BIG brand: how to do it right
Before you start jumping to conclusions, wait and you will see that BIG is not what it looks like at first sight.
At Growingdael, our motivation is to cultivate BIG brands and BIG brands only. BIG is an acronym and stands for Biotic, Irreplaceable and Genuine. In fact, BIG should be written B.I.G.
A brand must be biotic. Biotic is another word for alive. All stakeholders must live the brand. A brand is not a brand statement or a brand positioning document. That is just theory. Everyone within a company must be a living testimony of what a brand stands for. Actions speak louder than words. The values of a brand must be alive as well as the relationship between stakeholders and a brand. A company's products, services, attitudes, choices, messages, design and more, must bear evidence of what a brand claims to be. A customer must experience at first hand what the brand says it is.
If you want to cultivate a BIG brand, a brand that has high brand equity, or emotional credit as we put it, then it must be irreplaceable. Why? The more a brand is replaceable, the lower it's perceived value. The lower its perceived value, the lesser the investment. Ultimately, the pricing of the brand will be challenged and will become the only differentiating power.
The best and only strategy for effective branding is this; do everything in your power to become less replaceable. Whatever is irreplaceable has high value, and whatever has high value is irreplaceable.
Oh yes, being unique or original is not the same as being irreplaceable. One can be unique and original and still be replaceable.
A BIG brand is what it says it is. It is not the result of a marketing survey and trying to say the things that might appeal to the customer. A BIG brand is true to itself. Making sometimes choices that a hard to make, but will preserve the integrity of the brand. A BIG brand will not try to please everyone, just for the sake of meeting sales targets. Eventually, customers will find out that the brand is just an image, hiding its real agenda from the customers.
Congruence and consistency are vital in being genuine. If brand owners present their brands as something it is not, sooner or later they will make mistakes and customers will not buy it.
Practice what you preach
When reading these three criteria that define a BIG brand, one might have the impression it is simple and obvious. But make no mistake, it takes balls to cultivate a BIG brand. If you are not free to say 'no' to preserve the integrity of your brand, or 'yes' for that matter, you may be a brand evangelist but never make disciples. Practice what you preach, is undoubtedly fitting when cultivating a BIG brand.
If quarterly sales target drives you more than long-term value, then a BIG brand is not your thing. It takes guts to makes choices that only on the long turn will produce its fruit. Lasting fruit.
That's what biotic growth is all about. Giving it the time and care it needs to evolve toward maturity. An immature brand is less resilient and will produce poor fruit if fruit at all.
Hopefully, you will have a different look at BIG brands.