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Strategic Thinking Workshop

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Workshop on How to Think Strategically.

We teach brand leaders to think strategically. We show them how to ask the right questions before seeing solutions, how to map out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. We take them through the 7 elements of good strategy: vision, opportunity, focus, speed, early win, leverage and gateway. We look at strategy from a competitive position, consumer connectivity, core strength and situational

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Strategic Thinking Workshop

  1. 1. Workshop to help brand leaders to think strategically, so they can unleash the potential of their brands. How to think strategically
  2. 2. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Define the Brand Think Strategically Big Idea At Beloved Brands, we use a branding approach Vision Analysis Key Issues Strategies Execution • Advertising • In-Store • Innovation • Consumers • Category • Channels • Competitors • Brand Values, Goals • Experience Brand Plan Create Brand Plans Inspire creative execution Analyze performance Sm art Creative Ideas
  3. 3. We believe that Strategic Thinking is an essential foundation, to help Marketers ask big questions that challenge and focus brand decisions. • We teach brand leaders to think strategically. We show them how to ask the right questions before seeing solutions, how to map out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. We take them through the 7 elements of good strategy: vision, opportunity, focus, speed, early win, leverage and gateway. We use forced choice in each model to help the Marketers make focused decisions. • We teach the value of asking good questions, using four interruptive questions to help frame your brand’s strategy, looking at your competitive position, your brand’s core strength, the connectivity with your consumer and the internal situation your brand faces. • We show how to build strategic statements that set up a smart strategic brand plan. How to turn strategic focus into bigger gains for your business Training Workshop Strategic Thinking
  4. 4. We make brands better. We make brand leaders better. The role of a brand is to create a bond with your consumers, that will lead to a power and profit beyond what the product alone could achieve.
  5. 5. Smart strategic thinkers see the right questions before they look for answers, while intuitive thinkers see answers before they even know the right question. Brand Leaders need to be both, being able to change the speed of their brains for the right situation and moment. You should move your brain slowly on strategy and quickly with execution.
  6. 6. Strategic people share similar traits to those we might consider conniving, cheap or even lazy. Rather than just diving into work, strategic people will spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking of all the possible ways for them to get more out of something, while exerting the least possible effort or wasting their own money. After thinking of every possible option, strategic people have this unique talent to make a firm decision on the best way forward. They are great at debate because it appears they already know the other options, and already know why those options will not work as well.
  7. 7. What is your thinking style? Do you slow down to think of the right questions before even looking for solutions? Do you jump right into solutions before even knowing the right question?
  8. 8. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Strategic leaders see ‘what-if’ type questions before looking for potential solutions. Have you ever been a meeting and heard someone say, “That’s a good question”? This is usually a sign someone has asked an interruptive question designed to slow everyone’s brain down, so they take the time to reflect and plan before acting, to force them to move in a focused and efficient way. Strategy is the thinking side of marketing, both logical and imaginative. Strategic people are able to map out a range of decision trees that intersect, by imagining how events will play out in the future. The risk is that if they think too long, they just spiral around, unable to decide. They miss the opportunity window. Strategic The best marketers can change brain speed, think slowly with strategy and fast with instincts You should think slowly with strategy. If move too quickly on brand strategy, you will be unable to see the insights by going beneath the surface. You risk solving the wrong problem.
  9. 9. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Instinctual leaders just jump in quickly to find answers before even knowing the right question. Their brains move fast, using emotional impulse and intuitive gut feel. These people want action now and get easily frustrated by delays. They believe it is better to do something than sit and wait around. They see strategic people as stuck running around in circles, trying to figure out the right question. Instead, they choose emotion over logic. This “make it happen” attitude gets things done, but if they go too fast, their great actions risk solving the wrong problem. Without proper thinking and focus, an action-first approach might just spread the brand’s limited resources randomly across too many projects. Instinctual The best Marketers can change brain speed, moving SLOW with strategy and FAST with instincts You should think fast with execution. Without intuitive freedom, you will move too slowly, overthink and second-guessing yourself. You risk destroying the instinctual creativity of the right solution.
  10. 10. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Your brain should operate like a race car driver, slow in the corners and fast on the straight away. Learn how to change brain speeds. You must move slowly when faced with difficult strategy and quickly with your best instincts on execution.
  11. 11. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Potential conflicts with Strategic Thinking 1. Conflict with action-oriented people: For some, there is a mistaken attitude that doing something is better than doing nothing. The problem is that without proper focus, it just spreads resources randomly. (time, investment, people, partners) Marketers need to harness the energy of these “make it happen” people, while using strategic focus and motivation to steer them in the right direction. 2. Conflict with those who are relationship oriented people: Sales people are not less strategic, but place a higher value in relationship than many Marketers. Their strategic thinking is to work within the needs and opinions of their buyers and balance shorter term risk with strategic gains. Marketers need to find that alignment that is good for the brand and good for the customer relationship to ensure Sales will execute. 3. Conflict with creative people: Creative people tend to be more emotional than Marketers with a higher focus on pride more—they want to make work they can show off. Marketers must motivate the creative people while aligning them with the strategic needs of your brand. 4. Conflicts with yourself: With most of us, there is very little time to think, meetings, deadlines and sales pushes. A get-it-done mentality, makes it hard to slow down and think. Without a brain intervention, this can lead to instinctual strategy and miss what we need to be seeing. The best Marketers work within these conflicts
  12. 12. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 5 ways to slow your brain down to think strategically 1. Find your own thinking time. Go for walks at lunch or a drive somewhere to get away from it all. Block hour-long “thinking meetings” with yourself. 2. Organize your week to fit your thinking pace. For instance, maybe talk “big ideas” on a Friday morning so you can take the weekend to think, yet schedule quick updates on Monday afternoon that clears your mind for the week. 3. Do the deep thinking before the decision time comes? Always be digging deep into the analytics to stay aware, prepare yourself, no matter your level. 4. Next time in a meeting, spend your energy asking the best questions. Too many leaders try to impress everyone with the best answers—next time stump the room with the best questions that slow down the team so they think. 5. Proactively meet your partner team. Get to know their needs, rather than wait for a problem or conflict. Come to them proactively with possible solutions so you both win.
  13. 13. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Strategic Thinking: Assess, question and consider every element that can impact your business Start by thinking about the long- term perspective of where you are going. Push yourself beyond the normal expectations. Long term vision Key Issues in the way Strategic Direction Immediate Situation Factors in the way of achieving your vision, looking at drivers, inhibitors, risks and opportunities, framing both immediate and longer term issues. Constantly analyze and assess potential changes happening with consumers, competitors, and channels, that could impact the health and wealth of your brand. Strategies are the answers to the questions that your situational analysis and key issues have raised. They are never randomly selected. 1 2 3 4 Process Graphic
  14. 14. My best strategic thinking has always happened when I am away from the desk and computer. Where does your best thinking happen?
