Is your brand preferred? Or is your brand relevant?

Brand preference means the organization is attempting to add incremental functionality or reduce price (Aaker, 2012) to gain market share.  Organizations choosing to enter the brand preference competition risk becoming irrelevant because they are competing for a portion of a limited or stagnant market (Aaker, 2012).   Although it is not always the death knell for an organization, it does not trend towards growth.

Brand relevance means constantly innovating the product, program or servce to create a new market category or sub-category (Aaker, 2012).  The benefits of choosing the new product offering must be irresistible making other choices inconceivable to the customer (Aaker, 2012) or constituent.

Example in Practice:  An NPO offering language training for immigrants may want to identify avenues of competitive advantage over all other NPOs offering language training for immigrants.  It might begin by adding a new module to an existing business English course to make it marginally distinct from all other organizations offering business English courses (brand preference).   However, to create a significant competitive advantage, the same NPO might add an entirely new suite of courses currently not offered by any other NPO (brand relevance). This might mean offering courses for other industry sectors (trades or manufacturing) or other age demographics (immigrant youth or seniors) creating a new sub-category of language training courses for immigrants.

The Main Point:  Of course, the key to maintaining a healthy competitive advantage is to articulate a mix of brand preference and brand relevance strategies. Balance the resources allocated to existing programs and services (business as usual) with the resources required to take risks to innovate (let’s try something new). 

References:

Aaker, D. A. (2012). Win the Brand Relevance Battle and then Build Competitor Barriers. California Management Review, 54(2), 43-57. doi:10.1525/cmr.2012.54.2.43.

Supporting Articles:

Win the Brand Relevance Battle and then Build Competitor Barriers

Advertisements

About Darcy McDonald

Exploring the intersection between social innovation and evaluation.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Pivot Papers

Being Open to Possibility

Alberta Diary

A daily summary of Alberta political developments

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics

Leveraging for-profit ideas for social impact

Only Here for the Food

Epicureous in Edmonton

Network for Good

Leveraging for-profit ideas for social impact

SSIR Articles

Leveraging for-profit ideas for social impact

The Wave

A forum for interaction on topics about immigrant employment and hiring for cultural diversity

Anticipate!

Mark Holmgren's blog

%d bloggers like this: