I recently finished an extensive Strategic Marketing Action Plan(MAP) for one of our NEXT Marketing Company clients. The process I go through in creating a Marketing Plan is intense, not only for the client and I but also for the NEXT Marketing consultants (serious time, brainpower and creative energy).
I spend much time with the client asking a barrage of questions and mentally downloading all aspects of their current marketing methods, philosophies, preferences and goals. The clients usually feel relieved to spit out all they know and want for their business marketing plan in the hopes that I will bring the solutions to crystal ball a marketing plan that they can implement with confidence and glory.
I always start with market research. I investigate one of the most critical components of brand positioning- the competitor’s Statement of Difference. I get a rush when I can examine existing marketing strategy in play, feels like I am the Quincy of marketing. (Dating myself, for those who don’t know-Quincy was a tv personality who performed extensive autopsies!)
The statement of difference appears in multiple locations in a company’s marketing – typically tagline, company mission, company story and visual branding cues.
A very good example of a strong Statement of Difference is a personal wish list client of mine – Mattel’s Fisher Price.
Their statement of difference ( “Play. Laugh. Grow”) is integrated into their tagline, product promotions, content marketing strategy, cultural core values, corporate mission and company operational procedures. It is so aligned to their company inception in 1930 when Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Schelle brought the 16 wooden toys to the New York Toy Fair showcasing whimsical and magical toys.
It is very easy to see if a company has a strong statement of difference or if they are touting numerous headline gimmicky phrases pretending they stand on a platform of difference.
In the time of corporate transparency, consumers want to know what matters to business owners and why they consider themselves different. If the business is going to shout out they are different, they better have that Statement of Difference integrated into their brand marketing touchpoints with the consumer or they are simply just being beige.