Bottom line – What do you hope to achieve through marketing? Are you looking for a quick profit boost by the end of the quarter? If so, then go ahead and slash those prices. Cut those profit margins. Then go ahead and do that next quarter too – because consumers have consistently shown that Brands relying on constant discounts don't deserve their business at full price.
In the words of a gimmicky infomercial guy: “There's got to be a better way!”
What if marketing was less about short-term jumps in sales, and more about communicating your Claim of Distinction? While price cuts and gimmicks detract from your Brand value, a consistent Brand message builds value to the point that price isn't the focus anymore. Customers happily pay a premium for well-established Brands because they've built trust with that Brand.
That trust can't be snatched during flash sales – it's built over time by reiterating, over and over again, a consistent message about who the organization is. What they believe in. What makes them distinctive. To keep the message clear, every Brand communication goes through the same test – something we call the Brand Lens.
A Brand Lens provides parameters for all Brand touchpoints to ensure that they focus and magnify the Brand's Claim of Distinction. Any communication that doesn't quite fit – in other words, any touchpoint that looks “blurry” when viewed through the Brand Lens, gets scrapped or reconsidered. The Brand Lens works because it achieves several Brand-building tasks at once:
It builds capital over time: There's nothing distinct about having a Fourth of July sale. There is something distinct about your Brand, though, and as you communicate your Claim of Distinction consistently over time, consumers won't need a constant stream of discounts and gimmicks to see the value of doing business with you. They come to you because they believe in your Brand values and have seen how you live them out.
It unifies your team with a common vision: Consumers won't accept even the most clever marketing if your Brand values aren't evident in every level of your organization. Remember, many touchpoints occur as interactions with your team. When you recruit, hire and review employees through your Brand Lens, you build and maintain a culture that supports your Brand.
It enables your Brand to compete on value, not price: Communicating through your Brand Lens places the focus on the value of your Brand, not the price of your products or services. Unlike price, value can't be undercut by competitors or even recessions.
This final step in our Build an Unbeatable Brand series will make or break your Brand Development. Identifying your “why,” determining your Claim of Distinction, finding customer touchpoints, and aligning your business and Brand strategy can only meet your goals if you carry out your Brand values clearly and consistently. What's shaping your Brand Lens?
Follow our entire Build an Unbeatable Brand Series:Part 1: Start With Why
Part 2: Identify Your Claim of Distinction
Part 3: Identify Your Customer Touchpoints
Part 4: Align Your Brand Strategy With Your Business Strategy
Part 5: Communicate Through Your Brand Lens