What’s the Big Idea? Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Brand Promise


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Lee Iacocca once said, “When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great marketer.”  While I agree with most of the things he said, I think Mr. Iacocca got this one wrong.  In reality, even a great product or service has to be marketed properly to succeed. And it is much easier to do a good job of marketing if you have BIG IDEA. By that I mean a true competitive differentiation, and the value-add extra that makes what you offer unique and better than your competitors.

If you are going to create a powerful marketing and sales engine, then you must absolutely have a compelling marketplace position. Positioning is one of the most misunderstood, unappreciated, and neglected parts of the marketing process. I think David Ogilvy was right when he stated that positioning is the most important decision made in promoting a service or product and also when he said that successful positioning has more impact on the results of a promotion than how an advertisement was designed and written. This is why I urge our clients to devote plenty of time to craft their positioning and brand promise before starting any new campaigns.

The brand promise is what you promise people they will receive when they do business with you. And position is defined as “the manner in which an organization and the products or services it provides are perceived by prospects and customers.” Every organization, as well as each product or service, has its own unique brand promise and position. A company can occupy different positions among various audience segments. And people can have their own unique positions (Iacocca and Ogilvy are good examples), often built and reinforced through social media.  While there are some pitfalls to avoid, companies can gain major benefits from properly positioning their key executives.

Since it is hard to be all things to all people, I strongly suggest that you ditch the “me-too” approach and focus on a big idea. The best way to think about this is to consider how you would answer if a prospect asked you the question: What’s the big idea about your company?  Of course, prospects ask themselves this question every time they consider your offer.  And the reason many of them don’t buy from you is they don’t think your offer is a big idea, because you don’t tell them why this is true. The me-too approach may be safer but it can also make you appear to be a commodity, and commodity companies are not successful in an era where consumers have so many choices.  The lesson is simple: be different and have a BIG IDEA.

Chris Ryan – [email protected]

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


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