You Are Premium
I had lunch the other day with a colleague of mine. We were discussing the difference between a premium brand and a good brand. We were dissecting the unique differences. We were discussing whether or not the company we work for is a good brand or a premium brand. I felt we were one…he felt we were another.
We agreed that there were definitely things one needs to consider when sharing this type of conversation with passionate owners of a brand. Honesty…reality and the willingness to have the courage to accept the truth is not always easy when you are too close to the forest to see the trees.
Maybe you are in a position where you are being asked to evaluate a brand, you are trying to figure out who and what you are, where your brand is going, its promise and where you want it to be. Or perhaps you have been hired to take on this task for a client.
Regardless…sharing this truth with your company or a client about the state of the brand may be a hard pill for some to swallow…especially if you and or your team have the charge to change things.
What’s the Difference? And Why Does it Matter?.
The differences may look small and insignificant. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If your vision and mission is the best always need to be better…or you want to become a household name globally…then you may be striving to be a premium brand.
We can make a few general statements that I believe hold true depending on the market you are striving to reach. You may be a local or regional brand with great strength and strong brand recognition. You may be positioned to explode to expand your reach. You may be offering an exceptional product or service. You may be financially sound and positioned to grow.
So how do you go from a good brand to a premium brand? Do you need to be a billion dollar brand? Do you need to be world-renowned? Do you need to transcend language and country for your brand to truly qualify as a premium brand?
Well. Hmmm. Yep. You probably need a fair amount of all of the above to move up the scale to premium. I contend you can have only some of these and still be a premium brand, but I argue that you need to be in the top three of any competitive ranking in your product or service against the next best premium brands to earn true status. But just as … if not more important … you need to own the loyalty of your customer. You need to be the preference…the first thought…the top of mind owner of that space.
The problem is … you may still be acting and sending out messages to your customers that you are only a good brand. Ugh. What a waste. Such a disappointment to something you have earned but haven’t owned. And believe me…this is your choice. Don’t blame it on the customer.
Ironically, there is many a brand that could be and should be considered premium. What holds them back? What is the difference? Why can’t they make the claim…own the space that they have worked so hard to achieve?
It May be Simpler then You Realize
I am a sound believer that you are who you are. The problem your brand may have is it doesn’t know how to share its message. Perhaps you don’t know how to tell and share your story. You’re falling short. And those you have tasked with this effort are failing not only the brand but the customer. Running a premium brand is not for those without grit…it’s not for the conservative minded stewart.
So, Who’s to Blame?
It is your willingness and confidence to assert your brand as the leader. Now I don’t support false claims. I support truth in marketing and advertising. But the simple truth is that far too many brands lack the leadership or the know how to assert what they have earned. What position they have carved out. The position earned…the passion of its workers that have been forged by years of hard work and dedication to create a product of exceptional quality.
So leaders of these enterprises…of these good to want to be premiums…you must have the courage and the foresight to claim what your employees have earned and built for you…for your customers. It’s time for you to stand up for your brand.
Take the step forward…that leap of faith and the benefits will follow. You have the superior product or service. You have the passionate employees and you’ve delivered on the brand promise to your customers. You live and breathe the promise of an exceptional experience. You can have that customer from life. Stay true to your brand. Don’t complicate it.
Avoid the Timid
You need to be strong now. You need to avoid the legacy. The nay sayers those who are not born with courage and grit to push forward and make difficult decisions. You’re the leader for a reason. Not everyone can do what you are tasked to do. It’s a calculated step…not a risk. You will preserve those that are loyal to you and your brand. You will grow your market share and enter new unforeseen segments by simply being you…by simply being the brand you have worked so hard to be. Push to where you should already be.
Good to premium isn’t a big step. You are already there. Take what you have earned. And deliver. Deliver on each experience with exceptional results and you will own the premium brand you are already sitting on. Scream your message…share your story.
Cloonan you’re nuts…it’s not simply a state of mind. Or is it? The line between ordinary and extraordinary is quite thin. Own it. It’s your obligation.