Guide to Linking Customer Motivations to Brands

Since I began, in the year 2010, my ongoing market research: studying industry dynamics, and changes in and around product  categories, I have been convinced that Intersection Marketing has the potential to help businesses: Marketing Successfully! Towards that end, the guidelines below were designed to help businesses successfully formulate and execute Intersection Marketing Strategy!


Formulating Intersection Strategy                                                                                                              

  •  Adjust your organization to Make a focused Commitment towards creating  unique offering that will open some defining gaps from competition to form a new category or subcategory: Your entire organization should make a commitment to towards just that.

  • Then Get an Intersecting strategist Behind the Initiative: Appoint a intersection strategist , a Value innovation leader capable of supporting intersection  initiatives going forward. This intersecting strategist may be a CEO, CMO, an Agency or a timely manager in your organization. This is important because without his support and efforts, the initiative would lack genuine focus and strength going forward. 

  • Identify your firms existing energy: Your firm's existing energies or strengths may be distinctive capabilities or skills, assets, generic competencies, reputation, Brand equities or any achievement. However, look beyond that.  I would say that there are several routes to energy that include being:
         Interesting or exciting: There is a reason to talk about the firm or the product. 

         Involving or engaging: People are engaged, and the firm or its products can be part of a valued activity or lifestyle.

         Innovative or dynamic: The product is likely to be continually innovative or capable of creating what people will be willing to  buy!

         Passionate or purpose-driven: There is a higher purpose that propels passion. 
  • Identify and Leverage on insights from Market Intelligence. The Intersection Marketing initiative must create a match between firm's existing strengths and Insights from consumer trends, emerging opportunities etc. Hence, the Intersection Marketing strategist should have market-sensing capabilities to detects market signals such as market-trends and changes in the consumer landscape or buyer behaviour. For example, In the Greek Yogurt industry, eat-on-the-go trend led Yoplait created Go-gurt. Delivered in a coloured nine-inched tube, Go-gurt makes yoplait forge ahead of Dannone's Dannone - a category competitive brand it had trailed for more than a decade.

  • .Focus on Able-to-win Minds: The intersection initiative must focus on wining mindsets - well defined target markets, if not, the effort will fail.   For example, a certain consumers group should find instant noodles  not only desirable but also needful? 
  • Identify your Intersection Logics: The intersection logics will help in creating relevance for customers.  For example, what is the logic behind Forex-trading? What should motivate people towards Forex-trading? Which consumer needs or aspirations will  Forex-trading address? The INTERSECTION initiative must support the creation of new unique space that people will be willing to buy. The value should serve as a platform or context with essence that defines what people will “desire-to-have or consider as must-have”. 

  • Introduce drivers of Choice.  The key drivers of choice will serve as  underlying motivation and logics are very important for creating customer loyalty and relationship. For example, Andriods contains the necessary apps as logical evidence or associations that define a new software space needful for its target markets. Hence, create category characteristics  like Smart Phone +Apps; Computer+DVD; Car+TV with evidence, associations that will both provide bases for customer loyalty and relationship, and which will also promote the value and its underlying logics, relevance and motivation.  These have to define what consumers or people would “desire-to-have or consider as must-have”. It will also win consumers' attentions and make  the product gain visibility,  the concept more prominent  fitting consumer aspirations, needs, choices and priorities and achieve market-success.
  •  Create Exemplar and a thought leader when a choice the product category is on the table: The intersection initiative must create innovation that has category exemplar status, the true-to-type of it class. The Kinetizer should make sure that the innovation possesses the right attributes that define the category or serve as its representative and the thought leader. In other word, the innovation should become the category representative – thought leader of its category. This will be needful and it helps to create barrier to competitive assaults.  

  • Then Create the value proposition that shows the Exemplar statusFor consumers to be rest assured that the innovation is representative of its category is sought, create a compelling value proposition that frames some choice discussion.  For example: One campaign of Peak Milk was framed as “ Drink Milk more often” – promoting the category “Milk” rather than the brand “ Peak ”. Indomie is the thought leader of instant noodles category. It is what consumers look for when the category is sought.  Dettol is the incumbent in liquid antiseptic category. Paracetamol are  the thought leaders in the  pain-relief market. Make provision for choice drivers as a bases for customer loyalty and relationship. Then promote the category rather than the product itself: motivate the target groups, your chosen target markets to the space rather than the product.

  • Scale the Innovation: Make the product easy to buy like IKEA's Knocked down furniture; Samsung Easy Buy Offer; Hypo! Satchet Bleach; Cowbell Sachet Milks; Unilever Sachet Omo and Close-up ToothPaste;  .  Take advantage of new opportunities or enter another category's weak points but be attentive to forces that drive their emergence! 

