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Monday, October 20, 2008

Brand Review - Honda...

It's ALL about "Mobility"!
by David Bookout

Dejavu. Some may, but I certainly don't, remember the debut of the Honda Accord in 1976. The car was an upscale version of the Civic, a concept test by Honda to evaluate the American market, and consumer appetite for an automobile that could run a long, long way on a gallon of gas. Back then Honda's goal was to become an automotive brand. They succeeded.

Fast forward 32 years, look closely, and we can observe a new ambition for Honda. My speculation, Honda wants to own the word mobility.

Outside of requiring a vision that extends 1/2 to 1/3 of a human life time, what can small, medium enterprise ( SME ) learn from what Honda is doing relative to brand development?

Well let's see:

First, vision is required. We're often in such a hurry that we overlook the bumps in the road, the detours, and breakdowns that we actually bring into our own journey. A little time focusing on the essence of your offer, and a compelling value proposition is essential.

Second, patience is required. I often tell people that to go fast, they need to slowdown. Again, we're often in such a hurry, and want to change, or do things that are really non-essential. Why? Because we can. Technology and the internet are actually conspirators against young brand builders. Technology and the internet enable constant, rapid change, and along with that the ability to break established ( but, you have to know rules to break them, right? ), time tested rules of establishing market leadership and successful brand building.

Third, solid strategy & creativity are required. Amongst several different examples, the brilliance of combining The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Yo Yo Ma, and an ASIMO robot by Honda is exquisite brilliance.

What can you do, within a rational budget, to compellingly position your business and create customer centric examples of the value that you, your team, your business, your products and services bring ?

When in doubt, ask actual members of your desired audience, and your customer base !!

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