Recently, Jimmy Kimmel sent members of his crew to conduct a series of interviews, Man on The Street style, about the current healthcare controversy.
The interviewer’s mission? Determine if people supported the Affordable Healthcare Act or if they supported Obamacare.
The interviews were conducted somewhere in California; I don’t recall the exact city/town. During the TV segment that was shown, approximately six people gave their opinions on Obamacare and The Affordable Healthcare act.
According to Mr. Kimmel, the people included in the interview segment held beliefs that were overwhelmingly in the majority of those who were also asked, but who didn’t make the snippet: People supported the Affordable Healthcare Act, but were adamantly opposed to Obamacare.
As you may already know, the Affordable Healthcare Act IS Obamacare. However, those responsible for the new law did a poor job of branding their product and promoting the image that THEY wanted.
There’s an important lesson here for the marketers reading this: If you don’t brand your product and protect your brand image, too often, your competitors will do it for you. And it’s a safe bet that when they brand your product, it won’t be favorable, or anywhere close to the image that you had in mind.
The product, The Affordable Healthcare Act, didn’t have a well-defined brand or image that the target audience could relate to and understand. Therefore, the competition was able to easily brand the product with images and information counter to what the originators intended. The competition then crafted a brand and image to consistently promote their positioning for that product. Right. They protected the brand and image they created.
So, what’s the take away? (Your thoughts on The Affordable Healthcare Act aside.) Control the brand and image for your product!
Of course, the best way to protect your brand is to have a clear position in mind and make your positioning the centerpiece for all your marketing messages and sales collaterals. Everything you do to promote your product should reinforce your product’s image.
It’s not enough to be reactive. You must be proactive. When you are reactive, you spend too much time defending unfavorable information, and debunking half-truths, or un-truths than you spend actually marketing your product’s features and benefits.
The best approach is to stay on the offensive so that the competition will have not room to brand your product and create its image.
Stay on message. Continue to promote your product’s brand and image according to your research and strategies. When you do, you force your competitors to sell their products on their products’ merits… not by promoting the brand and image that they crafted for your product.
Protect your image. Protect your brand.
Have you ever found it necessary to rebrand your product or image because your competitor beat you to branding? How did you handle it? What advice would you give new marketers?
What’s your communication challenge?
-Creating effective sales and marketing aids?
-Keeping your employees and customers informed?
-Managing a heavy workload with a light staff?
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