Being a brand today is like being a senior in college: you're constantly working at staying socially relevant as new classes come up. Not only is the market moving at a faster pace, but consumers have heightened, more sophisticated expectations of brands. To stay top-of-mind, your brand needs to evolve in a way that differentiates you from competitors while meeting the needs of customers, all without losing your established identity and credibility.
There are a few courses of action your brand can take to stay relevant in 2019.
Adapt to Customers' Changing Needs
With 63 percent of companies struggling to understand consumer priorities and 61 percent finding it hard to adjust to them, being able to pivot your offering to meet customers' needs is a must if you want to maintain consumer loyalty. To do this, you first need to get smart about identifying those needs. Conduct research and market analysis to figure out where the gaps in your service offering are, and work to fill them. However, in doing so, make sure that you're meeting the needs of your core, most valued customers, not getting caught up the noise of potential ones. It's also vital to focus on responsiveness over speed. This will make sure that you're focusing on what matters, rather than just making changes for change's sake.
Disrupt the Market's Current Offerings
Making small adjustments to your product or service offering can sometimes be the solution. But occasionally what's needed is an approach that changes what's available to consumers. Position yourself as a market disruptor, creating a new category that asks consumers to approach the purchase in an entirely different way. This could be through a new product, such as Swiffer in the broom/mop market, or a new payment approach, such as Netflix's subscription streaming business model. Being the first and the only can make your brand an outlier in all the right ways.
Reposition Your Brand Altogether
Consumers have existing perceptions about where your brand stands relative to your competitors. Perhaps you're practical and affordable, or maybe you're luxurious and distinctive. Either positioning is fine, just so long as it's distinct from the other brands in your category and the market interest is there. If being reliable, for example, is no longer netting you the market share you need, consider repositioning your brand so that it's more aligned with current category expectations. Maybe you need to be fun, or casual, or sporty. When repositioning, ensure that you're doing so in a way that takes into consideration the trajectory of your category, and that distinguishes you from other brands in your market. That said, it's critical to stay true to the core of what you do. - don't move so far away from your original positioning that your brand is unrecognizable.
Relevant Brands Are Successful Brands
One thing that enduring brands have in common is that they evolve as the market does. They're always moving forward, innovating and adapting, all while staying true to the core of their brand. By being customer-centric, experience-forward, and ready to meet the changing needs of your customers, you can remain relevant in the market - and continue to gain traction with your fans.
If you're considering a brand refresh or repositioning in order to stay relevant in today's market, we can help. Get in touch to discuss your brand's current positioning and how it might evolve.