‘Energized Differentiation’ Separates Great Brands from the Pack

A recent article published in Strategy + Business (The Trouble with Brands) summarizes findings from a massive study of consumer brand perceptions and the impact on corporate performance. The comprehensive examination revealed that consumers are increasingly focusing their loyalties and purchasing power on an ever-narrowing set of brands that are connecting to the public in more exciting and dynamic ways.

This brand phenomenon – coined ‘energized differentiation’ – is personified in high energy brands such as iPhone, Nike, Walmart, Whole Foods, Zappos and Axe, among others.

According to the authors, three primary factors separate high energy brands from the so-so lot:

  • Vision – how the company’s aspirations, reputation and values are presented to consumers
  • Innovation – how consumers perceive innovative design or function or content
  • Dynamism – how the brand persona evokes emotion and engagement

A critical finding of the study was the link between energized differentiation and financial earnings and stock performance. “The more energy they have, the greater consideration, loyalty, pricing power, and brand value (as a percentage of firm value) they command.” (Gerzema, Lebar)

In other words, the more energized the brand, the greater the preference and usage – and the more predictive of brand-driven growth.

The article is worth the read (click here), and will make a good journal topic for your next marketing team meeting.


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