Last year, I did some consulting for a really smart athletic wear company. The CEO grew up in a niche, understood the market opening and built a company to fill that opening. Focus is a critical component of marketing and this CEO had it. Brand planners and brand experience consultants are always on the lookout for focus.
Marketers sometimes fall into a trap to expand that focus beyond what they know (and love) which can be the beginning of the end. Line extensions – endemic line extensions, that is – are okay, but things like sales growth numbers and market growth data can intoxicate a leader.
During this consulting gig the company owner brought me in to help create an “insanely great” retail shopping experience. Since the owner already had the focus down, this “ask” was a brilliant next step. As brand experts Megan Kent and David Kessler would tell you, building a strong brand is not about just about the creative, it’s about the total experience. And that’s execution. That’s deeds not messages.
One is most likely to build an insanely great retail brand experience if s/he follows the brand idea. Go generic, e.g., customer care above and beyond, and you have no muscle memory. Or you are compared to Nordstrom.
Of course, production and pricing must also come in to play but they, too, are decisions informed by the brand plan. Peace.