Brand Preference or Brand Relevance?

by Paul Simister on April 8, 2011

There are two basic ways of competing.

The first is to create a better version of a product in an existing category – you want to win brand preference.

The second is to create a new category and make any competitors irrelevant.

This is the thinking in a new book, Brand Relevance by David Aaker and the article on the Harvard Business Review website – Make Your Competitors Irrelevant.

I expect an interesting debate but this does echo thoughts from the Blue Ocean Strategy although I understand that there is stronger emphasis on brand building.

One way to create brand relevance and form a new category is to create a tighter focused strategy towards a narrower group of customers. It has that “just for me” appeal that creates a preference.

Another is to innovate across categories like the Cirque du Soleil example covered in Blue Ocean Strategy or the way the Smart-phones have added extra portable functionality to the mobile phone (look at the impact that the iPhone from Apple has had on Nokia).

Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.

You too can move past your profit tipping point (free report) by answering the seven big questions of business success.

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