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Follow the Group or Stand Alone
By: Janet Kalandranis
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As brands there are choices to make every day. With every tactic, every marketing plan, and every program that’s instituted. Many times that decision lies with being one in the crowd or navigating the waters alone. But here on BTB, it’s time to break down this decision and explain that neither is the correct answer, but instead both serve to benefit if done correctly. It’s a mix of being a brand that’s unique while also being a brand that can play with a group. But for either one it’s important that brands do it on their own terms and make each tactic, each plan, each program brand relevant.

There are times when following a crowd is the way to go. It’s not being a copy-cat, but instead being in the consideration set of a certain audience. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when following a crowd, there are some important rules all brands must follow or else they fall into the trap of doing the same thing as every other brand.

Rule 1: Do it on your own brand terms. When brands follow a trend or a popular tactic it’s important for each brand to still be unique. So take that base idea and implement it into how the brand works, but put a spin on it. This is the point where any brand should make sure their personality shines through.

Rule 2: Acknowledge the group. Any brand that follows a crowd has the benefit of being able to promote the entire group, and that’s a good thing. It creates more content, more discussion, and of course more angles to get customers excited. So don’t shy away from talking about others — it just might prove to be a beneficial asset.

Rule 3: Always supplement. It’s like vitamins, but better! When brands are following a group it’s best to not make this the sole initiative, but instead to supplement this with other programs or tactics. This is almost like the best of both worlds for the brand. Getting the effects of working with a group, but also the ability to stand out as a unique brand.

Then there are times that it makes sense to stand alone. This is the time when a brand decides to go against the grain and foresees more success in doing so. Many times jumping on the bandwagon makes brands feel lost or they are viewed as just a part of the group instead of a unique brand. So it’s important to determine if doing something different is more beneficial than just following the crowd. Either with the group or standing alone, there’s a need for both of these strategies — just make sure to evaluate and implement correctly for brand success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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