Thursday, October 1, 2009

Knowing your market

A couple days ago I began rereading the book that started it all for me, "The Origin of Brands" by Al and Laura Ries. I pulled this important lesson from first couple chapters and summarized it for the good of humanity.

A common question that people ask when discussing a brand is how big is the market the product or service. Most managers, even the best marketing managers and advertising directors will rattle off a long list of numbers and percentages that will all sound very impressive.

However, the best brands will all have the same answer- zero. That is because they don't think about "markets." Rather they think in terms of categories and owning a category in the mind. To these brands, being first in the mind is crucial. This is brand leadership.

Take Coca-Cola for instance. What was the cola market 123 years ago before it was invented? Zero, no one knew what cola was. They created the market, were able to maintain it and are still the brand leader.

The true leaders will always think about the marketplace how it could be, and not how it currently is.

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