Christine Barney|Oct 4, 2012

How do you sell more products and services? That’s the simple question every marketer poses. There is no singular answer.

Over time, organizations have embraced many different strategies looking for growth. Decades ago, one strategy rose up above the pack – it was called the challenger brand. I’m sure everyone remembers: “We’re Avis, we try harder.” It put being #2 in the spotlight and made marketing all about showing why you were better than the #1 company.

Several months ago, rbb identified an evolutionary approach to the challenger brand concept that focused on the customer, not the competition. We call it “The Breakout Brand Strategy.”

Breakout Brands stand out from the pack because they inspire emotional attachments that can be measured at the cash register. What is an emotional attachment? It’s the passionate folks show who line up for new Apple products that some say are not even as good as other brands.  It’s why while Dunkin Donuts is the bulk leader, Starbucks fans are more emotionally engaged as evidenced by their 20 percent more visits per month than Dunkin Donuts fans and 29 percent higher average monthly spend.

We spelled out why we think Breakout Brands evolved and how they think differently than other brands in the white paper, “The Breakout Brand Strategy: An Evolutionary Approach to Creating Customer Passion.” We detail examples of companies who report better margins and strong bottom line results when they follow the tenets of the Breakout Brand strategy – fuel customer engagement, inspire ambassadors and recognize the value of emotional connections.

Breakout Brands come in all sizes, but to help organizations decide where they are on the Breakout Brand continuum, rbb has identified three types.

  • Established brands, such as IBM, may be household names but they have to work hard to stay fresh and relevant to audiences. They have the resources to driven constant innovation and communication.
  • Engaged brands can be any age and have begun to develop deeper customer connections. They distinguish themselves by growing their category with originality, such as Duncan Hines, which recently reinvented the frosting category.
  • Emerging organizations have the benefit of no legacy issues and storm on to the scene to create new markets that make consumers’ lives easier or richer. They have the challenge of managing through their growth – think Pinterest.

rbb has commissioned a national survey to identify the top Breakout Brands and the impact the Breakout Brand strategy has on consumer purchase decisions. Our survey results will be shared at the Holmes Report Global Public Relations Summit in Miami in late October and then made available to the public.

Are you a Breakout Brand? Do you want to be? To download the Breakout Brand white paper and subscribe to the survey, just click here.

Share your stories on what you think inspires emotional connections with customers in the comments below. We’d love to hear them.


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