  15. 15. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Smart but not different Solid strategy, but no creativity. Will do OK, but won’t break through clutter to make a difference. Smart and different Uniqueness helps break through. Solid strategy motivates consumers to take action Not smart and not different Brand is lost and floundering. Conservative creative against a weak strategy. Different but not smart While creative, it misses the strategy, wrong target, message, desired response or activities. Smart Not Smart The same Different Strategic Creativity Brand Leaders tense up when the creative gets “too different” yet they should be scared when it seems “too familiar”
  16. 16. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Rational choice does OK, but offers limited long-term potential • Smart but not different: Might do well in testing, checking the right boxes, because consumers have seen it before. In market, it gets off to a pretty good start—since it still seems familiar—but lacks staying power, faltering after consumers start to realize it is no different at all. Consumers return to their usual brand and your tracking results start to go flat. This option offers limited potential. Follow your instincts. Boring failure feels familiar and safe, but will fail dramatically • Not smart and not different: Usually made in desperation or haste, we opportunistically choose whatever we have available, even if it is not on strategy. We get fooled in testing, when the consumer gives it a modest passing grade. But once in the market, consumers realize that it’s the same but even worse, so it fails dramatically. What appears safe is actually highly risky, and does nothing to advance towards our vision. Better mousetrap is highly creative, but off strategy • Different but not that smart: Sometimes we get so focused on being different, it becomes all about creativity and taking a risk. Not always focused on consumers or meeting an unmet need. So we launch what is different for the sake of being different. It does poorly in testing. Everyone along the way wonders why we are launching. But in the end, consumers don’t really care about your point of difference. And it fails. The better mousetrap that no one cares about. Stay smart. Ideal sweet spot balances good instincts and strategy • Smart and different: These don’t always test well: it can be so new that consumers don’t know what to make of it. Even after launched, it takes time to gain momentum, having to explain the story with investment and effort to really make the difference come to life. But once consumers start to see the differences and how it meets their needs, they equate different with “good”. It begins to gain share and generates profits for the brand. This option offers long-term sustainability. With Marketing execution, you must be strategic and creative
  17. 17. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 1. Have fun, and be in the moment: Relax, smile, have fun, stay positive. If you get too tense, stiff, too serious, it can impact the team negatively. 2. Focus on your first impressions. Don’t let the strategy get in your way of seeing what you think of the creativity. You still have time to think strategically about it after your instincts. 3. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. You have to represent them to the brand, try to react and think as they might. Learn to observe and draw insights. 4. Do not make up concerns that are not there. While you need to be smart, don’t cast every possible doubt that can destroy creativity. Too many brand leaders destroy creativity one complaint at a time. 5. Take things on a test run, before rejecting. You always have the option to reject an idea. Why not let it breathe a little, see it you can make it even better. If it gets better, you win. If not, you can still reject it, without any risk. 5 ways to speed up your brain to think instinctively
  18. 18. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We will teach you the 8 elements of smart strategic thinking Break through point where you see a shift in momentum towards your vision. Proof to everyone this strategy will work. Aspirational stretch goal for future, linked to a well- defined goal purpose. It should scare you a little, but excite you a lot.   Turn the early win into tipping point where you achieve more in return than you put in. Shift in positional power that allows you to achieve your vision. Seize opportunity quickly before others react or it is closes. 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Visionary Early Win Speed An opening in the market, based on a potential change in the market (consumer needs, technology change, new channels) Leverage Gateway Align your limited resources to a distinct point you can break through getting you on a path to your vision. Opportunity Strategic Thinking Questions2 Must ask the right questions that frame the issues in the way of achieving the desired vision  Where do you struggle the most?
  19. 19. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Brand Leaders need to be visionary If you don't know where you are going, you might not get there. Yogi Berra
  20. 20. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Marketers always face limited resources… Target Market Brand Positioning Strategic Options New Product Ideas Execution Activities Financial Time People Partnerships …as they deploy against an unlimited list of choices We need to make decisions to limit the choices to match the limited resources we can deploy against those choices.
  21. 21. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When Marketers come to a decision point that requires focus, they try to justify a way to do both. Strategic thinkers never DIVIDE and conquer out of fear. They force themselves to make choices to FOCUS and conquer. Don’t tell yourself that you are good at making decisions if you come to a decision point and you always choose BOTH. The best brand leaders force themselves to focus by using the word “or” more than they use the word “and”
  22. 22. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When you focus, 5 amazing things happen to your brand: 1. Better return on investment (ROI) 2. Better return on effort (ROE) 3. Stronger reputation with a key target audience 4. More competitive, owning a winning position 5. More investment behind brand
  23. 23. Napoleon on strategic focus "Fire must be concentrated on one point, and as soon as the breach is made, the equilibrium is broken and the rest is nothing.”
  24. 24. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Borrowing from Napoleon’s warfare strategies X X X X X X
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 X X X X X X X Strategy # 1: Where there is opportunity to win against their strength, ATTACK THEIR STRENGTH, then the weak area will be that much easier. X X Napoleon talks about pin-pointed attacks, deployment and efficiency of resources. How can you apply these rules to your brand? First attack their strength by focusing all resources to out-number them at the point of attack, using added element of speed/surprise Then easily go after remaining weak points. Once the strength is broken, it will be easier to win against the weaker parts. 1 2 1 Competitor 2
  25. 25. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. X X X X X X
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X X X X X X X
X X X X X X X
X X X X X X X Strategy #2: Where there is limited opportunity to win against their strength ATTACK THEIR WEAKNESS, as they mobilize their strength as it comes to help. X X Napoleon took pride in a confused opponent, mapping out every possible scenario, knowing what opponents would do even before they did. Do you know what your competitor will do next? Pin-pointed attack of their weak area Then launch a 2nd attack on the dispersed strength using speed and situational adjustments before your opponent can adjust. 1 2 1 2 Competitor 1 Forces your opponent to spread out their strength in an attempt to defend. Borrowing from Napoleon’s warfare strategies
  26. 26. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Weaken Competitor Full Assault Slow Down Competitor Maintain Strong Core Attack to gain share Defend to slow the losses Diminish strengths of competitor Build up strengths of your own brand AttackStrategy Attack Options A brand can either attack to diminish the strength of your competitor or build up the strengths of your own brand A brand use the attack to make gains or defend to slow the losses
  27. 27. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. SpeedOpportunity BRANDS NEED TO CREATE AN OPENING IN THE MARKET BRANDS NEED TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITY BEFORE OTHERS REACT
  28. 28. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • At a crucial point of World War 2, while Germany was fighting a war on two fronts (Russia and Britain), the Allied Forces planned D-Day for 2 years and joined in full force (Great Britain, US, Canada, Australia) to focus all their attention on one beach, on one day.  • Prior to the attack, there was debate, do we attack in one place that could be penetrated or in multiple spots where the Germans would have to fight many battles? The smart decision started with focus. D-Day focuses war effort on one beach. Option 1 Focused Attack Option 2 Multiple Attacks Case Study
  29. 29. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. D-Day and the 8 elements of smart strategic thinking 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Visionary Early Win Speed Leverage Gateway Opportunity Strategic Thinking Questions2 How do we find weakness in Germany to shift from a defensive stance to an offensive attack Despite heavy casualties, the Allies captured the beaches and within 5 days of D-Day they put 325,000 soldiers on mainland Europe Win World War II, with a goal to re- claim Europe and stop Germany. Re-claimed Paris, pushed back German Army, turned momentum to the Allied Forces. They gained positional power, shifting Germany on defensive on their soil. A year later, the allies defeat Germany in Berlin. The US was now able to focus and fight the Pacific war and defeat Japan. Navy Seals quickly went in before the ships arrived, with the detonation of underwater bombs, that enabled warships to get up on the beaches. They planned excessively, debated options, looked for unguarded beaches. Also, they had Russia attacking from east, helping to weaken Germany. High risk focus, putting half of all the Allied forces of 156,000 soldiers, synchronized landing on the beaches of Normandy on one morning of June 6th, 1944.
