The Battle Of Branding


Brand­ing and posi­tion­ing almost always involve theft and warfare.

The mean­ing of your brand and the “posi­tion” you want in the minds of con­sumers is usu­al­ly already occu­pied, or at least con­tested, by another brand. Some­body else owns, or is try­ing to own, what you want because there are only a few posi­tions worth own­ing. If you want to plant your flag on a certain piece of men­tal real estate, you’ve got to remove the flag of your competitors first. Either steal the land out from under them or fight for it:  theft and warfare.

Battle Strategy

Look at past marketing campaigns and you’ll see plenty of examples. When they started out, Energizer Batteries were trying to de-throne Duracell. If Energizer was going to increase their mental real estate in the minds of consumers, they had to have a strong branding campaign to overtake their competitor.

Energizer determined that in their industry, the only three qual­i­ties peo­ple care about are:

  • Long-lasting
  • Reli­able
  • Cheap

So, Ener­gizer spent their marketing dol­lars on that bunny that just kept going and going and going…until it had stolen the “long-lasting” position from Duracell.

Energizer could have taken a different attribute with far less effort and expense, but it wouldn’t have been worth owning. Ener­gizer now owns “long-lasting” and Dura­cell has switched to adver­tis­ing “reli­a­bil­ity,” sim­ply because it was the only thing left to take that was still worth owning.

The point is, it’s almost never enough to posi­tion your brand; you have to de-position your com­pe­ti­tion as well, and if you decide to try and take a position that someone else already owns, you’ve got to be willing to commit to a long-term branding campaign to do it.

Play To Win

If you’re going to be victorious in the Battle of Branding, you’ll need to stay consistent in your marketing messages, dominate and own a “position,” and then tell everyone over and over again…just like the Energizer Bunny!

Marketing Consultation with Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group


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