The Market Place is not a Cage

(c) Nelson Chamisa (@hwende) (c) Nelson Chamisa (@hwende)

In Brand Ideology, the hard talk of market success for Zimbabwean brands is that "the market place is not a cage", hence sympathy marketing is limited to acquiring victory.

Contending with a caged lion and contending with a free roaming lion are two different games all together; one has false rules of war, the other has only one rule of war, victory by death or survival by escape.

A brand must never place its contender in a cage in their mind and assume victory and dominion is certain. 

Immunity from Market Warfare

There is no brand that is immune to war in any market; and war must never be fought in the mind, but on the battlefield, even though on the mind of consumers and other stakeholders.

Zimbabwean brands must move away from relying on sympathy marketing to acquire or sustain future dominance. From start to growth and dominance, the reality is the brand will have to contend for growth and profitable health.

You can never shoot down a lion in your mind and then declare victory to all around you; brands must move away from dreaming and get down to more than gleaning in the fields.

Never day dream and assume it is automatic gleaning in your market place; territory is acquired in the market place, not in the head, lest we live in dreamland that translates to defeat and loss.

The Cage of Perception and Design

Perception is an underutilised tool of market dominion, yet for some, it is a misused instrument as they assume more than they actually have achieved.

Perception in the hands of master brand can change a bitter story into a romantic brand client affair that yields not only profit but market growth, establishing another dispensation of dominion.

Perception in the hands of an inexperienced brand can not only create clatter of movement for desired change in the market, but also secure a place in on the throne of defeat and losses.

Not understanding the power of perception is what makes a brand assume that all competition is a cage lion, without roar or bite.

It is sad that many brands in Zimbabwe are launched with the assumption that their zeal and knowledge of and from other markets will apply to the one they enter.

Zeal alone is nothing but oxygen in the air, but zeal with wise follow through is as oxygen locked in a container feeding a blowtorch, able to burn even steel bars of limitations and perception.

A wrong interpretation of market position is what often results in loss and defeat of many brands, as passion alone is no guarantee of profit.  

Inspirational Misdirection

Looking good does not necessarily mean being good, and being good does not mean being liked by your competition, hence why the lion rules the jungle without need for approval.

Faithful consumption of motivational content does not guarantee victory, thoughtful hard work does; alas the brand that is fully charged with motivation assumes it can bulldoze a market.

Many brands are not able to make profit or grow their markets because the misconceive their ratings on the results table, making an assumption that because they are inspired, that automatically means they are profitable.

There is a clear misunderstanding of the extent to which sympathy marketing and markets work.

Sympathy Marketing

Sympathy marketing, that simple aspect of brand communication to acquire profitable support to enable growth of the brand is a necessity for market penetration and also growth to some extent.

Sympathy markets are those emotional market segments that brands use to mobilise consumers to buy into their brands and support the cause created by the brand. 

Sympathy markets are also places where brands create a messaging of called “we need your help to prosper” from consumers, and they use various emotionalised campaigns to earn buy in.

Sympathy Markets can only be sustainably accessed for a certain period, as after a while, most consumers want brands to mature in their delivery of product or service.

There will be no excuses once the markets expect you to be mature and deliver substance, as that results in the reverse of the desired outcome.

Those brands that overstay in Sympathy Marketing mode often find themselves losing brand loyal consumers, partners, and even their teams that make the brands great.

Sympathy Markets are only places for those brands that understand the rules of war.

Rules of War and Growing Out of Sympathy Markets

Sun Tzu says, “in war, the objective is victory and not lengthy campaigns”, and a misunderstanding of this is what makes many brands struggle to grow be out of their sympathy markets.

Consumers are not interested in anything less than victory for a contending brand, and it is only time that tells the extent of the sympathy endowed on a brand that asked for their sympathy.

Brands that understand victory know that you only access sympathy markets for a short period and move the consumers’ perception in a place of dominance, and then deliver it with them.


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