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Stealing Share's Analysis and advice

Brand Development

March 16, 2023

Brand development. How to win.
Brand development is an essential part of running any business. And it is the only thing we do. And everyone knows it is necessary to reposition a brand when its meaning has lost some relevance and luster.

Markets decide when. Not marketing departments. So, experience teaches us that company politics delay marketers from action. Repositioning requires internal persuasion.

Call us now. We will give you all the details.

However, many hate admitting their brand needs work. It is an expression of failure (their failure). But even worse, brand development, as practiced in old-school branding companies, never mentions stealing market share. So, we had to invent a new way to do it.

We launched persuasive branding over a decade ago. It is a unique and more relevant way to look at brand development in the digital— micro-targeting age.

Brand development makes brand changes real

As a result, most brand development aims at the target market. There could be a change in the color palette, logo, tagline, or brand theme—advertising changes.

brand develoSales messages change, too—all the external elements change. But we neglect the internal audience. When that happens, brand development feels like window-dressing.

That’s putting lipstick on a pig. We see brand development differently. It’s holistic. Our vision makes the brand magnetic. We are getting the target audience to see you differently.

But our role is broader. We train the internal audiences on the brand. Salesforce training is part and parcel of what we do.

A brand designed to steal market share must be ingested internally and digested by your target markets.

The toughest audience

Our CEO and President, Tom Dougherty, recently spoke at a corporate meeting. His topic — “The repositioning of the parent brand.” Stealing Share defined the parent and made recommendations.

All well received, too. Then he spoke about change. This is the main argument for brand relaunching. Get everyone on board and instill excitement and a common purpose.

Change is your best friend

Stealing market share requires change. And Tom said as much. “Embrace change. Adapt. Remember, change is the best friend of brand development.

Why? Because competitors invest in the status quo. Moving the market share needle requires changes. Changes in perception. And changes in preference. The status quo favors the incumbent.”

One of the senior executives, whom we admire a great deal, said dryly (he is always dry— it works for his unrelenting sense of humor) to a colleague, “Everybody says they like change. But would you mind going first?”

That is precisely our point

His wry comment is on point. And he knew it. We can’t pretend when thinking about the brand. REAL is our only ally.

Pretending to embrace change is a rebranding death sentence. In brand development, of course, marketing changes. That marks the starting point in positioning brands. But you are far from the finish line.

Only changing the marketing is as satisfying as eating only from the dessert table at a buffet.

As a result, it tastes great but makes you sick to your stomach by the end. There is no nourishment. Little satisfaction. A meal of empty calories. This requires brand planning.

You need a miracle

Miracles are everywhere. Not supernatural events. Change your mind. So, that’s a MIRACLE. Everything falls in line when you change your mind. That dryly gifted executive knew this to be true. As a result, he challenges everyone to change their minds. Real brand development starts when we change internal processes to match the new reality. The brand directs policy.

A policy that directs brands dies quickly in the crucible of the marketplace.

brand developmentChange, while often necessary for growth and progress, triggers a complex web of emotions within us. The uncertainty, fear of the unknown, and disruption of familiar routines can elicit various emotional responses.

As a result, many individuals instinctively avoid change, seeking the comfort of familiarity and stability. However, from a marketing perspective, embracing change becomes a distinct advantage that can lead to innovation and success.

Emotionally, change can evoke feelings of anxiety and stress. Our brains are wired to favor the status quo, as it provides a sense of security and predictability.

Departing from this norm can activate the brain’s threat-response system, leading to resistance and apprehension. People often associate change with loss – the loss of comfort, routine, or even identity – which can trigger grief or mourning.

Additionally, change challenges our self-perception and can stir up a fear of failure or inadequacy.

Uncharted spaces


The prospect of stepping into uncharted territory can make us doubt our abilities, leading to a reluctance to engage with change. This emotional turmoil may explain why individuals avoid change, seeking stability and minimizing risk.

From a marketing perspective, however, embracing change presents a distinct advantage. In an ever-evolving landscape, industries are defined by innovation, adaptability, and forward-thinking.

A marketer who can navigate and drive change is a visionary leader. Embracing change allows for exploring new strategies, technologies, and approaches, setting a brand apart from its competitors.

Change-driven marketers can tap into emerging trends, technologies, and consumer behaviors, positioning their brand at the forefront of innovation.

They can anticipate shifts in consumer preferences and adapt messaging and offerings, accordingly, staying relevant and resonant.

brand developmentFurthermore, embracing change fosters a culture of creativity and openness within a marketing team. It encourages collaboration and a willingness to experiment, leading to the discovery of novel and effective strategies.

This agility can be a powerful tool in responding to market dynamics and seizing new opportunities.

Change is an emotionally charged concept that often triggers avoidance due to its inherent uncertainty and disruption. However, as a marketer, embracing change becomes a distinct advantage.

By harnessing the potential of change, marketers can lead their brands toward innovation, relevance, and success in an ever-evolving landscape.

Rational changes don’t win. Emotional changes win (and we developed a model to identify them. You can read about that in-depth here) because they direct behaviors. Rational thought is the catalyst of change. Emotion is the fuel of that catalyst.

So, brands must reflect the beliefs of the target audience. A clear understanding of those customer beliefs prompts the opportunity a brand development exploits.

As a result, alignment with the prospects’ highest emotional intensity creates brand bonds. And prompts change. But it is all cake and ice cream without the kitchen staff (the company itself) on board.

Brand development is a process of alignment. It’s how the company begins the cultural change that enhances brands.

So, think in terms of an internal event.

A failure is an internal event

God, do we hate sales meetings—pointless drivel and false rah-rah for our team. Every sentence ends in a PowerPoint presentation with an exclamation mark. As a result, when developing a brand, we all treat the launch date akin to a countdown to a rocket launch.

All marketing messages are aligned and on deck. Ready, set, and go. So, everything hits the market at the same time. Internally, the parent company must meet with the same focus by preparing the culture for the relaunched brand.

That’s how everyone knows the change is real—and not mere marketing.

Are you serious about brand development? Do you believe the changes? Is everyone included? Borrowing a tone from our executive friend, “Are you willing to go first?”

As a result, dedication predicts the success of a brand’s relaunch and repositioning. It’s a one-to-one correlation. So, when the company believes in change, they change what they believe.

Make your brand reposition and brand development internal as well as external. It’s that important.