Walk the aisles of any store, and you will see brands trying to one-up each other with claims of “bigger,” “better,” “bolder” … what I like to call “-er” statements. Why is it so important for brands to progress to an increasingly superior state? What makes something a clear winner or loser at shelf? Is it enough to state that a brand is “-er”? The quest for authentic superiority and true brand differentiation is complex, indeed.
It’s difficult to keep making a brand better and better. In fact, sometimes iterative improvements such as adding color, scents or flavors — and trumpeting the changes with loud “-er” messages on updated packaging — can pull a brand further away from its core equity. It is important, therefore, to determine the strategic relevance behind brand improvements: Are you just trying to keep up with the competition or are these “-er” moves actually making a difference? Are you really moving your brand closer to superiority by making it “-er”?