Ease Of Access Is The New Competitive Advantage

In our hyper technology driven world a new marketing imperative has reinforced the age old concept of endearing brand loyalty. It is creating a cumulative competitive advantage. Easing customer access to a product is reinforcing and growing brand equity.

Amazon is the pioneer of this strategy with their totally customer centric culture and religious focus on improving the customer experience. Building on the basic concept that customers are creatures of habit and don’t want to expend the mental energy to consider change or a challenge, they are constantly introducing new ways to make the purchase decision easier.

Let’s take the new Amazon “Dash”, which is a wireless device that can be placed near where a routine product like Tide detergent. In this case the Tide brand has already established brand equity with the customer and the Tide Dash device offers a convenient way to automatically reorder replacements with a simple tap on the conveniently located Tide Dash stick. The replacement is delivered within 24 hours.

By adding the brand identity/logo to the stick device, P&G has eliminated any competitive threats indefinitely. And it has insured a continuing stream of revenue for their Tide brand. In this case P&G has embellished Tide’s value proposition by making an automatic repurchase into a comfortable choice for their customers.dreamstime_s_81053696

Savvy marketers like P&G offer their customers an easier way to continue their already familiar relationship with their brands. Marketing is more about perception of value and service than price.

By keeping marketing and communications simple, you will be more successful in maintaining and growing brand equity. For example, “new” is inherently more threatening than “improved.”

Marketing is the battle for the customers mind. The mind is basically lazy and when challenged to consider a complex value proposition it will opt for the more familiar every time.

Think about the concept of water resistance for a smart phone—a historical problem. Samsung promoted a variety of technological advantages, including water resistance with their recent Galaxy S5 that confused and challenged customers’ minds. Apple, on the other hand, promoted their new iPhone 7 as “water resistant”, which is a much simpler message to absorb.

Whether it is with routine products or services, the promotion of simple solution to everyday problems is the winner. Let’s take razor blades: expensive and often stolen—and now kept locked at the local pharmacy. The solution is the Dollar Shave Club with a simple message: great razors, inexpensive and delivered automatically to your door. Today, the Dollar Shave Club has eight percent of the $3 billion market for razors and blades.

TJ Maxx, BJ’s and Costco are all similar examples of simple solutions to customers problems. The list continues with Uber, Airbnb, ZipCar and anything that is “free” like EBay, Instagram, Twitter and Google. Add to the list with Intuit, Quickbooks and TurboTax.

So the question should be not “what else should I make” as that can easily be duplicated. But rather follow the Amazon model with your question: “How can we make doing business with us easier?”

Brand success today is keeping the process simple and easy for the customer to adopt and continue using. When the customer says “I love it”—you have won the battle for the customers mind.

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Robert Donnelly

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called DoctorBusiness.com. His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at rmdonnelly@aol.com or visit his website at DoctorBusiness.com.


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  1. Hines 8 May, 2017 at 06:10 Reply

    Thanks for the writeup. I denieitfly agree with what you might be saying. I have been talking about this topic a whole lot lately with my brother so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

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