Mother nature and advertising share a lot in common. The notion of adapt or die has evolved species in remarkable ways, yet, brands are dying at alarming rates with few evolving before it’s too late. The fact is, most brands do not stand out. 89% go unnoticed and of the 11% that are remembered, only 4% are remembered positively.* Few do what it takes to stand out or have the ambition needed to survive.
Some of the world’s most recognizable companies have learned the harsh lessons of survival of the fittest. From Kodak to Saturn, Blackberry to Panam, Borders to Tower Records, and more recently, Sears and Toys"R"Us. Ad agencies are in a similar state of flux, causing the biggest agencies to adapt or die. But is consolidation true adaptation? We’ve recently seen such consolidation through the mergers of legacy titans such as JWT being mashed up with Wunderman and Y&R with VML, as well as the slow death of recognized giants like Lowe Roche.
A will to survive for any brand is not enough when today’s challenge is clearly about getting noticed.
In mother nature, nobody knows this lesson better than the Bowerbird. Getting noticed is the difference between thriving or living a solitary life without purpose. During mating season, a male Bowerbird must stand out to woo a partner. If he fails, the season will pass, along with his chance to find a mate.
So, a male Bowerbird does what every great brand should do; they create distinction. The Bowerbird builds the most intricate, beautiful, colourful and inspiring nest to attract a partner. He strategizes. He sings, and he dances. For the Bowerbird, nothing else matters but to deliver on its ambition – to attract a mate.
Imagine if your brand applied similar distinctive behaviours with the same ambition? Indifference would be quashed, and your brand would shine. Few brands recognize that without the will to survive, without a clear ambition with a commitment and follow-through, there’s a good chance they will go unnoticed and become extinct, just like mother nature.
So, you have to ask yourself, is your brand a Bowerbird? Think about your category, your business, and your challengers. Are you doing enough to battle indifference and stand out, or do you need a Full Punch?
*Dave Trott, Predatory Thinking
Published by Jack Dayan
As Partner and Head of Strategy at Full Punch, Jack brings intelligence, expertise, and ingenuity to help companies define their brand values and make them shine. His strategic and creative work has been recognized and awarded around the world, and clients find his collaborative and agile approach to brand planning a welcome break from the traditional.
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