Is your branding and packaging design growing like it should or like you wish it would?

Are you ready to disrupt your branding and packaging design in your specific category? Really? Are you really ready for disruption and all that it takes to make it happen?

Disruption begins with tough questions

So, what are the tough questions that really need to be asked if you are going to disrupt your branding and packaging design category in the highly competitive on-shelf environment?

Well, when in doubt as to what to do, look to the leaders in your category and start by asking effective questions. What are they doing that you aren’t? What do you need to do to out-create them?

Leadership Guru and author, John C. Maxwell put it this way in his book Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: “If you want to be successful and reach your leadership potential, you need to embrace asking questions as a lifestyle.” The point is, even if the questions you’re posing are not necessarily even the best questions, every answer will propel you and your brand that little further forward.

To begin the process of disrupting your category, yo have to drop your pre-established conclusions and begin to ask a new set of questions.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Just for a moment consider all the questions you consistently ask yourself and others about your business and your brand…aren’t they pretty much the same questions you were asking last year etc.?

Why has Brand growth had become stagnant?

Brand growth had become stagnant according to findings of leading insights agency Kantar Millward Brown from measuring 2,000 brands in their BrandZ global brand equity database.

So what can Brand Marketers learn from the leading overachievers? What questions need to be asked to improve your branding and packaging design performance?

Industry sage and psychologist Adam Ferrier told delegates recently at oOh!media’s “World Of Unmissable” conference: The primary role of advertising was to change people’s behaviour. Ferrier said, and you can do that one of two ways – by increasing people’s motivation and desire for the brand or making it easier to buy or more available.

How can you disrupt your category by a) increasing the consumers motivation and desire for your brand or b) by making it easier for them to buy or by making it more available to them?

Asking the question that needs to be asked

In many instances asking the real hard questions can be really challenging because your’e seeking an element of truth. This is often made even harder in organisational cultures that have an element of fear running through them. This is especially real where the question can be perceived as delivered to “get” someone, as opposed to simply attempting to gain clarity and understand the current problem.

And so…as a result many will shy away from asking the tough questions. Others will shrink into the background hoping not to be noticed or simply just dance around the question that really needs to be asked so as not to “ruffle” any feathers.

The above said, all too often, we make the assumption that just because the question maybe a tough one, the answers will be equally tougher. Very often this is simply not the case and when delivered correctly, the question itself can lead to an even better outcome.

Why is it that the only way to achieve our sales targets is by reducing our pricing?

Did you know that whilst a few disruptive brands have shown tremendous and rapid growth over the past 10 years, the growth of more established brands is only very small by comparison?

Did you know that only 1 in 10 brands actually grew?

The new Kantar Millward Brown’s report – How Disruption Can Fuel Brand Growth reveals that their recent analysis of 2000 brands measured in the BrandZ™ global database, across 2014 and 2017, found that fewer than 1 in 10 brands actually grew.

According to the Kantar Millward Brown report, HOW DISRUPTION CAN FUEL BRAND GROWTH, simply by changing the way a brand communicates with potential customers can allow those consumers to view the brand with fresh eyes, thereby unlocking new growth potential.

So how can a brand ensure it is one of the few that does indeed grow and keep growing? The key according to the Kantar Millward Brown report is that conventional brands can learn from disruptor brands and use those learnings to create opportunities for growth by adding a little disruption into their marketing mix.

So, what can you begin to do to change the way your brand communicates with existing and potential customers, allowing them to view the brand with fresh eyes?

Add a little disruption to your marketing mix or risk being commoditised

Whilst product innovation or range extension seems the simple and obvious solution, (that old chestnut), it’s not the only way to disrupt your category. Brands can disrupt their market or category by reframing people’s perception of their brand by changing:

  • design,
  • distribution
  • customer service
  • communication strategy

There’s a great quote from one of the world’s most recognisable disruptors, Jeff Bezos who said “If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.”

The first step in adding a little disruption into their marketing mix is to GET that most established brands operate in a comfort zone. For them their standard MO is how can we continue with “business as usual”?.  These organisations function from practices and protocols which encourage simply doing more of the same. And more of the same breeds routine and inflexible budgeting. All of which limits creativity and innovation.

What can you as a brand marketer do to change people’s perception of your brand by changing either or all of your:

  • design,
  • distribution
  • customer service
  • communication strategy

Strategic deviation

Any brand can be disruptive provided it’s stewards choose something different.

By choosing to strategically deviate from the norm will create new value for customers. This deviation also unlocks the brands existing potential. Often even a relatively small change can increase consumer engagement and enhance their experience with the brand.

Interestingly, according to the How Disruption Can Fuel Brand Growth report, even simply a perceived differentiation “proved to be the leading indicator of success for the 6% of brands that grew over three years.”

7 worthwhile questions to determine disruption readiness?

1. Do we truly have the courage to do something different and meaningful?

All too often even though all the data is pointing towards disruption, very few Brand Marketers have the courage to “do something different and meaningful“.

Established brands should never stop trying to identify the next big innovation. Even when the rest of the Marketing team is screaming for change, all to often the senior Brand custodian right at the top of the corporate food chain is reluctant to risk change.

Lets face it …If you were the one responsible for putting an existing brand on the map and have been working it hard for over 20 years…Even though all the indicators are screaming decline, with only 4 years left till retirement are you going to risk disruption or stay with a steady as we go approach.

2. Do we truly know what needs to change?

3. Do we truly know who really values our brand and why?

According to the research an average consumers will pay 14% more for brands they perceive to be meaningfully different. Finding the “right customers” and determining what will be meaningful and significant for them are the keys to disruption. You do this by adding real perceived value.

4. Do we truly know which consumer insights will inspire disruption?

5.  Would we be willing to make the investment required to make the difference?

Investing in a sound strategic and creative idea, befitting the brand and market opportunity will very often disrupt the status quo of the category. Sometimes even faster product innovation.

6. If we did act, would we be willing and able to learn fast enough to identify opportunities and course correct?

7. If we did act, would we be willing and able to continuously improve the effectiveness of our marketing?

And of course the biggest question of all….

8. Do we have the risk tolerance to go for the disruption and give our brand the kick along it really needs to become stand out once more?