Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Go Break Some Rules

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Every industry has its rules. Not the legal rules, but the unwritten rules of conduct. The conventional wisdom. Sadly, most brands blindly follow these rules as the idea of changing them would never come to mind.

Truly great brands are ones that regularly break the rules. Google looked at online advertising and saw it plastered with banner ads. They broke that rule and went with small, targeted text ads instead. Apple looked at mp3 players and saw lots of buttons and small amounts of storage. They broke the rules and made the iPod.

Industry rules become entrenched as the industry operators get bogged down in the details. Don’t get me wrong, these details are crucial to good execution. But an excessive focus on the details will prevent you from seeing the wider picture and asking the questions about the wider picture. Sometimes it is necessary for a brand to take a step back and ask some basic questions about their business model. Here are a few questions you might want to ask about your brand:

  • Are we using the right distribution channels?
  • Are we targeting the right consumers with the right message at the right time?
  • How can our product/service perform better?
  • What consumer needs are not met by our brand or by competitors? (be warned, consumers themselves are usually unable to articulate this)

What do you think? What rules could your brand break?

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Written by benwisebranding

February 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm

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