  30. 30. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • Vision: Win World War II, spread ideals of democracy. • Goals: Re-claim Europe, maintain troops. • Key Issues: How do we turn the tide in the war effort in Europe? Where would the best attack point be to get on continental Europe? What are the defense technology investments needed? • Strategy: pin-pointed attack to gain a positional power on continental Europe. • Tactic: D-Day, taking all our troops and attack the Beaches of Normandy to get back on mainland Europe so they could battle Germany on an equal footing.  What would the D-Day Brand Plan look like? Strategic Lesson: Focusing your resources will strengthen your chance to breakthrough and make an impact. Case Study
  31. 31. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What is the core strength your brand can win on? How important is the decision and how involved are consumers? What is your current competitive position? How tightly connected is your Consumer to your brand? What is the current business situation your brand faces? 3 1 5 4 2 5 questions to force your 360 strategic thinking
  32. 32. What is the current business situation your brand faces? How tightly connected is your Consumer to your brand? What is the core strength your brand can win on? How important is the decision and how involved are consumers? Product Story Experience Price Power Player Challenger Island Brand Rebel Brand High Profile Indulgence Commodity Essential Indifferent Like It Love it Beloved Keep It Going Fix It Re-Align Start Up What is your current competitive position? 3 1 4 25 Process Graphic 5 questions to force your 360 strategic thinking
  33. 33. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Strength Finder Consumer Strategy Competitive Strategy Situational Strategy Engagement Strategy 1 2 3 4 The 5 types of strategy we look at: 5
  34. 34. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What is your core strength that your brand can win on? We outline the four options to focus on, whether that is product, promise, experience or price. We will show you how your strategic focus changes based on which situation you face. 1 Strength Finder Product Story Experience Price
  35. 35. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Highly Competitive Medium Low Focus on what you are best at. Let go what matters the least. We give 4 chips, forcing one at the high, two at the middle to support the strength, and let go of one at the low. Line up strategy behind your brand’s core strength Product ExperiencePrice Brand Story
  36. 36. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Product led brands should focus on being better • Establish your reputation as the superior brand in the category, defending against any challengers to your position. Continue to invest in Innovation to stay ahead of competitors, being the leader in technology, claims, and new formats. • Leverage product-focused mass communication, directly calling attention to the superiority and differences in your product versus the competitors. Use product reviews and key influencers to support your brand. Build the “how you do it” into your brand story, to re-enforce point of difference. Use rational selling to move consumers along the buying system. • As the brand matures and moves towards being more loved, challenge the brand to drive an emotional connection to help evolve and grow. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. PromiseProduct Price Experience H M L With product as your core strength, the strategy should focus on being better, building around continuous innovation and a rational selling approach. Ensure promise and experience built around product. Product
  37. 37. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Brand Story led brands should focus on being different • Focus on building a big idea that connects quickly with a core group of motivated consumers, and then everything (story, product, experience) can be lined up under it. • Invest in emotional brand communication that connects with a motivated audience. Build a community of core “brand lovers” to influence others in their network. A soft-sell approach, based on tapping into emotions that helps to influence the potential consumer. • Know the impact of price, as to when it matters and when it does not. Do not bring price to the forefront, as it can take away from the idea. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. PromiseProduct Price Experience H M L With Brand Story as your core strength, the strategy should focus on being different, building around being different, supported by emotional brand communication, that connects motivated consumers with the concept on a deeper emotional level. Brand Story
  38. 38. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Experience led brands should focus on better people • Use the brand purpose (“Why you do what you do”) and values to inspire and guide the team leadership and service behaviors. • Focus on building a culture and organization with the right people, who can deliver incredible experiences. Invest in training the face of the brand. • In terms of Marketing Communications, you will need to be patient as the consumer needs to experience what it feels like before they are willing to speak on its behalf. Effective tools include word of mouth, earned media, social media, on-line reviews, use of key influencers and testimonials. • Too much marketing emphasis on price can diminish the perceived consumer experience. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. PromiseProduct Price Experience H M L With experience as your core strength, the strategy and organization should focus on linking culture very closely to your brand. After all, your people are your product. As you go to market, invest in influencers and social media to support and spread the word of your experience. Experience
  39. 39. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Price led brands should focus on being efficient • Price brands own the low price positioning, attacking any challengers. Need good solid products. Consumers are willing to accept lower experience. • The focus should be on business efficiency built around low-cost, fast- moving, high-volume items. Invest in production and sourcing, using power to win negotiations. • Call to action style marketing communication, to drive purchase. Hard to maintain “low price” while fighting off perception that you are “cheap”. • Many price brands struggle to drive an emotional connection to the brand. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. PromiseProduct Price Experience H M L With price as your core strength, the strategy focus on efficiency and drive lowest possible cost into the products you sell. Fast moving items means high turns and high volume. You have to be better at the fundamentals around production and sourcing. Price
  40. 40. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. The primary focus of your brand communication We are smarter and able to do the same as others, yet for a much lower cost Our great people make the difference in giving you an amazing experience The story, idea or purpose behind why we do what we do, makes us different What we make is better than everyone else Product ExperiencePrice Brand Story
  41. 41. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter.     • In 2003, Starbucks creates their own recording company, winning 8 Grammy’s 2 years later. In 06, they launched their own movie, started partnership with William Morris to scout for music, books, films. Opens “entertainment” office in LA. • By 2008, Starbucks cuts 18k jobs, closes 977 stores, sales down 7%. Stock price falls to $7.83, down from $39.63 in 2008. The brand was in a complete free fall. People wondered “Is it the next Benetton?” • How did Starbucks refocus? They rebuilt everything back around the coffee routine. They closed their stores for an entire day to re-train every barista. They created snacks and pastries to gain more share of requirements around coffee, launched sandwiches to stretch the coffee routine to lunch and created new versions of coffee to deepen love affair with the most loyal users. Is this a good strategy or bad? Starbucks loses focus only to regain it. Case Study
  42. 42. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Starbucks and the 8 elements of smart strategic thinking 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Visionary Early Win Speed Leverage Gateway Opportunity Strategic Thinking Questions2 How do we build smartly around the coffee experience to drive significant growth of same store sales? New products improved perception that they were innovative, successfully connecting with most loyal Starbucks fans, giving them higher same store sales Become a cherished quick service food brand that is a favorite moment of the day. Be the dominant coffee brand Able to turn the morning coffee routine into a breakfast/lunch routine, allowing Starbucks to focus on becoming a broad- based meeting place.  No longer seen as just for morning coffee, but rather an escape at any point in the day. Double-digit growth for 5 straight years following the turn around. Starbucks closed every store for a day to re- focus on coffee, then built out broader portfolio around coffee. With under-utilized retail locations, relatively unused past 11am, the broader portfolio helps gain lunch/ dinner sales giving them a higher share of requirements. Focus everything around the coffee ritual, look to shift coffee routine to lunch. Broaden portfolio around coffee–deserts, snacks, sandwiches.
  43. 43. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Vision: Cherished meeting place for all your quick service food needs Goals: Increase same store sales, greater share of requirements from Starbucks loyalists Key Issue: 1) How do we build smartly beyond the coffee experience? 2) How do we drive significant growth of same store sales? Strategy: 1) Re-build the coffee experience by training all the Starbucks baristas to emphasize how our people make the difference to get current brand lovers to use Starbucks more often. 2) Enhance the Starbucks experience at lunch with innovative sandwiches and snacks, to re-enforce the quality difference at Starbucks to enter the new lunch time market. Tactic: Re-train all baristas. Focus staff on creating experiences. Launch exotic refreshing coffee choices, light lunch menu, increase desert offerings. What would Starbucks Brand Plan look like Strategic Lesson: Building everything around the experience helped separate Starbucks from the pack. Case Study
  44. 44. Starbucks builds everything around the brand experience they create. The organizational culture and brand have become one. The brand’s big idea becomes the internal beacon to create a culture and operation that builds the experience that over-delivers the brand promise.
  45. 45. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • Surprisingly, many brands wish their core strength was something else, so they deny it. They think the way to get bigger is to be two things, both a product and an experience. This takes your focus away, and then you try to implement two completely different strategies at the same time. • While you are picking a core strength, all four of these factors (product, story, price, experience) do matter. Without the appropriate attention to build support behind your core strength, the brand can suffer if it has a glaring weakness. • Investment and focus changes for each. Product led brands need to be better and invest in innovation. Brand story led brands need to be different and invest in communication. Price led brands need to be cheaper and manage efficiencies. Experience led brands need to invest in people, culture and organization. • We use the Idea Map to lay out what the Big Idea is, then align the promise, story, innovation, purchase moment and experience under the big idea. This ensures you continue to manage the holistic nature of the brand. Lessons for alining behind your brand’s core strength Build your brand strategy around your brand’s core strength
  46. 46. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. How tightly connected is your brand to your consumer? We created a Brand Love Curve, where brands move from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally to the Beloved Brand stage. As we move along the curve, we see that brands become more powerful and profitable. The goal is to increase the amount of love you and generate that and use that to your competitive advantage. 2 Consumer Strategy Indifferent Like It Love it Beloved
  47. 47. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. How tightly CONNECTED is your consumer to your brand? 1. Indifferent: Consumers are either not aware, confused or not interested in your product. You treat your brand like a commodity, and your consumer treats you the same way. Promotional pricing and selling effort becomes your only weapons. 2. Like It: Consumers use it to satisfy a basic need. They see it as a functional, rational choice. Lack of connection means no relative power. To survive without emotion, you must have a better product or service offering. If you are leapfrogged with something better, your brand dies a quick death. 3. Love It: Brands build loyalty with consumers, based on an emotional connection, becoming a favorite brand, possible building into routines. We see more power, as the brand can use their emotional connection to charge premium prices, enter new categories and build added volume through heavier usage frequency. 4. Beloved: Consumers become fans of the brand, un-relenting in their conviction, personal, possessive and outspoken in their choice. Brand becomes a ritual and a favorite part of the day. These brands do everything right, eliminating flaws. They align their brand promise, strategy, story, innovation and experience behind the big idea they stand for. 
  48. 48. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Indifferent Love It Like It Beloved Unknown Where your brand sits on on the Brand Love Curve should guide your brand’s next strategic move Get noticed so consumers see the brand in a crowd Establish brand positioning in the consumer’s mind Magical experiences that inspire brand lovers to influence their friends Tighten bond with your most loyal brand lovers Build a trusted following with each happy purchase
  49. 49. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Stand out so consumers see brand in the crowd Establish brand positioning in the consumer’s mind Build a trusted following with each happy purchase Tighten bond with your most loyal brand lovers Magical experiences inspire brand fans to influence others 1. Set up: production, promise, advertising, selling, experience. 2. Launch event: Build hype and desire to gain attention 3. Core message: Amplify brand’s big idea and consumer benefit to target. 4. Find early lovers: Build early trial among those already motivated by what you do 5. Mind Shift: drive new position or re- enforce current 6. Mind Share: gain more attention than competitors 7. New News: launch innovation to enter consumers mind 8. Turnaround: focus energy on gaps, leaks. Use fix to change minds. 9. Drive Penetration: convince new consumers to try 10. Drive Usage: get happy consumers to use more/differently 11. Build routine: get happy consumers to build a routine around brand 12. Cross Sell: get happy consumers to use brand’s other products/services. 13. Turn experience in memories: link brand with life moments. 14. Maintain Love: re-enforce brand equities. 15. Deeper love: consolidation or broader usage 16. New Reasons to Love: target most loyal user. 17. Create magic: surprise and delight deep brand lovers. 18. Leverage Power: drive growth and profit from brand’s source of power. 19. Attack yourself: Close leaks and improve before competitor attacks. 20. Use loyalists to drive awareness and influence others How the stages of the Brand Love Curve sets up 20 possible consumer strategies for your brand plan Unknown Indifferent Love ItLike It Beloved
  50. 50. Analyzing where your brand sits on the Brand Love Curve Indifferent Like It BelovedLove It No opinion, low interest, low importance. Do not care and have doubt. Have never bought. Have a basic idea what brand stands for, but have no connection. See it as ordinary, not different. See brand as better, High satisfaction, loyalty and frequency. Willing to recommend to their friends. Outspoken fans who believes everything about the brand (product, experience, service) is better. Skinny brand funnel, market share squeeze, low unaided awareness. Low growth and shrinking margins. Low conversion to sales, high percent bought on deal, low loyalty, strong private label share. Programs have low ROI Robust brand funnel, healthy tracking scores, market share gains, high share of requirements. Can enter new categories. Dominant share, net promoter scores, usage frequency and recommendations. High growth and profits. Voice of the consumer Market Indicators Awareness Consider Purchase Repeat Loyal We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter.
  51. 51. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Strategic flaw of most brand plans is trying to drive penetration and usage frequency at the same time. Penetration Strategy gets someone with very little experience with your brand to likely consider dropping their current brand to try you once and see if they like it. Usage Frequency Strategy gets someone who knows your brand to change their behavior in relationship to your brand, either changing their current life routine or substituting your brand into a higher share of the occasions.
  52. 52. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When your brand is at the unknown stage Key indicators the brand is at the Unknown stage • At the unknown brand stage, the brand might be a completely new innovation, re-launch, hidden gem, small niche looking to expand, or entering into a new region or channel. • Many new brands struggle to break through to reach consumers or build distribution with doubting retailers. Leadership team conflicts result in confusion around the value proposition, inconsistent messaging to consumers and everyone in the organization moving in different directions. Like any new launch, there is a risk of being seen as a product, not yet a brand idea. • Too many times, companies at this stage fixate more on selling than marketing. There is a desperation for sales, no matter who buys or why they buy. • Being seen as a commodity product, with no real separation from competitors, makes it hard to command a price premium. It is hard to generate efficiencies in selling and marketing. This stage is where the heavy investment is needed to establish both brand awareness and distribution. 3-point game plan: 1. Create a Big Idea to build everything around, both internally and externally. 2. Stay focused to maximize your limited resources: focused target, tight positioning, tight strategies, and limited activities—always focused on driving a return. 3. Find ways to passionately express your brand purpose as a rallying point, both internally and externally. Strategies 1. Set up: production, promise, advertising, selling, experience. 2. Launch event: Build hype and desire to gain attention 3. Core message: Amplify brand’s big idea and consumer benefit to target. 4. Find early lovers: Build early trial among those already motivated by what you do Stand out so consumers see brand in the crowd Unknown stage
  53. 53. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When your brand is at the Indifferent stage Key indicators the brand is at the Indifferent stage • For Indifferent brands, these brands are likely too product-focused, not yet able to find way to separate the brand from competitors. The brands act like commodities. • They suffer from very skinny brand funnels, with low awareness at the top of the funnel, with soft purchase, repeat and loyalty scores. These brands are unable to gain new users or drive frequency. • Without a big idea or unique positioning, it is difficult to break through with advertising or innovation. These brands suffer from poor tracking scores on any marketing support programs. these brands have lower payback on Marketing activities, making the marketing investment (advertising, innovation, in-store) difficult to justify. • To keep selling, these brands becomes reliant on price promotions to drive volume, resulting in a profit margin squeeze. Lower volumes prevent these brands from reaching the needed economies of scale to drive down variable cost of goods. if they fall below volume thresholds. • They have no power with retailers, unable to get their fair share of shelf space, display or price promotions. These brands are at risk of being delisted, Private label brands threaten their sales levels. 3-point game plan: 1. Create a Big Idea to establish the brand’s uniqueness and build a reputation to stand behind. 2. Focus the brand’s limited resources on establishing a point of difference in the consumer’s mind. 3. More passion and risk into your work. Strategies 1.Mind Shift: Drive a new brand position or re-enforce current positioning 2.Mind Share: Draw more attention than competitors by being better or different. 3.New News: Launch something new or re-launch to appear new. 4.Turnaround: Focus energy on gaps, leaks in the brand’s execution. Establish brand positioning in the consumer’s mind Indifferent stage
  54. 54. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When your brand is at the Like It stage Key indicators the brand is at the Like It stage • Brands at the Like It stage doing a pretty good job in establishing itself on a rational level. However, without an emotional connection, these brands suffer from a lower than desired conversion to purchase. These brand looks healthy in terms of driving awareness and tracking scores, however the brand keeps losing to competitors as the consumer moves to the purchase stage.  • These brands usually require a higher trade spend to close that sale. This cuts into profit margins. An important tracking score to watch is “the brand seem different” helping to separate the brand from the pack. • Without any emotional connection these brand get to a certain level and then face stagnant market shares. They make gains during Marketing support periods but face declines during the non-support periods. These brands appear content to hold onto their share and grow at the rate of the category. • In categories with high private label shares, if you focus too much on product ingredients and rational features, the consumer will start to figure out they can get the same thing with the private label at a significantly lower price. 3-point game plan: 1. Leverage the brand’s big idea to connect emotionally. 2. Focus your resources on building a bigger following by converting awareness to purchases. 3. Build a culture of passion, where everyone loves the work they produce. Strategies • Drive Penetration: Convince new consumers to try. • Drive Usage: Get happy consumers to use more/differently. • Build routine: Get happy consumers to build a routine around the brand. • Cross Sell: Get happy consumers to use brand’s other products/services. Build a trusted following with each happy purchase Like it stage
  55. 55. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When your brand is at the Love It stage Key indicators the brand is at the Indifferent stage • Brands at the Love It stage start to see a higher emotional connection and a resulting power in the marketplace. Indicators include a strong conversion from purchase to loyalty. These brands are able to drive strong repeat and loyalty scores, as the brand becomes a routine or ritual. The brand is now seen as different and motivating. • These brands see a strong overall brand funnel with an expanding user base and a strengthening usage frequency as the brand becomes part of the consumer’s routine. • Highly responsive Marketing programs and tracking results means the brand can shift to more efficient spending with lower GRPs. The brand sees high adoption of new innovation, which allows the brand to continue to stretch the consumer towards the ideal brand positioning. • These brands should be able to leverage their power with retailers and influencers. Even in a competitive market, a brand at the Love It stage should be able to gain share and widening their leadership stance. High net promoter scores leads to high word of mouth recommendations, social media recommendations or positive on-line brand reviews (e.g.Yelp or Trip Advisor). 3-point game plan: 1. Tug at the heart of those consumers who love the brand, helping build a community of Brand fans. 2. Shift to creating a brand experience that turns purchases into routines. 3. Turn the love for your work into a bit of magic for the consumer. Strategies 1. Turn experience in memories: link brand with life moments. 2. Maintain Love: re-enforce brand equities. 3. Deeper love: consolidation or broader usage 4. New Reasons to Love: target most loyal user. Tighten bond with most loyal brand lovers Love it stage
  56. 56. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. When your brand is at the Beloved stage Key indicators the brand is at the Indifferent stage • Brands at the beloved stage are the iconic leaders in their category. These brands have an extremely healthy and robust brand funnel with likely a near perfect brand awareness (over 95%), high conversion to purchase, with strong repeat and loyalty scores. These brands have good penetration and purchase frequency scores. Tracking results show immediate reaction to new marketing programs—high brand link on advertising and high trial rates on innovation. They usually have a dominant share position, at least in a specific segment. They have the power to take a dominant stance in the marketplace, squeezing out smaller brands and reducing the influence of key competitors. • These brands have strong net promoter scores and have cultivated a community of outspoken brand fans. Even competitive-users respect these brands, expressing a potential desire to switch in the future. • These brands use their power with retailers, who provide preferential shelf space and use the beloved brand to drive traffic to their stores. Suppliers are willing to cut their costs in order to sign up the beloved brand as a customer. Even governments might offer special benefits. The beloved brand becomes an employer of choice for new talent who want to be part of the brand. The brand even has a power over the earned and influential media gaining efficient and impactful media and positive reviews. • The brand becomes an asset, with high profitability. It becomes a good stock to invest in. 3-point game plan: 1. Focus on maintaining the magic and love the brand has created with the core brand fans.  2. Challenge and perfect the experience. 3. Broaden the offering and selectively broaden the audience. Strategies 1. Create magic: surprise and delight deep brand lovers. 2. Leverage Power: drive growth and profit from brand’s source of power. 3. Attack yourself: Close leaks and improve before competitor attacks. 4. Use loyalists: drive awareness and influence others Magical experiences inspire brand fans to influence others Beloved stage
  57. 57. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. The consumer’s first interaction with a brand will be with a big idea that delivers the Brand Promise The big idea must motivate consumers think, feel and move towards the Purchase Moment Surpising Innovation builds from the big idea to keep up to trends, satisfy a broader array of needs and stay ahead of competitors Happy experiences must over-deliver the original promise of the big idea. Every happy purchase tightens the bond and spread the brand love to others. The Brand Story must use the big idea to entice consumers to think, feel and act in ways that will benefit the brand. GRAYS Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies 2 5 1 3 4 We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Consumer GRAYS Lemon creme Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Peanut Butter Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Ginger Bread Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Cranberry Time Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies The consumer’s first interaction with a brand will be with a big idea that delivers the Brand Promise Purchase Moment Innovation Experience The consumer may engage in the big idea through the telling of the Brand Story GRAYS Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies 2 5 1 3 4 Grays Cookies were created with a bit of luck Gray’s Cookies is based on a 40-year-old family recipe that had been used for years in a local coffee shop in Stowe Vermont. Gray’s was a local favorite and even among tourists, famous for it’s Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter flavors. No one realized it was also a healthy treat— low fat, low calories. A taste of guilt free pleasure We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Consumer GRAYS Lemon creme Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Peanut Butter Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Ginger Bread Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies GRAYS Cranberry Time Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies The consumer’s first interaction with a brand will be with a big idea that delivers the Brand Promise Purchase Moment Innovation Experience The consumer may engage in the big idea through the telling of the Brand Story GRAYS Guilt free pleasure gourmet cookies 2 5 1 3 4 The consumer engages a brand at 5 main touch-points
  58. 58. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • Create a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors, based on being better, different or cheaper. • Use your brand story to motivate consumers to think, feel or act, while beginning to own a reputation in the mind and hearts of consumers. • Fundamentally sound product, staying at the forefront of trends and using technology to deliver on your brand promise. • The moment of truth as consumers move through the purchase cycle and use channels, messaging, processes to make the final decision. • Turn the usage of your product into an experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of their day. Brand Promise Purchase Moment Innovation Experience A brand has 5 consumer TOUCH-POINTS they need to align under the BIG IDEA All 5 touch points work together under the brand’s big idea Brand Story
  59. 59. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Big idea connects and separate brand from competitors Use your brand’s differences to move consumers Keep your brand fresh and on top of trends Move consumers through the buying system Experiences that consistently over- deliver the promise Consumer Big Idea The Brand Brand Promise Brand Story Happy Experiences Purchase Moment Innovation Surprise Positioning Advertising and Communication Product Development Selling and Retail Operations and Culture The big idea must inspire and align everyone who works behind the scenes of the brand. The big idea is the bridge between brand and consumer, aligning everything around the 5 consumer touch-points
  60. 60. Brand strategy must change the positional power of your brand to make your brand healthier and wealthier. We build strategies by FOCUSING your resources on one of the consumer touch-points, that will have the greatest IMPACT on moving a target through the consumer buying system with an OUTCOME that harnesses your brand’s health/power and drives your brand’s wealth/profits.
  61. 61. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter.     • in the 1990’s Special K just sat there with a very small and dying share in cereal. Basically, it was just the one flavor of cereal. Zero innovation. It was just Rice Krispies crushed differently. Special K was clearly an Indifferent Brand, with very little consumer opinion, and for those who did buy Special K, they weren’t exactly the most ardent fans of the brand. Not only was the original flavor fairly bland, but everything about the brand was bland. Special K needed to stand for something. It needed an idea. • Special K built everything around the Big Idea of “Empowering Women to take control of their weight”. To separate themselves in the mind of consumers, they launched the special K challenge with a very simple message: “With Special K, just twice a day for 2 weeks, you can lose 6 pounds or better yet, drop a jean size.” Special K then built a series of tasty new products across categories of cereal, snacks, water and shakes—each bulldog around the big idea.They have gained share in the cereal category and taken the loyal consumers into all the new categories, and they are now 5x the sales and a beloved brand.. Special K moves from Indifferent to Beloved Case Study
  62. 62. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. There is a natural evolution from product to brand as Special K moved from rational claims to a Big Idea. Product Big Idea Emotional Needs Brands start as a PRODUCT solving a consumers’ rational problem. PRODUCT: Special K is a light tasting, low calorie, cereal. BIG IDEA: Special K empowers women to take Control and maintain their healthy weight Brands become a BRAND IDEA, meeting their emotional enemy, that consumers feel. Rational Needs Rational Needs You sell Create an Identity Execute sales and marketing Build an experience Build a reputation Case Study
  63. 63. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Smart, healthy, low calorie and most of all equally great tasting alternatives to your conventional food choices, especially in areas women need the most help. Products & ServicesConsumer Reputation Helpful hand to make smart food choices, when it’s easy to make mistakes. We inspire, challenge, and support you to be your best. Brand Role With Special K, we believe healthy can taste great. Push for innovation across any food option that can help women maintain their healthy weight. Internal Beacon We are on the side of women. We make amazing tasting, surprisingly creative and healthy low calorie product options. Special K provides a smarter way to be in control of your body. Make informed choices backed by knowledge. Brand Character This is the Special K Big Idea Blueprint Special K inspires and empowers women to take control and maintain their healthy body. Case Study
  64. 64. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Case Study Use for 2 meals a day, you will lose 6 pounds in 2 weeks. Evolving from losing weight to loving the body you have and making the most of it Consistently deliver great tasting low calorie options to maintain weight. Surprising discovery in each category, learning healthy can taste great. Personal success stories feel great and encourage others. Promise Brand Story Innovation Purchase Moment Experience Big Idea Positioning Advertising & Communication Product Development Selling and Retail Organization and Culture Consumer BIG IDEA: Special K empowers take Control and main healthy weigh Inspire and empower women to take control and maintain their healthy body. Brand Special K build everything around a Big Idea
  65. 65. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Special K and the 8 elements of smart strategic thinking 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Visionary Early Win Speed Leverage Gateway Opportunity Strategic Thinking Questions2 How do we build everything around the Big Idea? How do we use the Big Idea to drive innovation? Launch of amazing taking Special K Red Berries transformed the brand helped gained permission to enter new food categories. The healthy food brand that empowers women to take control of their weight and live healthier happy lives. Rather than being stuck in the cereal aisle, Special K built a series of tasty new products across categories of cereal, snacks, water and shakes Gained market share of the cereal category. Took loyal consumers into all the new categories, and they are now 5x the sales and a beloved brand. Shifted brand story to “lose a jean size in two weeks” and built the Special K challenge to help women “take control of their weight” Women were frustrated by “lose and gain” diet fads. Tired of failing, they wanted easy alternatives they could execute within their normal lives. Shift from a product driven strategy to idea- led helping women maintain their weight, providing low-calorie alternatives across the toughest food moments of the day.
  66. 66. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • The more tightly connected a brand is with their consumer, the more power they can have in the market with all stakeholders including consumers, channels, suppliers, media and influencers. Brands can use the power to drive up profit and value. They can drive margins with premium pricing and lower costs. They can use it to drive up volumes by increasing the size of the market or gaining market share. • Where your brand sits today, impacts the strategy choices for moving it along the Brand Love Curve. Brands at the unknown stage should try to stand out so consumers see the brand in a crowded market place. Brands at the Indifferent stage should try to establish your brand in the consumer’s mind. The Like It brands should separate your brand from the pack to try to move consumers and create a following. Brands at the Love It stage should tug at the heart strings to tighten the bond with your most loyal. The beloved brands should create outspoken fans to scream on your behalf. • We believe that everything starts with the consumer, then looking at the five consumer touch-points as potential levers for the Marketer to deploy. The goal is to move the consumer along the buying system to drive either more brand power/health and more brand profit/wealth. Lessons for Consumer Connectivity Strategy The more connected the brand is with consumers, the more power and profit it can generate.
