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Strategy, don't mash it up!


Marketing is having quite a thing for mash ups. More bang for the buck always makes sense, especially right now. Inevitably, the knock-on is that brand strategy is under the same tide of expectation to do more. But it’s a dangerous bandwagon to jump on because the essence of a strategy is exactly the opposite. There will always be too many organisational demands; a good strategy is NOT the one that (cleverly) manages to pack them all in. Too many strong marketing ideas fracture and fail because they try (may be forced) to accommodate the multitude of requisitions. The result is a strategy mash up.

Nespresso is a great example of a brand that resolutely does no such cramming-in. It continues to stick religiously to a single-minded strategy of premium differentiation. All possible brand touch points consistently convey the central brand message. Its price premium has never bowed to a ‘20% off’ sales grab; it is only available through high end stores; purchasing the pods feels much like buying Jimmy Choos; the loyalty card feels delectably exclusive… These decisions inevitably impose constraints on the growth and reach of the brand. However, by making such strategic trade-offs, Nespresso has been very successful in a pretty short period of time.

Whilst it feels elementary to highlight the power/ need for single-mindedness, in this 'more demanding than ever' commercial culture it’s worth preparing some resolve for.

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