Recently I read a great article over at Brand Strategy Insider discussing an idea the author called ‘Brand Faceting’. Essentially it discusses how successful brands evolve and continue to stay relevant by ‘faceting’ like a diamond. Carefully developing different facets to their story to engage with new markets as they evolve over time.
Have a read of it here ‘Brands Evolve with Faceting Strategy’
The Nike example of faceting is particularly good in my opinion. Nike started with Running Shoes, then branched out into other competitive sports shoes and equipment, creating a very clear brand positioning around competitive sports. In 1998 when they launched ‘Just Do It’ they were able to position themselves within the broader market of everyday sports & fitness enthusiasts. This became their main ‘facet’. Under this they could continue to market to other specific sporting facets and markets as they needed to, without losing any of their loyal fan base.
Sporting clubs are another example of where faceting has become an important part of their strategy. Football clubs aren’t just about the game on the weekend anymore; clubs now create different facets to their brands to engage with the different areas of focus – from the local community, to their fans the game day experience, to their loyal members and the media. Unless these smaller facets are unified under a powerful and engaging big idea, their brands would become fragmented very quickly.
As AFL club brands evolve they must to stand for something more than just the team being winners because it’s simply not possible for any team to have sustained periods of success. Without other facets to the brand, something to belong to, fans can be very fickle, and there isn’t else to communicate about when things aren’t going so well on the field.
For me this all of this demonstrates the power of having a big idea, a purpose, to unify your brand that engages with your target audience in a meaningful way.
I must say that I am often wary of using big brands like Nike to illustrate my points as they can seem out of reach to small to medium businesses (those that I believe can actually benefit the most from brand strategy) so it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a global company to have a compelling ‘big idea’ to engage emotionally with your customers. Big ideas are in the reach of every business, you just have to invest some time and expertise to develop and clarify them.
If you’re not sure how to put that ‘big idea’ easily into a few words, then why not get in touch?