Is Your Marketing Negative Enough?

Is your marketing negative enough?

I don’t mean attacking competitors, rather do your customers understand what life would be like without your brand? Do they see the negative of you not being around?

For most brands, customers would see their lives the same whether or not those brands existed: Havas’s Meaningful Brands Global Analysis reveals that people wouldn’t care if 74% of the brands they used disappeared.

That is a big problem.

It isn’t a surprising problem, however, because most brands don’t stand for something. And a brand that doesn’t stand for something—one without a value stance—can only produce commodities, despite how many features and benefits they may have.

I think this lack of a value stance is also one of the reasons we see marketing messages constantly changing to the detriment of the brands: when a brand doesn’t stand for something, the company can see it standing for everything and, as a result, ends up constantly changing its marketing, trying on new identities.

But, that’s not the way brands work. To be a strong brand, you must have a view that things must be this way and not that way. And, you must promise this view will never change.

If you were to break that promise, you would let the opposite of what you stand for—the negative, the enemy of your brand—back into your customers’ lives. And, nobody wants that.

If there’s no potential for a negative, then your brand needs something stronger to stand for.

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