Your business creates the product or service.
Your brand strategy creates the customer.
Your marketing strategy creates the demand.
Most companies skip the brand strategy.
They immediately jump from business strategy to marketing strategy — from building a product to offering it to the market — only to find they have no customer. Peter Drucker, the godfather of business management once said, “the purpose of a business is to create a customer.” It’s rarely sufficient to design the perfect product without designing an equally thoughtful plan to get it to the right people.
Let me tell you about Halo Top ice cream. They’ve become a consumer sensation. In fact, Time Magazine called them one of the greatest inventions of 2017.
They entered a crowded market with giants in it like Unilever, Dryers and Ben & Jerrys. While most were busy creating new flavors or light version of existing flavors, Halo Top was doing something totally different. But it wasn’t until they refined their story, that the customers came in droves.
“Halo Top ice cream is not only low-calorie, it is the right kind of low-calorie for today’s shopper: high in protein and low in sugar and fat while maintaining a decadent taste.”
High protein. Low Sugar. Deliciousness.
That’s powerful because it captures what many of “today’s shoppers” are looking for. Halo Top’s brand strategy helped identify the right customers and tell the right story. GQ Magazine picked up on that story and wrote an article that changed the game for Halo Top. That created interest and a lot of new demand.
The big lesson here is that it’s not enough to release great products without also identifying the right story to attract the right customer. Product differentiation matters, but is not a guarantee for success. As written in Inc Magazine: “One of the huge factors in Halo Top’s runaway success was the brand’s ability to effectively read the market and offer a product that other ice cream brands didn’t.” It helped immensely that the founders, Justin and Doug, paid close attention to customer perception and were willing to shift gears. That allowed them to relaunch their brand and tell a story that connected with customers in an impactful way.