Resist the Ruts: How Big Ass Fans, American Express, and Virgin America Stand Out in Their Markets

October 16, 2017

By Mike O'Toole

PJA follows a marketing philosophy called Branding for Change. We believe that the best way for brands to stand out today is by focusing on the change that favors their unique value. This could mean upsetting the buying process, reframing the category conversation, or shaping the business culture around them.

Our Branding for Change Podcast series focuses on the core ideas in this philosophy. The first idea is about the importance of identifying the market gaps your brand can address better than anyone else. A common gap is what we call ruts, clichéd conventions that a whole group of companies can get stuck in.

There's a reason we follow well-worn paths, of course; they are easier, safer, and we won't get lost. But marketing isn't about following the leader, it's about standing out. The best opportunities for brands are where gaps meet assets — where you find an unmet need or a fresh approach that you can take advantage of because of what makes you different or interesting. While this is simple to say, good gaps are harder to find than you might think. We've developed a way to make it easier. And looking in these places can unearth some great opportunities. Take a listen as we identify the problems and opportunities in some common marketing ruts. 


Mike O'Toole is president of PJA Advertising and host of The Unconventionals Radio Show.


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