Is it necessary to compromise your business objectives short term to protect your brand equity? Well, I say yes.
I was listening to a webinar on brand yesterday and the outcomes of the webinar were interesting. At some point when you are doing the creative for your next ad, direct mail campaign or blog you may need to change your focus from just asking for something from your audience to giving them more and developing a deeper understanding of your brand.
Dove does this well in their latest campaign for Real Beauty. They could keep the same focus of providing an alternative cosmetic in the marketplace but instead they have shifted focus to develop a new strategy based on the idea that all women are beautiful and that ageing is part of the process. By doing this they have created more depth to their brand. They have developed campaigns to each target market and then build valuable resources to show that they care and are invested. From a self esteem fund for young girls to taking on those model stereotypes head on, they are offering a real point of difference to the other cosmetic brands out there.
This investment of developing a brand position that has depth is a large commitment and protecting this stand will mean that in the short term, Dove will have had to set aside their business objectives of immediate revenue while they build this positioning. However, the pay offs are huge. By being brave and taking an alternative position (that is long over due) Dove are likely to have more loyal and a broader audience and start to vote with their dollars when buying their next bar of soap!