  •  Think non-users: Target non-users or treasure hunters in a large category. The noncustomer might also be attracted if the offering were augmented or changed. Energy bars pioneered by PowerBar had very male taste, texture, ingredients, packaging and associations when Luna and then Pria created an energy bar that was designed for women. Most beers in Germany are designed for the heavy beer drinker, but Beck’s Gold was a beer designed for a younger segment looking for a lighter beer with the appropriate personality. The change can be major. Nintendo had one of the most spectacular runs of any brand when it vaulted in brand rankings from 150 to #1 in Japan in just a few years. It turned its back on the young male audience, which wanted violence and high-level graphics and focused on families and girls with involving and sometimes educational games. The DS and then the Wii introduced a new type of electronic game that appealed to a huge, underserved segment. Enterprise Rent-A-Car surpassed Hertz by looking past the business traveler and instead to the consumer needing car repairs and established an infrastructure to serve that segment, which became a barrier to competitors. The non-users in a large category can be a source of opportunity. For example GEICO Insurance fundamentally shifted the way insurance is bought and sold by appealing to a growing segment of consumers who don’t want to pay the additional overhead cost of traditional insurance agents.

Executing Intersection Strategy

  •  Enter the Market with Right Timing: Creating a new category or subcategory using substantial or transformational innovation is difficult, can be diverting, and involves the ultimate risk that it may not work in the marketplace. Many firms explicitly or implicitly avoid innovating new categories or subcategories because of these risks and because they want to focus on existing product markets. Their strategy is to allow small firms to innovate and prove the new category or subcategory has traction. They then enter the category or subcategory by acquisition or by creating a competitive offering. For this strategy to work, the timing needs to be exactly right. If the timing is too early, market and offering uncertainly will still be high and the category or subcategory sales level will be inadequate to justify organizational support. The far more prevalent problem with this “enter” strategy, however, is that the timing is likely to be late. One “enter” option with a category or subcategory that has “arrived” is to buy the leading brand or one of the leaders. The problem is that such a brand, even if it is available and not owned by a competitor, may be prohibitively expensive for two reasons. First, the category or subcategory will likely represent a visibly hot new market that has delivered healthy and maybe outstanding growth. Second, the brand is likely to have established formidable barriers in terms of customer loyalty, brand equity, operations experience, market expertise, and knowledge around the offering and its technology. A high price will mean that there will be little margin for error in managing its future growth and significant downside risk. An outlandish price led Coca-Cola to walk away from the Gatorade acquisition.  Another option, buying a third or fourth place brand or building an offering and brand internally, faces a formidable task to break into a market with such an established competitor. Coca-Cola found how tough this can be as their acquisition of Honest Tea and their Gold Peak tea entry have seen mixed results in making a dent in the growing tea arena against the big players (Arizona and Snapple) and their Full Throttle and NOS brands have not challenged the leaders in the energy drink arena (Monster or Red Bull). It is an uphill struggle. When the timing is right, usually well before the category or subcategory has been established, an acquisition entry strategy can work well. The leading brand, which can be a potential exemplar of the new category or subcategory, will be available at a reasonable price because it will still be small and underleveraged. Often just scaling that brand by entering new markets or offering variants will provide sales enhancements that will more than make up for any price premium. Clorox has done this well with brands such as Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and KC Masterpiece Sauce and Coca-Cola has done so as well with several brands including Odwalla.  With the timing right, an organic entry strategy can work as well because the leading brand will not have such a strong brand and customer base and may be underfunded and vulnerable. With dynamic markets driven by substantial and transformational innovation, it is crucial for firms to have an information system that identifies and tracks market trends, an organization that will respond in a timely manner, and an ability to develop brands and bring them to the market. Being late is expensive and can be fatal. Be earlier to the market but get the timing right. This means the technology, the market and the trends need to be ready, promising profitable opportunities. However, the concept should be tested before your organization  should go on creating the new unique product that will represent the  category.



  • Create Barrier to Competition: To create barrier to prevent competition gaining entrance and visibility into the category, have a large customer base;  make your Marketing program execution supporting the customer sweet spot, out of the box to make thevalue gain visibility. you may also demand a proprietory Technology like Apple. Predictably, competitors copied Apple and took marketing share leadership with products that looked very much like the iPhone and iPad. But Apple didn’t roll over. Instead, the brand fought back with one of the most expensive legal attacks of all time. And won! Their innovative “must haves” were protected, and as a result a class of products will not prematurely descend into commodity status. Also Embrace ongoing innovation like Apple, Microsoft and Dell.

  •  Execute Flawlessly and also Use social media: In order to break out of media clutter and gain market attentions substantially, embrace over-the-top execution. In other words, execute flawlessly. Tirlessly integrate media to deliver information about the innovation. This is because the innovation is worthy talking about. Hence, make use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and others. However, Promote the category rather than the product itself, for the reason that when the category wins, the product will also win. For, example, one campaign of Peak Milk framed the milk category as “ Drink Milk more often” – promoting the category “Milk” rather than the brand “ Peak ”. As  the milk category keeps winning so also the "Peak" wins the more.