The most traditional coffee brand in Sweden has launched a new line of dark roasted coffee. Obviously they cannot just be sitting on their butts as the Swedish coffee market turns continental with darker and more tasteful blends. In today’s Resume we could see the TV commercial for the launch:

Sure, the film is a great production and a bit funny. But who are supposed to like it? The ones that enjoys commercials like these are usually equipped with a liberal mindset and laughs at commercial. These are the ambitious ones and they drink dark roasted coffee. But they would never look at Gevalia. That brand is not on their radar. Gevalia’s position is no 1 among those who has a cup of coffee as a social thing – not for their own pleasure.

So what should Gevalia have done? Easy. Created a new brand. Then the ambitious and strivers of Sweden would have looked their way. As it is now, I fear that Gevalia’s regular customers are just confused.

Don’t become a “m√§dchen f√ľr alles” – a maid for everyone. If you want a strong brand you need a brand strategy. And strategy is not even about priorities, it’s about sacrifices. Once you have defined they, the ones that will choose your brand, you must forget about the rest of the population. Not only in communication, the same goes for R&D, products and services. It is so tempting to get them all. But you will trip and fall.

If done right, it can be like the revolution of the iPhone. Apple know their target group, They treat them as fans. They didn’t care about making a “value” phone or participate in the megapixel war. They created a phone that was a tool for living, business, leisure and fun. One phone and one operative system. Just as their other products. They delivered on their brand promise to their target group and earned the global profit. At the same time Nokia is struggling with hundreds of models and at least four different operative systems that never will meet on the same platform.

Having that said I can’t help to wonder what will happen to Toyota? A car manufacturer that became the largest in the world because of the reliability of their cars. That was their brand promise and that outcompeted GM. But in order to ¬†keep that brand promise you need to have resources enough to develop brakes that works for al those models. They didn’t succeed in that. Did they stretch themselves too thin in order to reach world domination? If that is the case, they won’t be the first to trip on that doorstep.

Brands are usually something that I, amongst others, discuss with a very serious look on my face. However the ones out there, the ones that owns all these brands (a.k.a. the customers), just want to have fun sometimes. And the less important decision we are up against, the more we want to laugh.

Beer is not a crucial decision in life.Regular beer brands tastes almost the same . That is why I find this classic TV Commercial for Bud Light as an excellent example. You might think is just bad taste. Well maybe it is. But it’s brave and it makes me laugh…and that I will do once again at the super market when I see the Bud Light logo on a six pack.

Brave and fun. That is probably a couple of the Bud Light’s brand values. And a laugh will help me make that decision. Mission completed.

I come back to the fact that your brand is what they say it is while you own your trademark. And usually that trademark is a name of  a service, product, product family or a company. A successful brand bring a clear promise to a specific part of the population, also known as your target group. If you do this right, the promise that you bring is something that is relevant and attractive to that target group. It is easy to see that the most successful brands of the world has a strong (emotional) promise directed to a clearly defined target group.

Sounds real easy, doesn’t it?

And it is. As long as the target group doesn’t sound like “younger middle aged women living in urban areas”. You need to show more interest in your target group than gender and postal codes. Today there are many great methods to segment and define them by values and behavior. GlobalScan or WesternScan are the ones I prefer, but there are similar models, just as good.

The main thing is to get to the point where you can say: “Here she (or he) is! Our loyal customer. The one we sell our_______to!” Everyone in the organization need to know and feel who that person is. That will be your first step to getting that strong brand. The easiest way to do to this is to listen to the voice of your customer (VOC). But at the same time as you do that customer survey, find out something more about them and their lifestyle. For example; what other brands do they prefer?

Then, the next step will be for you to define what you actually deliver. What is your promise? That is, as you probably have guessed, another lesson.