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The Brand Tradeoff
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s Monday, so it’s time for reality. No brand can be everything or have anything. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s important to speak the truth. So those brands that want it all, want to be everything, need to think again. Success doesn’t come from always being in the positive as there needs to be balance in the journey of a brand. And today the conversation is around tradeoffs — those things brands should do because the return is greater than not doing anything at all. No person can have it all and neither can a single brand.

Let’s look at Google. There’s lots of Google love out there, but there’s a tradeoff; a big one. One that makes many people wary of the Google brand. In order for Google to create its innovative technology and customer-focused functionality it needs data. That means the brand needs to understand customers inside and out. That means following them on the web, securing data, and using this to create customized content and programs. So yes, all those people that find this creepy just have to deal. There is no option for a person to stay anonymous and still allow Google to know what they want. That’s a tradeoff and one that the brand has determined is worth it in order to see future success.

Any brand that assumes it doesn’t have to deal with tradeoffs isn’t living in reality. There is no brand that can have it all. That is why brands have target audiences and play to find that niche within an industry. It’s important that brands take the time to identify what the tradeoffs are and create a plan for these tradeoffs. They must decide which ones are worth it for success and which ones are too much in the negative to make sense. Think of target audiences; no brand can (nor should) attract all customers. It’s just not realistic and quite frankly it won’t bring years of success for a brand. Instead brands need to identify which audiences will bring them the most success and dedicate marketing, products, and strategies toward this group. Doing so may, and probably will, alienate other audiences, but that’s exactly the point. It’s the tradeoff, the one that if it’s explored will actually help provide future success.

Brands that think tradeoffs aren’t real are in for a big surprise. With every success comes a little downside. But if prepared and expected, brands understand these tradeoffs and focus on the positive. No one wants an "everything" brand, but everyone wants a brand that can do something special or different. Tradeoffs aren’t bad. They're actually quite good.

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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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