Monday, October 7, 2013
EGG-actly BRAND IDEA WORTHY
“The Incredible, Edible Egg”
I love eggs. I have 2 – 3 every morning for breakfast. Given that I follow a low-carb diet eggs are a staple for me. They are incredibly good for you. Each nutritionally dense egg is low in calories yet packs 14-essential nutrients and 6-grams of protein. And while it has cholesterol, I’m assured it’s the good kind. It’s kind of like a multi-vitamin health booster. But it’s real, not ersatz, food.
Eggs offer the promise of many benefits. There are at least as many benefits from one egg as one might find eggs in a carton. Here are a dozen benefits from consuming eggs:
1. Improves concentration
2. Taste great
3. Aids in weight management
4. Boosts brain development
5. Protects eyesight
6. Sustainable energy
7. Essential vitamins for better overall health
10. Easy and quick to cook
This last benefit, versatility, is one that has considerable meaning to us, and should for all marketers. Eggs can be prepared many different ways, depending on your taste. I, for one, do not like soft-boiled eggs. They are a bit too slimy. Ugh! On the other hand, I love fried eggs, over easy that is. I’m not a fan of hardboiled eggs. But I love my wife’s devilled eggs. Scrambled eggs are okay. Omelets are terrific (depending upon the ingredients and the way they are prepared)! Same egg, yet different results.
Eggs are not just breakfast food. They can be eaten any time of the day and there’s a plethora of recipes for each day-part and occasion. There are egg recipes for appetizers, snacks, brunch, main dishes, holidays and special occasions, among others. Also, eggs are a key ingredient in your birthday cake, pasta dish and the salad dressings you love to eat. Eggs are incredible. And, they are so very edible in so very many ways.
Okay, so what does this have to do with marketing? Good question. An egg is an egg is an egg. Or is it really? What about your pharmaceutical compound, medical device, consumer product or service? It probably is no more different than your competitors’ offerings than one egg is from another. Yet there are a zillion ways to serve-up an egg. And there are many ways to serve-up your offering to deliver relevant, meaningful differentiation versus your competition and connect with potential target-customers. We refer to this way to serve-up your egg as the Brand Idea. It’s egg-actly what you need to make your marketing matter more.
The Brand Idea
The Brand Idea is a crystallization of the positioning, or theme, for your brand. Take the antiperspirant category for example. Do you know egg-actly what the active ingredient is in each of the many brands that line the retail shelves? It’s “Aluminum zirconium octachlorohydrex Gly” (or some variant of the compound). That’s right, each of your antiperspirant brand choices contain the same ingredient. Yet, if you choose AXE you can become a “chick magnet” (Brand Idea), and they’re not referring to the kind of chicks that hatch from eggs either. If you choose Secret you value that it is “Strong enough for a man but made for a woman” (Brand Idea). It’s the very same active ingredient in each but two quite distinctive brands that appeal to different target-customer segments.
Just as the egg may be transformed into many variants, depending upon individual tastes, so may your compound, medical device, product or service. Without a Brand Idea your offering is destined to become a commodity. The marketplace will commoditize it and reduce choice to price, or availability. The Brand Idea is egg-actly what you need to make your offering distinctive and competitive, regardless of your category.
Wolfgang Puck Knows EGG-actly the Mark of a Great Chef
You probably know Wolfgang Puck from his restaurants and many appearances on the Food Network. He is a celebrated chef and businessman. He created the Wolfgang Puck Companies, which encompasses over 20 fine dining restaurants, top 40 restaurants in the U.S. premium services category, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise. He is the official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors’ Ball. He’s become quite the celebrity. I’ll often stop for a breakfast of a 4-cheese or vegetarian omelet at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant at O’Hare Airport when I have an early morning flight (which is rather frequently).
Wolfgang Puck believes that the true test of a great chef is a simple egg. He judges chefs on their ability to expertly cook an egg. He will request that they make him an omelet and if the skill is lacking, as he says, “they crack under pressure.” They lack the basics to be great chefs. Likewise, if there is no Brand Idea your offering will not likely be a great (i.e., leadership) brand. And, if we are unable to work with Brand Ideas it is unlikely that we are or will become great marketers, or Marketects.
What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?
Let’s not get into a philosophical debate. Your guess is as good as ours. (We do know why the chicken crossed the road.) But when it comes to developing brand positioning strategy statements we believe it is best to start with the Brand Idea.
There are a number of important advantages of first working with a Brand Idea:
- It enables a big picture approach to strategy development
- It helps us get beyond the product (egg) to the brand we can make of it (outcome)
- It is choiceful and encourages the development of a single-minded theme
- It suggests options which we can use to dialogue with customers and iterate our way to success
- It provides a solid anchor for the full brand positioning strategy development (i.e., target-customer, competitive framework, core differentiated benefit or brand meaning, and the reason-why support)
- It is eminently testable
Case History – BDNI Approach
We, at BDNI, approach brand positioning strategy development by starting with the Brand Idea. Working with the client we will develop many different Brand Ideas for their “egg,” regardless of the category. On a recent assignment we developed 22 Brand Ideas for the same compound. Certainly, we cannot work on 22 ideas. Instead the client team selected those several (6 – 9) that its members believed to have the best potential for commercial success. We worked with the client team in our Navigator workshop to marshal the collective wisdom of the participants in intelligent collaboration to develop brand positioning strategy statements for the several selected Brand Ideas. We adapted the positioning strategy statements and Brand Ideas throughout the workshop. At the conclusion of the workshop the team once again selected, from those several Brand Ideas and strategies it developed, those 2 – 3 that they judged to have the best potential for success with the target-customer. These were adapted and put into marketing research to assist in deciding on the most strategically appropriate Brand Idea and positioning strategy statement to guide the development of the brand.
BOATS & HELICOPTERS:
Here are some suggestions for your consideration:
1. Don’t position the product, position the brand – Get beyond the product you sell to think about the customer brand experience. Products are commodities. Brands are distinct, compelling entities that create a bond with customers.
2. Start with the Brand Idea – Identify potential Brand Ideas for your offering. Make that many Brand Ideas. Don’t be concerned with potential overlap, afterall, the basic ingredient (egg) is the generally the same for your category. It’s how you serve-up your egg that makes the difference.
3. Develop your positioning around the Brand Idea – This will help create a strategically sound, single-minded brand positioning strategy.
4. Dialogue with target-customers -Use the Brand Ideas and resultant positioning strategies as stimuli in a dialogue with target–customers to adapt each one, so it better meets their needs, and iterate your way to creating a winning Brand Idea.
5. Go with Master Chefs – BDNI can assist you in developing winning Brand Ideas and positioning strategy statements to create leadership brands. It’s amazing what we can do with your “egg” working in collaboration with you. For more information simply respond to this DISPATCHES article or call Richard Czerniawski at 800 255-9831.
Brand Ideas are egg-actly what we need to make our marketing matter more!
Richard Czerniawski and Mike Maloney
© 2003 Brand Development Network (BDN) International. All rights reserved.