Being Bold

Charlotte Jones on the importance of brands being bold and fearless...

At Optimisa one of our core values is to be fearless. We aim to be brave in what we do by constructively challenging colleagues, and clients with solutions and new ideas.  It’s a key value for us, as across our research we consistently see that the brands that are bold and offer something different to stand out are the ones that people talk and care about.

Recently I asked my Optimisa colleagues who stands out for boldness and being different; both as a brand overall and in the experiences they offer. Who offers something new and daring? Who is a fearless market leader? Who bravely offers an innovative, different online or in-store experience?

Through assessing the cited brands and rationale in more detail, I identified six ‘bold territories’ common across different sectors. These different territories highlight the opportunity for brands to showcase boldness in a variety of ways, as detailed below;

  1. Reinvention – A brand that has taken the bold step to completely change their internal direction to bring something entirely new or a new face to the market. For example, Lynx continually adapt their brand positioning to suit the mindset and attitude of each new generation (from Gen X, to Millennials, to Gen Z)
  2. Evolution – A brand that continues to grow and develop its internal direction over time to keep up with consumers wants and needs. Netflix have stood out in the arguably crowded video-on-demand market by never standing still, continually refreshing and updating their offering to meet audience behaviours, more recently with a new download feature
  3. Revolution – A brand that offers something completely new and innovative that challenges the market. Airbnb and Uber are cases of two game-changing brands; both of these have transformed consumer’s attitudes to travel and accommodation and disrupted the market via consumer empowerment
  4. Inspiring interaction – A brand that wants to socialise with its consumers and offer an interactive, exciting, memorable experience. Apple puts this element at the heart of what they do offering a tactile, ‘try and play’ in store experience, exposing shoppers to their product offering in a fun and different way
  5. Personalised discovery – A brand that inspires customers with discovery opportunities so it is a trusted, go-to source for bringing relevant and exciting content, products or services to consumers. Personalisation is not always an easy thing to get right – who hasn’t made a one-off purchase from Amazon (e.g. a sumo wrestling fancy dress outfit), only to have similar items recommended next time you log on. In contrast Spotify is a brand that knows that the way people interact with them strongly reflects their personal interests, and has taken advantage of this by providing personalised ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists for every user.
  6. Provoking reaction- A brand that is aspirational and motivational in what it does, challenging the market and the consumer to be and do better. Interesting brands in this territory are sports brands like Nike, Reebok or Adidas that use bold, attention grabbing advertisement statements such as, ‘first never follows’ or ‘cheat on your girlfriend not your workout’.

Being bold offers a brand the opportunity to speak to customers on an emotional level; to position themselves as a brand people identify with and value having an active, exciting relationship with. This desire for an emotional, authentic and inspiring brand connection is accentuated with the next generation, as was highlighted in our own Gen Z research, and as such ‘boldness’ and the many ways it can be exhibited is an important characteristic for brands to consider.

To find more about how we research brands, boldness and how we at Optimisa work to be bold and fearless please get in touch…