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Establishing legitimacy is important

Anyone involved with bringing a new brand to market (such as introducing a manufacturer to this country for the first time) will find it tempting to establish that brand by concentrating on its differences from what’s already on the market. After all, nobody’s going to get excited by a brand that offers nothing new, right?

But hold on a minute. We shouldn’t forget what makes it the same too.

I was involved with a launch many years ago that promised to revolutionise the market. We were very pleased with how different we were, and we got that message over pretty successfully. The problem was… nobody put us in the same comparison basket as the competitive products we were apparently revolutionising. We became a market of one. And that remained a problem with some prospective customers for years.

Do brand positioning, frames of reference and points of parity sound a bit like the sort of things you learn in marketing classes and promptly never think about again? They shouldn’t. They’ve been around a long time for a reason.