Branding opportunities are often thought of as gaps in the market; one competitor says X, another says Y, but no one is saying Z, so maybe your brand should say Z. The problem with identifying branding opportunities this way is the resulting messaging may not actually be true. Your brand puts itself at risk when it falsely positions itself by saying Z when it cannot actually deliver on Z. Your brand cannot sustain false positioning. More powerful and accurate brand messaging is created by pairing market research with the true essence of a brand.
Opportunities emerge when brands are able to truthfully present themselves as the solution to problems in the market. For example, a client of ours recently planned to introduce new technology into the traditional news publishing industry. When we first heard about our client’s technology, we couldn’t understand why major players in the industry weren’t jumping at the chance to adopt it. Initially, we thought the client just needed a more professionalized sales presentation. However, after interviewing key figures in the publishing industry, we realized the problem and subsequent opportunity existed on a much larger scale.
Our client was so committed to explaining how their technology worked they had overlooked the opportunity to explain why the publishing industry needed their technology in the first place. They needed to stop being salespeople and start being educators, teaching potential partners about the future of technology in the publishing industry. Together with our client, we spotted an opportunity to potentially stimulate a culture shift within the industry by approaching customers as industry insiders and thought leaders instead of sales-minded outsiders.
Of course, this solution would not have worked unless it was true that the client was indeed an industry insider. The publishers we spoke with to gain voice of customer said they wanted a partner who recognized the hurdles that existed for new technology in the publishing industry. Fortunately, our client had numerous employees with publishing backgrounds who believed in their technology because they could see where digital publishing was headed. The compelling messaging developed for our client has not only take advantage of an opportunity in the market, but has also leveraged the knowledge of the people within their company.
Your organization can identify its opportunity by discovering how your brand is perceived in the market, and how that differs from your own perception of your brand. The overlapping commonality of those perceptions defines the compelling truths that are valued by the market and delivered by your brand.