Inspired by Discovery Channel’s Shark Week: Is Your Brand Treading Water?

by Patrick Nycz

Is your brand like Chrissy, seen above in the movie Jaws, treading water? I hope not. It didn’t end well for her.

Chrissy was doing what she’d always done. Having some drinks around a campfire, grabbing a dude and heading out for a midnight skinny dip in the ocean. Nothing wrong with that. Business as usual.

Except no one told the shark. He had a different plan. He was hungry. His strategy was to eat, get stronger and get bigger. It is also a fact that sharks have to keep moving to stay alive. And sharks always move forward. In the competitive world of business this may translate to gaining market share with an ultimate goal of complete market domination.

There is a comfort in doing what we’ve always done. Why should we think about changing if it has worked in the past? Plus there is a risk associated with change. If marketing strategies change that means budgets follow but there is no guarantee purchases, leads,  and/or new sales will follow too.

But the bigger danger is complacency…or treading water.

One thing is true—your customers see and are approached by your competition every day. Aren’t they considered the target market? Don’t you think they will be exposed to the competition’s marketing and sales efforts?

If the competition is sharp enough, diligent enough or maybe just lucky and comes up with a a new spin on the old game or a new offer they might start to nibble away your customer base. Or if the competition is big enough they might just need to allocate the resources to eat your market shares up in a few well placed, strategic bites. Sounds like the same issues Chrissy was dealing with above.

At IDC we build sharks.

Specifically, my team is typically engaged by organizations that are not interested in treading water. They want to move forward. They want to grow. They want to be the shark.

The organizations IDC is invited to work with are looking to track the competitive environment and explore strategies to keep the brand relevant and contextually in line with customers’ expectations. Sometimes that translates to new product development, and sometimes it is just sharpening the message and offer. But it means always being accountable for program sales forecasts and ROI expectations.

What does that mean in your market? Or more to the point—are you the shark?


About the Author: Patrick Nycz is the president and owner of idc. He is currently working on creating sharks by partnering with folks committed to moving forward and growing their business. He expects no less than complete market domination for his clients. He has never skinny dipped. He spends his days, among other things, as a marketing strategist, account exec, chief cheerleader, salesman, and excitable creative. Get connected to Patrick at LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter at @PatrickNycz or email him at Also “like” idc on Facebook.
This entry was published on September 17, 2011 at 10:16 am. It’s filed under brand, brand affinity, context, marketing, Patrick Nycz, roi, sales, strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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