Ed Roach, from Brand Corral, left this comment on my post about innovation yesterday, and I thought I’d share it with everyone because it’s a great example of what we try to talk about here on a daily basis:
I have a customer who had the same problem. His patent ran out and the orient copied his product exactly (as a matter of fact the tooling was even a little better). And of course they were now much cheaper.
So we put all our efforts into building a relationship with the customer. We put a fresh new logo in position and embossed it into every product, so that the customer would recognize the difference. He put a lot of energy into making the product in a superior range of colours and configurations. Packaging was more engaging. He still keeps up this innovation and has build the brand on being the latest, setting the bar if you will. The brand is used by more professionals in it’s market than the competition.
After about 4 years of struggle we are recognized by our target audience and they identify the product by it’s brand name (not the old name). His market share is up each year over the last even thought the product costs “more” than the orient’s version. Defeating the commodity has worked again by addressing the brand and finding a means to differentiate your products.
It is an on-going battle but we can win if we are true to the brand from every touch point and differentiate strategically.
Build a relationship with your customers. Differentiate yourself from the copycats. Establish a clear brand strategy and line of dialogue with your audience. Deliver on your brand promise. Always. Set the bar as high as possible to keep your competitors at bay and become the brand of choice for your category. Work hard, don’t cut corners, and build on your successes. That’s essentially all there is to it.
Helping a company be successful – and teaching execs how to continue to make their companies successful long after you’re gone… Yeah. It’s all pretty rewarding. 😉
Have a great Tuesday, everyone.