Great Brands Ignore Trends

Upon brainstorming business plan ideas, have you ever thought that following a trend is the surest path to success?  Maybe you’ve thought “if only we could just tap into the healthy eating trend…” or “everyone now uses their mobile device to do everything so we better have a mobile offering so we can take advantage of that trend.”

Following a trend may be a great way to ensure your brand will be noticed and talked about in the short term, but in the research for my new book, What Great Brands Do:  The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass), I actually found out that great brands ignore trends.

business plan ideas business trends

And in fact, some don’t simply ignore trends, they challenge them.  Examples:

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill got started by challenging the trend in the early 90’s in which fast food chains were lowering prices (remember Taco Bell’s 59/79/99 cent menu?)  Chipotle offered higher quality ingredients, assembled right in front of customers, in a beautiful restaurant — at a higher price point — and ushered in the new fast casual restaurant segment.
  • Oprah ignored the trend started by Martha Stewart and other celebrities and decided against taking her production holdings public and licensing out her name for use on products — and has preserved and grown the value of her brand in the process.
  • Southwest Airlines‘s founders didn’t follow the lead of other airlines whose hub-based route strategy, sophisticated rewards programs, and meal service all seemed to be producing great success and profitability at the time.  Those very tactics they eschewed are now blamed for the significant losses their competitors experienced.

The above poster is the third in a series created for the launch of my book.  Previous posters/posts include:

If you haven’t already done so, please check out my book:

  • on my website, you can learn about the book, access downloadable content from the book, and consider special offers which combine bulk book orders with consultation and webinars
  • on Amazon, there are plenty of reviews to give you a sense of what others’ think of the book — a few excerpts:

This is one business book that will soon be on every leaders shelf! In fact, I would argue that after they read it, they keep it on their desk until they have fully inculcated the basic brand principles she espouses into the very fabric of their business. Of course, this is assuming they really want to survive, thrive and win in today’s business environment.

What I love about this book is that it’s actionable.

No brief commentary such as mine can do full justice to the information, insights, and counsel that Denise Lee Yohn provides.

Finally, a description of branding that I can really get my arms around.

  • also on Amazon are the e-book and Audible versions of the book available for purchase

Check back soon for the next poster!


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