Your brand is kinetic energy for growth
September 2, 2019
The roller coaster of new markets
Many organisations fail because they focus on what they want to be and forget who they are. They assume markets perceive them in the golden light they see reflected in the mirror, when in fact they may be invisible.
Retail companies have to brand. They may not always do it well, but they recognise branding as a priority. Most other companies and organisations don’t. And they may succeed despite not paying attention to branding because they have a long history, or because they get government funding, or are in a small market without much competition.
But the moment you want to grow into new markets is like the moment you reach the apex on a rollercoaster. You’re about to plunge very fast into a convoluted course and you have no ability to steer.
Is your brand putting on the brakes?
One possibility is that you have no brand recognition in the markets you want to expand into. Potential customers don’t know who you are or what makes you stand out. Why should they take a chance and make a change for you?
But that’s not the worst possibility. The worst possibility is that you do have good brand recognition but that it may be perceived negatively in the new market. That’s what Toyota thought when they created Lexus for an upscale market. Sure, they invested a lot to create and market a new brand, but they avoided the risk of affluent buyers refusing to spend big bucks on a Toyota.
Is your brand a steering wheel?
Of course the best possibility is that your brand does have name recognition in your new markets, and potential customers perceive it as a natural fit. But this advantage is wasted if you fail to leverage it.
You might be tempted to think, ‘Since we already have a presence we don’t need to expand our marketing.’
But growth always requires investment. It’s just a question of whether you are going to pay now or pay later, and fail in the bargain.
Roller coasters spend their energy up front, to ensure riders get over all the humps. You should think of your brand as the kinetic energy to race you into new markets.