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A Negative can be the Positive: Perception and brand value

eyes shut

I love traveling to new places and exotic locales because you see things with new eyes. What may be overlooked and inconsequential to those who see it every day becomes humorous, fascinating or beautiful to the visitor.

In business, taking a look at things from a new vantage point or with a different mindset can also give you a new perspective. When I conduct a brand facilitation session with clients, mental light bulbs go off when we expose benefits they’ve been or could be providing to their customers that bring value and differentiate them from competitors. Oddly enough, sometimes your opportunity to differentiate lies in what appears to be a bad thing.

It’s a riff off the old “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” thinking. By challenging perceptions you can highlight your brand value. For example, great baked goods, especially really great bread, has a process…a time-intense, hand-crafted process. In our fast food, I-need-it-yesterday culture, slow is generally considered a negative. However, for a company like Slow Dough Bread Co., slow is the new fast. Slow builds anticipation for its meticulously crafted, limited production artisan breads.

Many years ago, when wine drinking was gaining popularity among the masses in America, Paul Masson Winery had a famous ad slogan, “We will sell no wine before its time.” As a counterpoint to all the mass production wineries rushing product to market to fill demand, the implication was that Paul Masson was more focused on the quality.

Seasonal menus focusing on locally sourced produce, such as at Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, means that you may not find your same favorite dish all the time, but it will be exquisite for the limited time it is available.

Even in industrial markets, if you have a reputation for not just “dialing it in,” but rather for customized, thorough, high performance, intricate technology or extreme accuracy, chances are there will be a waiting list. Those who commit to partake of your fine product or service need to appreciate that doing it right takes time and an investment.

Articulating your value by creating an appreciation for the “negative” helps prospects understand why your product or service is more desirable. The how is the why.

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Bigger is not always better: Exclusivity as brand

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