  67. 67. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What is your current competitive position? We outline the four situations you face, whether you are a power player, challenger brand, island brand or rebel brand. You might find yourself in the cluttered brand, typically stuck in competitive dog-fights with no defined point of difference, nothing to own, nothing that connects. We will show you how your strategy changes based on which situation you face. 3 Competitive Strategy Power Player Challenger Island Brand Rebel Brand
  68. 68. Brands need to stand out from the pack!
  69. 69. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What consumers want The ideal space for your brand to PLAY matches up what consumers want with what your brand does best What your brand does best The first step is to match up what your consumers want with what your brand does best After defining your target market, you should begin by matching up your target market’s need states against your brand assets. Match Up the consumer wants to your brand assets
  70. 70. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Losing Zone: When competitor meets consumers needs better than you Risky Zone: Win with speed, emotion or innovation Dumb Zone: Competitive battle where consumer does not care Winning Zone: Your brand’s clear difference matters to consumers To be successful, brands have to be better, different, cheaper… or else they will not around for very long.
  71. 71. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Once you know the space you can win, here’s how Marketers need to do when executing in the market What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Amplify your strength: Make what you do seem bigger than it really is, to make it more important or more interesting. Diminish your competitors: Make what they do seem less important, interesting or turn it into a weakness. Focus on the winning zone where you are better than your competitor. Extrapolate the importance or interest of your main benefit, to ensure it is unique, own-able and motivating to consumers, while diminishing what your competitor does best.
  72. 72. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 1. Power Players: This is reserved for the leader of the category. These brands have a power over the category and over competitors. They can defend their territory by attacking itself or even attacking back at an aggressive competitor. 2. Challenger Brand: Challenger’s attack on the leader to exploit a weakness or build on your own strength. The best offensive attack is to actually find weakness within the leader’s strengths. One very powerful strategy is to turn a perceived strength of the leader around by making it a weakness. 3. Island Brand: Goes into the unknown areas: An attack in an open area where the Leader is not that well established. Island Brands go to uncontested areas, in the safety where the leader is not competing. 4. Rebel “Craft” Brand: Goes against the category: Going into an area where it’s too small for the Leaders to take notice or are unable to attack back. Pick a segment small enough that it won’t be noticed and you’ll be able to defend it. What is your current COMPETITIVE position? Cluttered Brands are typically stuck in competitive dog-fights with no defined point of difference, nothing to own, nothing that connects.
  73. 73. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Strategy is to dominate the win and the tie Make what you do best seem more important and more interesting to consumers Brand dominance comes when you even shut competitors out where there is a tie. Win on power, innovation, speed or emotional connection. Usually the tie is where the most ambiguous brand fights happen. A power player can use their dominance to invest in R&D, media, consumer insights or assessing weaknesses in order to win the tie. Power Player
  74. 74. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Google, has managed to dominate the search engine market, using their extreme focus early and smart execution to gain market power, helping squeeze out Microsoft and Yahoo. Focused on providing knowledge for consumers, they have continued to expand their services into email, maps, apps, docs, cloud technology and cell phones. Blackberry forgot to defend their Castle. In 2009, Blackberry dominated the B2B executive market. But they wanted to be more like Apple than like themselves. They launched a bad touch screen phone, an undifferentiated tablet, sponsored rock concerts and launched Blackberry Messenger (BBM) for young teens. They never attacked themselves by improving the flaws of their current product or defended their strength with corporations. Pretty soon, executives were switching to the iPhone. Power Players should attack themselves before they are at risk from attack Good and bad case studiesPower Player
  75. 75. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Set your brand up as the best solution, while moving your competitor outside of what consumers want Turn your competitor’s strength into a weakness, pushing them outside of what consumers want, while creating a new consumer problem for which your brand becomes the solution What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Reposition the Power Player competitor turning their strength into a weakness, outside what consumers want Challenger Brands Amplify what your brand does best to drive involvement and importance
  76. 76. The mistake many brands make is trying to exploit a competitor’s weakness. While it seems an obvious victory, you are wasting your resources because consumers already know that weakness. You are not altering their mind. A more powerful strategy is to attack your competitor’s strength and turn into a weakness, making their strength either less important or less interesting.This begins to change the consumer’s mind. Re-position your brand by transforming your competitor’s strength into a weakness.
  77. 77. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. McDonald’s attacked Starbuck on the super price premium and an aggressive call out that “four bucks is dumb” that tapped into the indulgence of Starbucks in a tough economy. (McDonald’s coffee is not much cheaper than Starbucks) The Pepsi Challenge was a direct offensive attack on Coke. Without the strength of the Coke brand name and all that went with it, people picked Pepsi in blind taste tests, preferring the sweeter taste. Case studies of Challenger Brands Challenger Brands
  78. 78. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Avis created the “We try harder” campaign that openly said “we are #2, so we have to try harder” which turned the strength of Hertz #1 market share into a slight weakness, making consumers wonder if the #1 brand Hertz was resting on its laurels. They layered in reasons to believe saying they couldn’t’ afford to provide unwashed cars, low tire pressure and dirty ashtrays which made consumers start to wonder if Hertz did those things.  Case Study: Apple’s “I’m a Mac” was brilliant in not only defining the Mac brand as smooth, confident and cool, but defining the PC brand as old, uptight and awkward. Apple has done a great job in separating themselves from the competitor, whether it’s the white headphones on the iPod, the number of apps for iPhone and iPad or the cool sleek designs of the Mac. Case studies of Challenger BrandsChallenger Brands
  79. 79. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Brands that are so different, they are alone As you draw consumers to the new space, you pull consumers away from current competitors, leaving them unattached to consumers needs. Island Brands What consumers want What competitor B does best What your brand does best What competitor A does best Push competitors away so they feel out of touch with consumer needs. Very different game changing response to satisfy changing consumer needs
  80. 80. Island brands are so different, they are alone
  81. 81. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Volvo: As car brands focused on speed, style, features, Volvo focused on safety in the 1940s/50s. As the brand owned that niche, and as safety became a more important car feature, Volvo was able to grow along with the trend. Special K Challenge: As most cereal was targeting families, facing complaints of high sugar and calories, Special K established itself as a lower calorie and weight loss option. Case studies of Island Brands Island Brands
  82. 82. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Rebel “Craft” Brands: Better to be loved by a few What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Avoid competing directly with the market leaders. Small Niche Rebel Brands Own a small niche far enough away from the competitors.
  83. 83. Rebel brands move against against the norm, finding their own niche We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter.
  84. 84. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Dollar Shave: With a multi-billion dollar shaving market dominated by two players, and a big consumer complaint about the cost of razors, Dollar Shave found a nice niche on line where they send out cheap razors through a prescription model. Makes $50Million in the first year, not worth it for Gillette to bother. Three years later, Unilever bought them for $1Billion In-N-Burger or 5 Guys Burgers and even gourmet local burger places. Avoid taking on the big fast food chains directly, preferring to go into the high quality, fresh ingredients at a super premium price ($8-10 for a burger) Case Studies of the Rebel Brands Rebel Brands
  85. 85. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Brands evolve from innovative niche to mass power players Rebel Brand Power Player Island Brand Challenger Brand Focused on trend influencers, who are frustrated by status quo. The brand must own a small niche far enough away from competitors. High risk marketing to break through clutter. Layer in early adopters to a whole new space, which pushes away current mass competitors, leaving them unattached to meeting the consumer’s needs. Focus on driving passion, to be loved by a few, rather than tolerated by many. With momentum, early mass consumers follow. You focus on turning the leader’s strength into a weakness, pushing them outside of what consumers want,while setting up your brand as the solution Become loved by many, the choice of the mass consumers, even at risk of early brand lovers moving on. Crucial to live up to original brand promise and brand soul, while playing to a larger audience. Trend Influencers Early Adopters Early Mass Mass Audience Types of Consumers
  86. 86. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Breakthrough brands must be so different to create desire among a core audience, you risk alienating a bigger audience At the rebel stage, brand should target a tight innovator audience, whose early passion will influence others. At the early stages, the brand should not worry about the mass audience, because most times, they resist ‘brands that are very different’ as they do not yet see the problem yet. The will follow ‘trend leaders’ who not only identify new solutions, but will eventually create new problems. Not only does a great brand say who it is for, it should equally say who it is not for. Love HateZone of mediocrity This is good This is goodThis will meet certain failure
  87. 87. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Breakthrough brands must be so different to create desire among a core audience, you risk alienating a bigger audience At the breakthrough stages, a great brand should target a tight audience who have potential to fall in love with the brand. It should not worry about the mass audience, because they resist ‘different’ at first, but follow ‘trend leaders’ later on. Not only does a great brand say who it is for, it should equally say who it is not for. Love HateZone of mediocrity This is good This is goodThis will meet certain failure “If people don’t either love or hate your work, you haven’t done anything.” Tinker Hatfield Designer, Air Jordan
  88. 88. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Indifferent Love It Like It Beloved Another way to look at innovation is where you are on the Brand Love Curve should influence your innovation strategy Consumer Focus on the product innovation, with a big idea that can explain and organize each consumer touch point. Go after leading trend influencers in that market, who already see problem and will be the most motivated by what your brand has to offer. Early wins among early brand lovers will help fuel momentum. It will intrigue early adopters to follow. Use the innovation to separate yourself from competitors, to extrapolate the problems, gaps or frustrations consumers see in mass brands. This sets up your brand as the only solution. Increase investment in brand communication and the purchase moment to tighten the bond with an early group of brand lovers who can be used to influence the broader consumer base. Use innovation to create experiences and become part of the consumer’s life. Layer in emotion and explore peripheral products around the routine to turn repeat usage in life rituals. Invest to stay ahead of any challenger brands. Extend brand beyond core product. Use innovation to surprise and delight the most base of brand lovers. Use innovation to attack potential gaps in the current offering with product improvements. Continue to build the service side around product.
