I have always had a profound admiration for iconic brands, those that meaningfully differentiate themselves in a unique and compelling way. So I am more than amazed whenever I research a new industry or category to find an alarming level of sameness — vanilla everywhere!
One reason is everyone is so busy running their businesses and servicing their customers they forget themselves in the process, the result is the loss of relevance.
When we positioned Crunch Brands we did a competitive agency audit and quickly learned that most of our competition spoke about the services they offered from their own internal point of view. A point of view is important but it must be focused on client needs vs. agency offerings. So instead, we repackaged our offerings so a marketer could self-select based on a set of challenges THEY were likely facing; Identity Crisis, Web Noise, Brand Uprising, and Brand Fatigue. This change created differentiation and brought us business. Today, we often hear things like, “I am definitely having an Identity Crisis with some Brand Fatigue” or “My digital marketing needs a boost, we need some Web Noise” or my personal favorite, “We are exploding with growth, tell me more about Brand Uprising.”
Being known for what you do is only half the job, you also need to be known for how you do what you do. We specifically took the two biggest factors we hear on a regular basis, speed and the need to stand out amongst the competition, to define our process, “Rapid Approach to Differentiation.”
Relevance demands diligence. You have to constantly examine your brand and see how your customers are reacting to it. How do we fit into the marketplace? Do we stand out? Are we talking to ourselves?
Here are a few simple steps to get you thinking about how to avoid Brand Fatigue:
1. Conduct an audit; inventory your brand’s look, feel and message across every touch point. Is it consistent? Does it stand out? Even simple things like color and typography can make a difference amongst fierce competition.
2. Review the competition; map their look, feel and message, and analyze the degrees of sameness. Who is standing out? Who looks and sounds different — compelling? Are they doing well in the category? Learn from them. Consider finding a new approach or story to tell for your brand.
3. Get someone well schooled in consumer insights and research to talk to your current, lapsed and ideally prospective customers, and get their feedback. Where do you stand in the marketplace? What do you stand for as a brand? How are you different? Where could you go in the future?
Act quickly and make change based on what you discover. It could be the difference between Brand Fatigue and Brand Failure.