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How Brands Can Stand Out In Today's Clustered Markets.

According to Ogilvy, the average social media user scrolls through 300 feet of content daily— almost the equivalent of scrolling through the height of the Statue of Liberty, every single day.

The spectacular rise of marketing and advertising technology means that there are more ways to reach the customer today, than at any other point in history. And with these advanced tools seemingly available to everyone from one-man startups, to multi-million dollar corporations, customers are in turn, being overwhelmed with content.

This situation escalates an already daunting task: capturing and retaining customer attention. Now that it has become much easier to reach the customer, it has also become excruciatingly more difficult to truly capture their attention. Brands have never been in greater danger of simply falling into obscurity than they are now if they do not do enough to stand out.

Globalization and digitalization, for all their benefits, are also guilty of complicating matters for brands as well. By significantly reducing the barrier of entry into most industries and markets, they leave businesses locked in existential battles for the customers' attention from identical competitors springing up from all corners of the world. And while brands like Amazon and AT&T have dipped into their vast resources to solve this conundrum, it is going to take more than just throwing money at the problem if more brands are to stand a chance.

You may be forgiven for thinking that a spectacular product will be enough to get your brand through the clutter. Like Jeff Bezos once famously said in 2009, “Advertising is the price you pay for having unremarkable products”. However, it is worthy to mention that a recent report by Ad age revealed that Amazon spends more money on advertising than every other company in the world — except for AT&T and Comcast.

With the likes of Amazon spending about $4.2 billion on advertising alone in 2018, executives have realized that it is simply no longer enough to have stellar products and vast resources. Brands must now dig deep in search of a differentiator. However, brands may be better served looking at differentiators, not just as one singular product feature or value proposition, but as a series of activities carried out on a day-to-day basis that affirms their brand positional statement to be true.

If brands are to stand even a remote chance of standing out in today's market, they must follow these three fundamentals approaches.

1. Be intentional about what you want to be known for.

You must decide what segment of the customer’s mind that you want to own and target it specifically and relentlessly — only stopping to measure results and evaluate the overall brand position.

Your brand must lead with its best attributes and ensure that its essence, personality and culture are reflected across all touchpoints; from branded collateral to customer service, communications, partnerships, market development and client acquisition.

Every action and intention must be guided by your strategy.

2. Be Intentional about whose attention you want.

Understand that you cannot be everything to everyone. Take a play from account-based marketers and hone in on particular customers and/or customer groups — focusing your resources on the people whose business you want and are most likely to become paying customers. Once again, your strategy, brand position and differentiator will be reflected in the kind of customers you go after.

This means content created must be intentional and delivered to serve a particular few. Advertising and communications must carry particular messages and be executed in a particular style that demonstrates the brand position. And PR efforts must be focused on the channels habitually consumed by the intended target, with the objectives clear as daylight as anything contrary will be a waste of resources and lost in a sea of information in no time.

A perfect example that demonstrates this, is INTRIDEA, a design and development consulting firm who at the time were trying to catch the attention of the legendary Ogilvy & Mather. They put up a billboard in front of Ogilvy's New York offices with a link sending visitors directly to a landing page that showed exactly what they could offer the agency.

3. Take advantage of key moments.

The cost of acquiring a 30-second commercial slot on the Super Bowl LIV was estimated to be around $5.6 million. But as insane as it sounds, Heineken, Pepsi, Jeep, Snickers, Hyundai, Rocket Mortgages, Walmart, Google, Facebook and many others cantered happily to book their slots. Why? 4 Words: Revenue. Reach. Equity. Position.


ABInBev, the world's largest beer maker is said to have made two times the cost of advertising on the Super Bowl 2019, in less than 30 days of the commercial airing— demonstrating the vast earning potential of the event.


The Super Bowl is the one time in the year, American brands can guarantee that their respective audiences will be seated in front of their televisions. This year's edition is said to have amassed a staggering 99.9 million viewers— with even more impressions and engagement generated across digital and social.


Facebook, plagued by a plethora of scandals and inquests in recent times, used the platform to remind people why they fell in love with the brand in the first place-- in a desperate attempt to go back to the old times when they were just a simple, beloved social network.

Google used the platform to remind everyone that they are there for the simple moments, walking beside you, helping you make your world more lovable.


Heineken never misses an opportunity to jump on the world's biggest and most elite platforms to re-affirm its brand position as the World's most elite beer. Its associates itself with the coolest Spy in the world, James Bond; the biggest football stars in Europe with its Champions League Sponsorship, and most recently in Nigeria, with the classiest of all Nigerian International exports, Jidenna.

Heineken's every move is calculated to separate itself from the pack and solidify its position in the customer's mind.


Granted, not all brands can afford the Super Bowl. But there are many unique opportunities, platforms and moments brands can leverage to reach their audience and differentiate themselves from the pack, while boosting their image and generating much-needed revenue in the process.

So find your Super Bowl. And own it. Your survival may just depend on it.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn:

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