  89. 89. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Lost in the middle without a point of difference or connectivity with consumers What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Cluttered Brands are lost brands, with no defined point of difference, nothing to own, nothing that connects. Cluttered Brands
  90. 90. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • Focus all your resources to appear bigger and stronger than you are. Focus on the target most likely to quickly act, focus on the messaging most likely to motivate and focus on areas you can win. Drawn out dogfights slow down brand growth. Never fight two wars at once. You have to realize that speed of attack matters. Surprise attacks, but sustained speed in the market is a competitive advantage. • Be organized and efficient in your management. To operate at a higher degree of speed, ensure that surprise attacks work without flaw, be mobile enough. • Use early wins to keep momentum going and gain quick positional power you can maintain and defend counter-attacks. Think it through thoroughly. Map out potential responses by competitors. • Execution matters. Quick breakthrough requires creativity in your approach and quality in execution. Expect the unexpected. Lessons for Competitive Strategy Focus, speed, smart, self-confidence.
  91. 91. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What is the current business situation your brand faces? It’s crucial that you do a deep dive review to fully understand the business situation your brand is facing so you can apply the right strategic plan to the right situation. We look at four situations, whether that is continuing momentum, facing a need for a turnaround or realignment. And finally, looking at the start up situation that brands face. If you mis-diagnose your situation, you will fail. 4 Situational Strategy Keep It Going Fix It Re-Align Start Up
  92. 92. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What is the current business SITUATION your brand faces? 1. Keep it going: Sales growth and profitability in good shape, team is aligned on direction for the future. Underlying brand metrics and relationships beyond organization are strong. Keep business going strong. 2. Fix It: Continuing decline in sales, being attacked by competitors or category shrinking. Margin squeeze, either due to price/cost or the shrinking sales line. There is a downward momentum over 2-3 years. Lack of alignment, internally or externally, on future solutions. Need to get business back on track. 3. Re-Align: Circumstances on business have changed, driven through either external market forces or internal dynamics to the point where there is now a lack of alignment on the direction or next steps for the brand. 4. Start Up: Getting a new brand into he market, or launching a current brand into new categories of innovation. Organization needs setting up (team, culture, structure, values, behaviors) Need focused strategic Investment choices to get brand going.
  93. 93. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. To determine where are we, you need to look at health, as a signal to the future wealth of the Brand. WEALTH measures what you can easily see. HEALTH are those measures you can’t easily see. Looking deeper uncovers new questions. Sales Market Share ROI Profit Stock Prices Growth Rate Price Premium Share Position Brand Funnel Competitive Advantages Voice of Customer Regulatory Satisfaction Scores New Products Internal Alignment Market Trends Brand Health Brand Wealth
  94. 94. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Fuel growth drivers, while resisting temptation for wholesale change 1. Do not make quick changes: prior leader likely revered/ promoted, your team may not respond/may resist any need for change. 2. You have to adjust to the culture and team: use the time to learn the ways behind the success. Resist temptation to change because it does not match to what you are used to. Don’t make them adjust to you. 3. Leverage strong growth/profit to attack competitors: Use your brand power options to your advantage to accelerate the momentum. 4. Continue to fuel what’s working: Invest behind the drivers of the business and make adjustments to market dynamics 5. Attack small weaknesses: Continuing momentum does not mean be blind to your gaps. Now is a time to close them. Keep it going
  95. 95. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Change the business direction with new people, new plan, new ideas, new attitude. 1. Right people in place: Before even creating the plan, you need to get the right leadership talent in place. Talent, motivation and alignment. 2. Look to close leaks on the Brand: Use brand funnel to assess, using leaky bucket tool to close leaks. 3. Cut the fat, re-invest: go through every investment decision, invest only in programs that give you an early break through win. 4. 3-stage plan: In stage 1, find early/obvious win, halts slide, helps motivation. In stage 2, invest behind new positioning/new plan, focused decisions, take risks. In stage 3, make adjustments to plan, build innovation behind new ideas that fit plan. 5. Motivating a demotivated team: Losing can be contagious to a culture/team. Recognize wins to fuel performance driven culture. Fix It
  96. 96. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 1. Get everyone on the same page: deep dive analysis to gain agreement on issues, create brand positioning, develop plan everyone can follow and make investment decisions based on fact/opportunity. 2. Alignment of the team: establish values and benchmarks for behavior to achieve the results. 3. Return behind our strengths: look to past successful strategies, positioning, and execution. Validate to see if they still hold true. 4. A return to the fundamentals: make fundamentals a key norm in the behavior of the team. Invest in training to make sure talent has skills. 5. Smart decisions, smart execution: Instill focus into decision-making. Simplify the execution, aligned to strategy, zero waste. Re-focus the team, by gaining alignment Brand (positioning, plan) and Culture. (values, behaviors) Re-Align
  97. 97. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 1. Create a big Idea, instead of just a product: the first mistake most start ups make is believing product alone is good enough. Consumers connect with ideas more than products—especially in a crowded market. 2. Build team: always crucial to build the right team based on the right timing. Fit people to the strategy, not strategy to the people. 3. Building capabilities: acquire skills, relationships, capacity to fit the brand plan and execution. 4. Blowfish marketing: focused decisions make you look bigger than you are. Resist temptation to do everything all at once and focus on what is needed at the right timing. 5. Learn and adjust: new brands need to be constantly maneuvering, without leaving their overall vision or strategy. Moving from blank slate to big idea, plan and team. Focus! Focus! Focus! Start up
  98. 98. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter.     • In 2005, Avril’s career was flat, after some early success, which is a normal path for young musicians. Her concert attendance falling, airplay down. • To kick off her album, she did a series of free mall concerts—and was criticized as desperate. She was desperate and not everyone understood the logic of the free concerts.  Avril’s turnaround plan Is this a good strategy or bad? Case Study
  99. 99. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Avril and the 8 elements of smart strategic thinking 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Visionary Early Win Speed Leverage Gateway Opportunity Strategic Thinking Questions2 How do we drive album sales for a slumping Avril? Concerts attracted 5k screaming 13-year-olds per mall, creating a new momentum and perceived success. Local news gave added exposure. Everyone (mom/kids) happy with “free” gesture. Make Avril a pop superstar,with a #1 album and sold out concerts. Leveraged goodwill and energy to get loyal fans to go buy her album in the mall record stores which helped her album debut at #1 on the charts. Getting to #1 on the charts led to bigger mass audiences–more radio play, iTunes downloads and more talk value, playing to sold-out concert series charging $150 per ticket. The comeback completed. Execution timing lined up to album release. Good PR, early album sales. Avril was the first credible music star ever to give free concerts. She had a new album coming out. There were still record stores in malls. An opening for the fans to go buy her new CD. Focus everything on 11-17 year old female target, focused on shopping malls where they hang out. Position free concerts as good will gesture to her most passionate fans. 
