[As we begin a new year, this is the ideal time for Challenger Brands to consider an objective audit of your marketing strategy and performance. We all get caught up in our day-to-day tactical work, but now is the perfect time to stop and evaluate your marketing efforts from thirty thousand feet.
Here are just a few basic questions you should ask yourself:
What’s your Brand of Distinction?
A brand is a promise to your customers. Whether you intend to or not, all of your marketing contributes toward a brand image in the marketplace. The goal for all Challenger Brands is to control and guide that image into what we call a Brand of Distinction. What is it about your company that is unique to you? And are you 100% confident that this uniqueness is truly relevant to your target customers? If you have not gone through an exercise to determine your unique Brand of Distinction, now is the time to do it.
Is everyone within your organization on the same page?
If someone were to ask all of the key people in your organization “why should I do business with you versus your competitors,” would everyone answer the same way? And could they answer in less than ten seconds? If you are not on the same page internally, how can you expect to effectively communicate to your marketplace?
Has your positioning strategy changed?
What is your positioning strategy? Has it changed, even slightly, over the past year? And how does your positioning strategy compare to those of your main competitors? If you haven’t already done so, create a grid of your main competitors. Where does each of them fall within that grid? Now compare this grid to the needs of your primary target audience. Would your target choose you over your competitors? This is a great reality check of where your marketplace is and where it may be heading.
Any new competitors or old competitors doing things differently?
Don’t take any one of your competitors for granted. If you have any new competitors, make sure you know what you need to know about them. And be sure that you always monitor your existing competitors to avoid strategic surprises. The more you know about the choices your customers and prospects have, the better equipped you are to sell them your products and services.
These are just a few of the most critical touch-points we feel that every Challenger Brand should review each year in their marketing strategy. Obviously, there are many more. Don’t get caught up in the business as usual syndrome for another year unless you are absolutely confident you have appropriately staked out your brand archetype vis-Ã -vis your competitors. Take the time to look at the big picture and make sure that all is still on track.
And here’s wishing you health, happiness and great marketing return in the New Year!