Friday, August 19, 2011
Anyone who has heard me speak on the subject of branding....knows that I equate the word “brand” with trust. A brand = trust, and the value of that trust is directly proportionate to the uniqueness and meaningfulness of the promise and our vigilance in keeping it. So, if I were to reduce this to a simple formula, it would look something like this:Trust = Promise Kept/Promise Made
When you reduce things to a formula, it provides good context to measure the “value” of the trust on two parameters. 1.The uniqueness/meaningfulness of the promise in the denominator. 2. The strategies put into place to keep the promise in the numerator. Crest toothpaste’s original promise was all about cavity prevention...and everything they did throughout the business from product development through manufacturing to distribution was geared to doing one thing. Keep that promise! When people stopped getting cavities and were more concerned about whiteness, cavity prevention didn’t mean as much, and the value of Crest’s brand proposition diminished. New players had emerged like Rembrandt toothpaste and they were first to claim the new/emerging mental real estate for whiteness and establish not only a new promise....but a new value (significantly higher) for that promise. Now Crest soon adjusted the formula with some minor innovations to ensure their customer base that they could make teeth white too...but it was too late. Rembrandt owned the new territory. Crest probably could have outspent them, but not without the risk of devaluing the original Crest promise and losing the trust/value upon which the brand was founded. The real innovation was yet to come and that was in the creation of a whole “new” category. Crest White Strips. What do we learn from all of this? When categories either mature or consumer values change with respect to a brand’s promise....it opens the door for innovation....because if you can’t be first in a category....the time is ripe to create a new category you can be first in. It’s time to innovate! What’s your brand position? Is is unique? Is it meaningful? What are you doing to “keep the promise?” Maybe it’s time you innovate!
Here’s a curve ball for you. Apply this formula to your marriage!