  100. 100. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. • Vision: Recording superstar • Goals: New Album Sales, increase popularity, new recording contract • Key Issue: How do we drive album sales for a slumping Avril?  • Strategy: Build an intimate fan experience for Avril that leverage a strong fan base to re-connect with Avril’s core fans to trigger higher Album and Concert sales • Tactic: Free Mall tour to get most loyal fans to reconnect and buy the new album. This is a great lesson of a turnaround strategy, that showcases the importance of gaining the early win, helping mobilize her most loyal fans to buy in and get closer, enabled everything to happen in her come back. What would Avril’s Brand Plan look like: Case Study
  101. 101. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. How important is the decision and how involved are consumers? You have to understand the rules of the space you play in, based on how involved is your consumer and how important is it to their lives. This will impact your brand strategy as you opt to be more important or more involved. 5 Engagement Strategy High Profile Indulgence Commodity Essential
  102. 102. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. In the space you play in, how involved is your consumer and how important is it to their lives, impacts your strategy Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands Impulse items, lots of switching and variety within consideration set. Confectionary, fast food, perfume, beer, entertainment, coffee. Drive importance by connecting to emotions in their lives. High Profile Badge product, favorite part of everyday life. Clothing, cell phones, computers, make up, sports, restaurants and cars. Need to stay relevant and in the spotlight. Commodities Everyday household items, staples or commodities with marginal differentiation. Many CPG brands. Need to use differentiation to help drive importance or make higher involvement. Essentials Necessities such as healthcare, banking, insurance, supplies or software. Need to drive involvement to peak interest during problems. Drive routine to counter low compliance.
  103. 103. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials These brands must take chances on creativity and emotion to drive up the importance or involvement • Commodity brands such as household items, staples or commodities must work creatively to capture the consumer’s attention. These brands should use engaging insights that connect and emotional brand stories that captures the consumer’s attention so they become more involved. No one cares until you make them care. • To drive involvement, commodities need to shift from features to benefits—both functional and emotional benefits. Show how they can positively impact the consumer’s life. Use PR to create a story that becomes part of the news, helping to elevate the brand’s importance. Leverage experts or use social media to leverage loyal brand fans to influence their network on the brand’s behalf. Show the impact of your brand on their life to drive the importance. Commodity
  104. 104. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. High h Profile entials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials High Profile entials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials • Essential brands such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, banking, professional services, insurance, supplies or software are viewed as necessities but not very exciting. While consumers already know these are important, these brands are seen as boring. They struggle to capture and engage the mass consumers enough to break through and build the necessary routines needed to fully benefit from these brands. • To drive involvement, these essentials need to shift away from talking about what they do and focus on what their consumer gets, the end benefits. Even though these categories are viewed as very functional, brands will stand out if they can find the right emotional zone to own. While these brands are already important, Marketers must drive engagement to fuel usage frequency Essentials
  105. 105. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Importance Involvement Low HighLow Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement Low HighLow Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials • Indulgence brands such as confectionary, fast food, perfume, beer, entertainment, coffee. These are impulse items, with lots of switching and variety within the consumer’s consideration set. • The best impulse brands drive importance by connecting to the emotions of the consumers lives. They become a favorite part of the consumer’s day or be part of the consumer’s life stage. They separate themselves from the competition by stressing a unique emotional benefit, they over- deliver the brand promise and constantly find ways to reward their consumers. They create brand fans, who are outspoken on the brand’s behalf. These brands have to stay involved, mass media, social presence, selective targets, fit to lifestyle. Be where they are type media approach. Marketers must separate themselves emotionally and become a favorite part of the consumer’s life Indulgence
  106. 106. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. High ssentials Importance Involvement Low HighLow Commodities Essentials High gh Profile ssentials Importance Involvement High Low HighLow Indulgence Brands High Profile Commodities Essentials • High Profile brands occupy that space with highly involved consumers in what is an important category for them. These turn into badge products, already a favorite part of everyday life. Depending on the consumer, these could be clothing, cell phones, computers, make-up, sports, restaurants and cars. • These brands need to stay true to their promise and exude perfection in their delivery. They have to consistently nail the brand promise, the brand story, innovation, purchase moment and the experience. Any inconsistency will cast doubt in their consumer base. They need to stay relevant and in the spotlight. While these brands are already important, Marketers must drive engagement to fuel usage frequency High Profile
  107. 107. Marketing strategy starts with a strategic program that has a specific focus where resources will be deployed. There needs to be a market impact that leads to a brand performance result, making the brand healthier or wealthier.
  108. 108. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 5 questions to force your 360 strategic thinking How important is the decision and how involved are consumers? 31 42 5 How tightly connected is your Consumer to your brand? What is your current competitive position? What is the current business situation your brand faces? What is the core strength your brand can win on? Increase consumer involvement Try to drive more emotion Exert Power into the market Keep the momentum going Focus around better Product Maintain high profile status Find ways to re- fuel brand love Exert power over media/partners Re-Align behind consumer promise Build around the experience Become part of their lives Maintain the love for the brand Exert power over competitors Turnaround to find new growth Align story to consumer’s life Stay engaged with core users Maintain love with core Own creativity to stay unique Keep momentum via expansion Use creativity to tell story
  109. 109. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Does your strategy have: ✓ An end in mind vision, pathway that has milestones, specific goals for your program. ✓ Opportunity that creates an opening for your brand to quickly take advantage of.  ✓ Pin-pointed focus of your resources (effort, investment, time, partners) ✓ An early win as the breakthrough point. ✓ Game changing Leverage point, where there is a change in positional power and you’re able to turn a small win into something big. ✓ Gateway to something bigger, defined as a win for the brand that translates into an increase in power or value. Strategy is about choices, not chances. Strategy move towards your vision.
  110. 110. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 5 Questions to help shift from thinking to planning 1. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? • If you woke up in 10 years, what did you achieve? What is your vision? Why are you doing this? Long term goals? 2. Where will you play and where will you win? • Who is the consumer target? Defined Positioning? What channel or customers? Competitive stance? 3. What choices are you prepared to make so you will win? • Mapping out choices you will make to connect with consumers through the brand promise, story, innovation, purchase moment, experience. 4. How will you mobilize and focus your resources to win? • What resources do you have available (time, people, money, partners) and where will you deploy those resources? The choices you make drive the biggest return on investment and return on effort. 5. What will you do to execute to achieve your vision? • Execution aligned to strategy, passion, speed to market, precision, design, operations, culture and service.
  111. 111. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Summary of Learning on Strategic Thinking • Strategic thinkers see questions before answers. Non strategic leaders see answers before questions. Strategic thinkers see “what if” questions before seeing solutions, mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. • Seven elements of good strategy. There should be a stated vision to an aspirational goal, there is a focus of all your resources against an opportunity. You move with speed to gain an early win that you can leverage into a bigger gateway that matches up to your vision. • We use 4 questions to set up your strategic thinking: 1) What is the core strength your brand can win on? 2) What is your current competitive position? 3) How tightly connected is your consumer to your brand? 4) What is the current business situation your brand faces? • Competitive Strategy outlines four types of players, the Power Player is the leader in the category, the Challenger Brands who take on the leader, Island Brands are so different they are alone and Rebel Brands go against the category norms. • Focused Brand Strategy builds on your lead strength as a brand, whether that is the product, promise, experience or price. • Consumer Strategy builds on the idea that the more loved a brand is by consumers, the more powerful and profitable that brand will be. Brands move from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally to the Beloved stage. We recommend unique strategies at each stage. • Situational Strategy starts with understanding where your brand sits. We look at four situations, whether that is continuing momentum, facing a need for a turnaround or realignment. And finally, looking at the start up situation that brands face. If you mis-diagnose your situation, you will fail.
  112. 112. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We will help you unleash your full potential Brand Coaching Services
  113. 113. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Our role is to challenge you to think differently about your future, so that you can realize your full potential. TM
  114. 114. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Define the Brand Think Strategically Big Idea At Beloved Brands, we use a branding approach Vision Analysis Key Issues Strategies Execution • Advertising • In-Store • Innovation • Consumers • Category • Channels • Competitors • Brand Values, Goals • Experience Brand Plan Create Brand Plans Inspire creative execution Analyze performance Sm art Creative Ideas
  115. 115. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We lead a 360 assessment of your business, looking at the marketplace, consumers, channels, competitors and the brand. We help you define your brand, with a simple, unique, inspiring, motivating and own-able Brand Positioning Statement. We will create a Big Idea that will transform your brand’s soul into a winning brand reputation. We help you build a strategic Brand Plan that everyone who works on the brand can follow We coach on Marketing execution, helping to tighten the bond with your consumers and drive brand growth We will build a Brand Management training program, to unleash the full potential of your Marketing team. 1 2 3 4 5 6 TM

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