No Brand Is An Island...


Brands earn the right to exist, by creating value for customers.

This comes down to being useful, affordable, and reliable.

However, even if a brand’s delivering on these, what about the competition? If they’re creating more value than you, that’s a problem.

Throughout my career, and no doubt longer, there’s been a constant discussion about the right strategy.

Is it better to create value for customers by doing things a bit better than the competition, or by doing different things than them?

Countless books have been written on the subject.

It’s an argument that can never be won, because both are self-evidently true.

Many examples come to mind of brands built on doing different things: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Ikea, Jet Blue, Trader Joe’s, just to name a few.

But then I think about the transformation of Tesco, that I was involved in. It wasn’t due to some radical innovation in the shopping trip, offering customers a completely different experience to the other supermarket operators.

It was driven by doing what really mattered to customers about a supermarket – good products, low prices, nice environment, helpful staff, convenient location -, that bit better than everyone else.

Then, think of Toyota, P&G, or McDonalds.

Indeed, most brands are a mixture of both, at different stages of their existence. Starbucks started by doing things differently, but today stays ahead of its many competitors by doing things that bit better. McDonalds and Tesco were both innovations in years gone by.

But whether by doing different things, or doing things a bit better, there's one thing they all have in common. They deliver on things that really matter to customers.

They end up being more useful to people's lives.

Such are Loyal Brands...