Branding Strategy Insider | 7 Ways To Radicalize Your Brand To Victory | Biz In Bloom |

There comes a point in the lifecycle of most brands when they hit critical complacency. The marque has mainstreamed to the point where it effectively blends with its surroundings to form part of the amorphous middle. That’s the black hole towards which all brands are drawn. Competitiveness erodes. Prices start to fall. Comfort levels and intransigence soar. Appetites for risk, so apparent in the early years, fall away. Eventually, the lights go out. We could all run a list of those that have succumbed.


But while complacency and conservatism are easily spotted, they are much more reluctantly abandoned. Getting off the merry-go-round is difficult, because it requires management to re-radicalize; to muster the courage and the energy to pick new fights and wage new wars; to attack what they operate so efficiently and effectively now in order to save it. (Seth Godin in his book The Icarus Deception expresses clearly and strongly how and why industrialization works this way.)


It’s hard to be radical and commercial: hard because it so often looks unreasonable. As Gary Hamel has pointed out, it requires organizations to be able to identify what is sacred and what is unsacred, what should never be changed and what can (and perhaps must) continue to change. And, on examination, so many organizations hold the wrong things sacred. They cling to what they know rather than addressing what consumers want next. They believe their technologies and their techniques are the most important aspects of what they do. They rely on size and continuing to size up.