Want to Overcome Price and Create Stark-Raving Fans in the Process? Develop Your Brand’s Definitive POV.

It’s absolutely amazing to see that so many brands still muddle along without a definitive POV. That they think somehow they can be all things to all people. Then they wonder why their business struggles.

Don’t wonder. Do something.

Dare to take a stand. Dare to be different from all of your competitors or fall into the old commodity trap and never realize the potential of your brand. It’s that simple. What’s hard is determining what your brand is at its core. And, conversely, what it isn’t. The old sayings about being too close to the matter and too subjective are true.

We’ve worked with many brands over the years. Some of them thought they had a definitive POV and were sure about their customer base. To wit: a famous coffee shop brand came to us for help, stating that their customer had been identified as older, white and male. The stores were targeting that demographic with darker color interiors, as a result. Or said they were. There wasn’t a sandwich or savory snack in the place and we know that men prefer those to sweets. The shops were packed with pastries and cute little tchotchkes that passed as gift suggestions and had no place on the shelves.

However, when we began to dig into our research, we found that men spent 70% less time than women in their specialty coffee stores. By building and designing stores for women that felt like an extension of their homes, the brand began to attract its true target audience. Cafes became brighter and more open with distinct zones for ordering, shopping and socializing—a natural for the female shopper. In-store promotional campaigns and seasonal product and gift packaging clearly extended the brand. As a result of rebranding and repositioning, sales and profits turned around for the first time in years.

According to Guy Kawasaki, “Know thyself” is the first rule of branding. “Know thy customer” is the second.

This means that culture, worldview and your company’s internal value system are as important as knowing your customers. A powerful POV will motivate your employees as much as your customers. A values-based POV will provide a competitive advantage and overcome price resistance to like-minded people every time.

Formula for Success

We love working with brands that own a powerful position and know their customer. When they grow, all of their plans align with that brand, as do their brand extensions. That’s a formula for success. KIND is one of those brands. We worked with the brand owner on the sub-brand: “Strong and KIND”.

A little background: KIND bars in their pretty packaging and sweet mixes of nuts with fruit and chocolate appeal largely to women. We know that most guys love savory snacks. So why not pack 10g’s of protein in snack bars in deeper-colored, more masculine packaging in flavors such as Honey Smoked BBQ, Honey Mustard, Roasted Jalapeno, Hickory Smoked, and Thai Sweet Chili? Still packed with nuts and grains but definitely aimed at a male audience.

But we knew we had to align this sub-brand with the brand mission: to continue to do daily acts of kindness and promote that the customer joins the brand in that effort. From the summary of Daniel Lubetzky’s book, Do the KIND Thing:

“When Daniel Lubetzky started KIND Healthy Snacks in 2004, he aimed to defy the conventional wisdom that snack bars could never be both tasty and healthy, convenient and wholesome. A decade later, the transformative power of the company’s “AND” philosophy has resulted in an astonishing record of achievement. KIND has become the fastest-growing purveyor of healthy snacks in the country. Meanwhile, the KIND Movement—the company’s social mission to make the world a little kinder—has sparked more than a million good deeds worldwide.”

We asked: why can’t this message extend to men? Being Strong and KIND is totally compatible. Ask NBA star Kevin Durant, whose charity for at-risk-youth fits in with KIND’s focus. Durant helped to create and promote a campaign to get one million people to pledge to be “Strong & KIND”, i.e., to do something positive and kind in their communities. In return, KIND donated $1 million to Durant’s foundation, to help develop educational programs.

Seamless brand alignment. We dream about stuff like this. And we work passionately to make it happen for brands so that they’ll have a real POV that resonates. One that is focused on its internal culture and ideal customer rather than the world at large. One that guides all of its decisions and brand extensions so that they make sense to their POV.

So you love what brand XYZ is doing? They’re successful and why can’t you emulate what they’re doing? We’d counter those queries with: “why would you?” They already own that space and mindshare and you’re not going to take it from them.

Want to have a great brand? Get your own POV and make sure it resonates with your people. To begin the journey, complete this statement:

Despite the fact that all of our competitors believe X about the world, we believe Y.