10 Things You Need To Know To Build A Distinctive Brand

We have found that applying these principles is the foundation of building a strong and compelling healthcare brands market.


1. Every successful brand starts with answering questions of who, when and why. Who is the prime customer (the customer who represents the greatest commercial opportunity over time)? Who is the prime patient (the patient that will benefit most from your brand over time) and is this prime customer and patient the same as the launch customer and patient? When in the treatment journey can your brand add value? Why will it be valuable? How will be the world be different when that value is realised?


2. Successful brand strategy is about answering two questions: 'Where will you play?' and 'How will you win?'


3. Key to answering the question 'Where will you play?' is conceiving the market from a different perspective. This is where your distinctiveness (competitive advantage) starts; if you conceive the market differently to your competitors they will struggle to interpret your actions through their perception of the market.


4. When answering 'How will you win?' always look to how you win and not how you compete. Competing can use up significant resources while making little progress. A focus on winning means you look to how to make the competition irrelevant. To win you need to see the opportunity differently.


5. Understanding how humans make decisions is critical to brand building. A key task must be to uncover how your customers make decisions and importantly how they are likely to  make decisions about your brand.


6. As humans, we make the majority of our decisions through System 1 (fast) thinking which is based on our assumptions, beliefs and feelings. Rather than through rational, considered, System 2 (slow) decision making.


7. Customers have jobs that they are trying to get done and they hire products to help them do those jobs. Those jobs have a mix of functional, emotional and social elements to them. Understanding how your brand will help them to achieve a combination of those social, emotional and functional jobs to be done is critical to the success of your brand.


8. Customers don't buy a product at the point when they make a purchase decision they buy the promise of what they believe the product will do. The promise that they believe is what your brand is.


9. Differentiation classically focuses on functional factors, but if you think in terms of succes through distinctiveness, you incorporate the functional, emotional and social elements.


10. Stories are how humans best internalise information, it is how we have communicated for thousands of years. We all have an internal narrative about ourselves and our world and brands should harness this innate skill to connect with customers.