My newest book, Three Threats to Brand Relevance is out this week in e-book form. It’s a shorter form book, and can be viewed as a supplement to my book released last year, Brand Relevance.

Brand Relevance explains that the only way to grow is to develop “must haves” through big innovation that will render competitors irrelevant. It is the path to winning. This new book shows the path to avoid losing. As markets become dynamic, there is a real risk that your brand will become irrelevant.

The book explains the three threats to look out for and how to avoid them or deal with them:

  1. You might be marketing an offering that an important and growing segment is no longer buying. It doesn’t matter if they love your SUV brand if they are now going to buy a hybrid sedan. You need to convince them that your category or subcategory is still the better choice, reposition your offering so it is relevant, introduce a parity product, leap frog the innovation to create an even better one, or disinvest.
  2. Your brand has lost energy or become bland without visibility. A brand without energy will tend not to be considered (and thus will not be relevant), will be considered to not be contemporary (and again, irrelevant), and will often have degradation on other image dimension. The solution is to energize the offering, energize its marketing or create a “branded energizer” and attach the brand to it.
  3. Your brand has developed a negative, a reason not to buy. One strategy is to deal with it directly, to negate the negative. Another is to change the conversation by introducing a positive that will compete with the negative in the customer’s mind.

All brands want to win. All brands want to stimulate growth. But the reality is that growth is hard to generate in the absence of big innovation. Accepting the challenge of avoiding losing by maintaining relevance is often the more important key to success.