Win the Brand Relevance Battle and then Build Competition Barriers
David A. Aaker
54/2 (Winter 2012): 5-24
The only way to achieve real growth is to develop offerings so innovative that they create new categories or subcategories making competitors irrelevant because they lack a "must have" feature or benefit-- to win the brand relevance competition. The alternative, engaging in "my brand is better than your brand" brand preference competition, virtually never works because of market inertia. The original article, based in part on hundreds of case studies, shows how to identify the "must haves" and discusses barriers to competitors such as going beyond functional benefits, finding shared interests with customers, ongoing innovation, superior execution, scaling the concept, becoming an exemplar, and branding the innovation.