Who is your brand?
The most surprising thing was the power of a brand to enamor its prospect consumers. I understood that a brand was this intangible feeling or idea in the minds of consumers, clients or prospects, but I had underestimated that it’s the most relevant factor. Branding is aimed at getting your prospects to see you as the only option to meet a need or solve a problem, not at making them choose you over your competitor. This difference is so important that it trumps any other marketing strategy you can apply by itself, pricing, packaging, performance, etc. If you have won that race in the minds of your prospects, everything else, including pricing, is up to your discretion. The power behind branding comes in hand with the huge challenge of winning in the sum of your prospects experiences and perceptions with your brand, even the ones you can’t influence.
During the study tour I got the sense that the purest brands were those of niche markets and small companies. Particularly in the case of Acne I was impressed to see someone actually be the brand. Mattias Magnusson is Acne. He embodies all of the attributes of the brand. Of course the brand goes beyond him, but upon meeting him I felt the brand as much as I did when walking in their flagship store and when experiencing their clothes. It seems once you make that connection with your consumer, there is little else to do, which makes it an essential tool for any business. If you can make your prospects see and feel you as their only choice in whatever decision you are helping make, you have won the market you are after.