Here at Newman Grace, we’ve often spoken of “leadership marketing.” What do we mean?
Simply put, when you begin to market like a leader, it’s one of the first steps to becoming a leader. Remember that in marketing, perception is far greater than reality. If you aren’t the number one brand in your market, but people begin thinking you are, and you deliver on your brand promises, people will begin seeing you as a leader.
Apple is a classic example. In a recent research study I did on student brand perspectives, I found that a majority of college students believed Apple to be the largest manufacturer of computers. Not so. They’re #4. Number one (HP) is nearly 4 times larger. Number two (Dell) is right behind HP. They’re both 26+% of the PC market. Apple has around 7-9%, depending upon which study you read.
The point is that they are perceived as a leader.
Which brings me to the main point. In my last blog, I mentioned that brands growing in brand metrics have done a good job of getting customers to align themselves with the brand’s vision and values. We the second key characteristics of brands growing in awareness and preference is that they are perceived as leaders, innovators, or inventors. If they were actually leaders or innovators or inventors is far less important than if they are perceived that way.
The reality of a good brand will help you keep customers, but the perception of a good brand will do a lot more to help you get new customers.
Stay tuned for the upcoming third and final key to today’s growing brands!
Quick, think about your last customer or client—did you “sell” to them, or did they “buy” from you? Did they reach out to you, or did you reach out to them? Was more effort exerted on your end, or theirs?
The most successful brands in the world market and advertise themselves. But look at what they are saying. Apple doesn’t say, “Buy our computers.” They say, “Hey, this is cool, check it out.” Nike doesn’t say, “Buy our gear.” They say, “Go for it.”
Michelin doesn’t sell tires, they sell safety. Coca Cola doesn’t sell soda, they sell refreshment. And In-N-Out doesn’t sell fast food, they sell wet, drippy burgers that people will line up around the block to buy.
It’s the same with services. Southwest is all about getting you where you want to go. Allstate is about feeling safe. And Facebook is all about connecting.
What are you “all about?” What drives your business? What drives you, and your employees? And does it show? Do your customers “Get it?”
The formula to a successful brand is simple. Do something, or make something. Do it for a reason. Make that reason important, to you and your customer. Do it differently than others. Do it better. And once you’re on top, reinvent yourself. Again, and again, and again.
Executing it is very difficult. Each step is a promise to the consumer, and you have to keep your promises.
Apple doesn’t promise a bigger computer. Nor a faster one. They promise a great customer experience with their products.
What can you promise your customers and clients? If you want to build a better brand, start there. A great brand starts with you.