How Can Companies Monopolize the Minds of Their Customers?
When you think about what to watch, do you immediately think of Netflix? When you have to schedule a business call, do you think of Zoom? When you see a red, khaki, white and black plaid pattern, do you instantly associate it with Burberry? We break down how these companies and others have created value and profitability by monopolizing their customers’ mindset.
Is your organization, brand or service creating value for your audience by keeping the company top of mind with them as the go-to resource or destination for that product or service? Are you associating context in a unique way that is very specific to your audience in that moment? The point is that it doesn’t necessarily always come down to the marketing spend or brand longevity, but rather in recognizing use cases and capitalizing on your audiences’ habits so that your organization, brand or service can easily be associated with and recognized for providing value.
“A brand’s power is based on its distinctive identity, its familiarity, its special (relevant and differentiated) promise and its perception that it is an authoritative source, including quality, leadership and trustworthiness. All of these combines to create value.”
As discussed here, “A brand’s power is based on its distinctive identity, its familiarity, its special (relevant and differentiated) promise and its perception that it is an authoritative source, including quality, leadership and trustworthiness. All of these combines to create value. The whole point of brand management is to profitably create and grow enduring customer-perceived value for the brand(s). Powerful, valuable brands make money and to achieve this the goal must be to become the identity that is the most familiar, highest quality, leading, most trustworthy source of a relevant, differentiated promised experience. A powerful valuable brand is a preferred brand. A preferred brand has loyal customers who are willing to pay more even when their second-choice brand is less expensive.”
Six Essential Ways Brands Can Create Value
This post by Adliterate details six essential ways brands can build value by first constructing a healthy brand. As articulated in each quote by the author of the article, these principals are grounded in creating and communicating volume, value, growth, efficiency, resilience and belonging.
“A strong and healthy brand will attract more people to buy, join or support you. This is because it’s desirable in and of itself and certainly in comparison to your competition. Your brand stands out in people’s minds when they think about your category or a particular aspect of their life in which it performs well, and so people are more likely to be drawn to you.”
Fueled by over 350 million daily meeting participants and $2.7 billion year over year in revenue, Zoom is an example of how volume led to an increase in demand, helped the platform standout, and how you and I as daily users inherently think about it.
“ Stronger brands spend less time and margin on price promotion or discounting to build volume and so sell at full price for more of the time. While price rises are less likely to drive customer defection, however much they might not like them.”
While it is more than 20 years old, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” is an unattributed quote expressing that the safe choice and value for a CIO’s technology investment was to go with an organization like IBM. Or in the professional services space, valued at “$26.7 billion, over $600 million more than Accenture and around $4 billion ahead of the second-best Big Four on the list, PwC, and $6 billion ahead of EY, Deloitte is the world’s most valuable professional services brand.”
“A strong brand that is well understood and liked by people is often in a better place to extend into new products, services and categories than weaker brands.”
Take NOBULL, for example: What began as a CrossFit shoe and apparel brand, NOBULL is on rapid growth trajectory and is currently valued at more than $500 million. To broaden its appeal to all athletes, NOBULL has expanded its roster to include athletes from the NFL, NHL and Olympics. The brand is constantly pushing the boundary on new product launches or limited edition drops. “Over the course of four years, over 750,000 customers have signed up to get notifications about when NOBULL is set to drop a new collection or restock products.”
“A strong brand creates marketing efficiency. If people find you desirable and are predisposed to buy from you, they are more forgiving when it comes to price or actively expect you to be more expensive, and then the sales funnel, or loop, or whatever shape is popular this week, will be far smoother. And this means you will need to invest less along its stages to ensure people find and buy from you.”
What’s an “An offering that’s worth paying for?” With reported record customer counts and sales in the last quarter, Starbucks maintained the belief that customers aren’t trading down or reducing their spending despite the increasing cost of living.
“Designing bespoke products is key to upping customer engagement even when money is tight,” Starbucks CFO Rachel Ruggeri told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on August 3rd.
“A strong brand attracts and helps retain talent. Any business is in a fight for talent with its competitors and other sectors. It is imperative to be able to hire the best people and keep them. Keep them without having to pay over the odds and keep them so that their loss doesn’t lead to significant recruitment costs.”
In one of our previous posts, How Should Companies Rethink the Employee Value Proposition?, we positedthat in order to retain and attract talent, organizations need to demonstrate the organization’s authenticity, transparency and creativity.
As shared in this McKinsey article, “The sheer volume of churn in the labor market and at organizations means that a massive portion of the workforce is and will remain new. Organizations can make jobs ‘sticky’ by investing in more meaning, more belonging, and stronger team and other relational ties. Building these organizational attributes will also make it harder for traditionalists to go elsewhere for a bit more pay.”
“A strong brand builds resilience and protects the business from reputational challenges. In a way it acts a bit like insulation so that the effects of problems, whether of your causing or externally driven, are less damaging.”
Warren Buffet is quoted as saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
“In 2013, Target had a customer data breach that lasted 16 days before being acknowledged and made public four days afterwards. Target made a much-longer-than-expected announcement about the breach to its customers as well as its public response. “After a ten million dollar class-action lawsuit, they agreed to pay up to $10,000 to consumers affected by the breach. From there, the company took a number of internal steps to improve its IT security.” Target’s annual gross profit for 2022 was $31.042B, a 13.36% increase from 2021.
A common thread with the brands mentioned throughout this post is that, to varying degrees, they all share some or all of the principals highlighted above. For any organization, brand, or service, creating value for your audience and employees must start with its culture and embody a customer experience/service that is consistent yet surprises and delights every time, which will indicate value and create growth, expose marketing and business efficiencies, convey a sense of belonging by attracting and retaining talent, and which will signal resilience with customers and protect the reputation of the organization or brand.
Questions? Or if you’re looking for ways to stay top of mind with your audience, email me here. As always, thank you for reading.
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash