Please, please don’t go

In a tight / tightening market, it is easy to draw a correlation between slowing sales, and losing market share and running to safety. Brands can easily focus on what they do best, and do more of it. After all, that’s why the brand has the market share it has to date.

The problem with this attitude though, is that this doesn’t address the principle question: Why are they losing customers in the first place?

Taking the most recent campaign for a well known Australian beer, for example, the notion being put forward is that beer is a real man’s drink, and that they’re manliest one of all, they may as well run the tag line: stop being a latte sipping nancy boy and wrap your hand around a bottle of our stuff.

But will that really address the problem of them losing market share? What is really being said here is “we’re great, you’re the problem”.

Rather than defensively trying to hold their current position they should be reaching out to new markets. Perhaps the solution lies with a new design of their cans and bottles – after all new designs has worked for companies such as Apple, and the Dutch Boy paint company, or perhaps, no matter how much they try their market is shrinking – can you imagine any reasonable level of marketing inventiveness working for a typewriter producer at this point?

If a brand is seeing its market share shrinking the very worst thing they can do is retreat or simply try to tread water. Companies should take some time (not so much the market gets away from them) to assess where to go, and do something strategic and bold to find a new market.

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” ~David Friedman

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