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May 2006


John S

Some interesting points you make. (Yes, we love our grilling skills and we never stop to ask for directions.)

What always amazes me from a web marketing point of view is that many major brands seem to still ignore adding search marketing to their overall marketing strategies. I was recently looking at buying a new grill and I never saw weber.com or webernation.com on the first page of the search results for "charcoal grill" or "gas grill". The only way I even know about webernation.com is by reading your branding blog.

Bram Pitoyo

Uh huh. I think that every brand has to have an enemy. Sure, it can be an attribute or concept; but it's better to personify it or make it more tangible, just so the brand can clearly position itself against it. Doing this will make the brand communication part much easier and less vague, both internally and externally.


I sure would agree on knowing the brand's enemy and understanding the value of a strong identity attached to a brand name. But does all brands have an enemy? Does the enemy necessarily have to be a competing brand or is it a certain attribute?


Hey, Justin. Actually I would consider what you are doing an excellent brand strategy.

Being the opposite of the competition is the way to build a brand. Having an enemy means finding someone to be the opposite of.

For some brands the enemy is easy. For Burger King it is McDonald's. But who is the enemy of MrDonald's? It is not Burger King. The real enemy of McDonald's is eating at home. That is why "You deserve a break today" is a powerful strategy for them. "I'm lovin it" has no enemy. Who is the enemy, eating at the place everyone hates? (insert favorite mother-in law joke here)

Doing something that nobody else is doing is being first in a new category.

The problem with many small companies is that they try to appeal to everybody and copy the competition.


"Having an enemy is the most overlooked, underestimated element in developing a branding strategy. If you can’t think of the enemy of your brand, then your brand strategy is flawed."

I'm not sure I agree with that. As a small business owner, I position myself towards a specific niche in my market. I won't dillute my product offerings by "doing what the competition does". I specialize in something they won't do, and I use that to my advantage, and I make sure my customers know it. For someone who wants what I do, I'm the only place you can get it. In that sense, I have no competition.

Would you consider that a flawed brand strategy?


I'm working on the formatting problems, sometimes typepad is very frustrating. I have some great images I wanted to add. In the meantime, I have added a few cool widgets. Check it out!

- Laura

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