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February 9, 2015

How Does "Family" Fit Into Branding?

Can Family-ness Offer a Competitive Advantage?

Eric van der Vlugt, Articus principal responsible for brand strategy and communication, will lead a seminar for members of the “Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship“ at the Haub School of Business, on February 24th, 2015.

The presentation is titled “Can Family-ness Offer a Competitive Advantage?” and begins with a one-word answer: “Perhaps.” Eric explores the external factors that impact the decision to highlight “family-ness,” beginning and ending with the customer as the final arbiter.

Drawing on research and examples from the Articus branding vault (30 years of brand creation!), his presentation focuses on two key concepts: “family-ness” can impact customer purchase intent, but has to pass the credibility test.

Branding is, by nature, the discipline of differentiation. But it has to embody key attribute(s) that are unique from competition in order to capture the heart of the customer. It’s a fight for emotional and rational customer engagement – brands whither and die if they’re appealing to the rational mind alone. “The latter is an arena for price and feature comparisons, rarely one for influencing purchase intent,” says Eric.

Certain business, service or product categories readily lend themselves to the idea of “family-ness.” “Think hospitality, vineyards, food or household products,” adds Eric, “and the idea of family tradition and trust can create an immediate, visceral connection. But those categories are also rife with family brands, so it may not really differentiate you. Sprinkling those same values of tradition and trust on a category like financial services, however, may give you a huge advantage. As long as the “family-ness” attribute is credible and is consistently featured across all customer touch points - a 'must' in today’s interconnected world.”

Preceded by lunch, the seminar will run from 12:30PM until 2:30 with ample time for Q&A. This should be a real family affair.


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