, and those changes create challenges for your brand. If you measure these changes and adapt to them, your brand will have advantages over competitors. If you don’t, the future is not bright.
When trying to steal share, as you know, the goal is always to disrupt the market. Without a disruption, the changes rebranding to steal share seeks are unlikely to succeed. We will talk more about disruption later.
The tools still work
Think about this for a moment. When rebranding to steal market share, you must research the belief systems held by your target market. Then you weave that preceptive message into the brand itself.
The goal is to ask potential customers to reevaluate the choices they have made in the past. At Stealing Share we shake the boat a bit and coax them to find the emotional balance between what they believe to be true in life and the consequences of their purchases and choices. It’s a fair question to ask— “Will your brand survive 2022.”
You know how this works. It is our raison d’etre. We emotionally tie the highest emotional intensity of customer/prospect self-description into your brand. And then, we instigate a bit of dissonance in the market.
2020 shook the boat for you
Even if your business has thrived in the past year, make no mistake — your prospect and customer have changed.
It’s not so much as a reevaluation of what is important to them— it is more of a shifting of continental plates. No doubt, there are more aftershocks to come and maybe even an additional primal quake.
But just as the earth’s crust needs a bit of time to adjust to seismic events, the permanent changes to your competitive landscape are still shaking out.
The 2020 earthquake
We all know, after a tearing of the firmament of this magnitude, it’s not safe to go back into buildings.
Not until the aftershocks have ceased and the engineers have inspected the premises for damage.
Some damage to the foundations is not easy to spot. But, if they are not corrected, the building will fall eventually. It is an absolute in the physics of construction.
Thanks for all the bad news
Will your brand survive 2022? There is great news, however. It is not necessary to create dissonance in the market you mine for customers. It happened naturally.
There is a naturally occurring realignment, and human beings are adjusting to a modified belief system. As it takes root, they will weigh purchase decisions and will change affinity to align more closely with the new reality they embrace.
We recently researched belief systems in the general population post 2020. And there were some fundamental changes evident in the underpinnings of self-description. We see steady increases in the belief system that “authentic is better.”
This is not surprising. After times of turmoil, we look for reassuring places to catch our breath. The idea of authenticity is one of those respites. Many of our rebranding efforts have emphasized making things simpler.
But the desire for simplicity has been dimensionalized through the filter of authenticity. it’s like this, if you are uncertain of your choice, then feeling that something authentic exists simplifies that decision. We feel safer choosing something authentic because you are a pretender in their minds if you are not authentic.
Can a brand own authenticity?
First, we would need to test the value in some research. And here is more good news.
Unlike everything else in the world that has been rising in cost, research is becoming less expensive. That is because our models and panel studies have become more sophisticated and streamlined. Technology has made them more efficient.
Once we have measured the preceptive changes in your audience, we model them into a litmus test for messaging. And every brand market will see a distinctly different model. Subtleties make the difference in messaging, and context creates disparity.
So there is no canned secret sauce. But there are a few broad ideas that are free for the asking.
Avoid marketing speak
The antennas are up. Any hint of sales talk will sink the entire message. Stealing Share has always emphasized theme lines and brand stories that struggle a bit grammatically. (Read the secrets to social media here)
The awkwardness and directness helped brands appear authentic. Not Madison “Avenued.” That is more important today. But so is everything that follows it. Cliché’s, meaningless adjectives, and slight over-promise— loom large in the human pursuit of authenticity.
It is an argument that holds only if it is supported. Remember, the human being who seeks the authentic is skeptical. They want to believe, but they are actively looking for cracks in the armor. Any hint of a marketing cliché and the accusatory ah-ha explodes. Then you are toast.
One more thing
The idea of karma is also burgeoning. This is a belief in the laws of physics. Increasingly we find the beliefs that “you get what you pay for”, and “there is no such thing as a free lunch” becoming ruling precepts.
What does this mean to your messaging? It means that less is more. Claiming less of an advantage over a competitor’s product, even if it underestimates the truth, it is a more persuasive claim. Will your brand survive 2022? It will if you adjust what you are doing.
It also provides an opportunity for a brand to be slightly more expensive, which could be an advantage for you.
It’s not too late to ask “Will your brand survive 2022” but it’s getting late. Give me a call We could go on. But why not just give me a call on my cell at 336-210-2221 (as we are still working remotely), and we can have a conversation about an inexpensive research study and a quick brand audit.