Companies often dream of producing a game-changing “killer app” that can wow customers, create new markets and vanquish competitors. What most companies don’t realize is that they already have a potential killer app in house, under their control, ready to be launched. Their potential killer app is their brand—if they choose to use its formidable powers as an application to create customers and open new markets.
Brands as applications
Yes, brands are applications. As applications they can apply the full context of a company’s products and services—practical, creative, emotional, moral and spiritual— to lead customers to richer realms of living. Brands developed as applications (in the real world) are far more productive than brands developed as communications in the make-believe worlds of media campaigns. Instead of relying on symbols, slogans, gestures and promises, brand applications roll up their sleeves and help customers get to where they’re going. Applications get things done. They’re methods of creating customer value, direct and focused, fully integrated to produce strategic customer outcomes. Current sales is one of those outcomes, but platform hegemony with an exclusive new class of customers is the goal.
Creating the brand as killer app
To create your brand as a killer app I suggest you start with two previous posts in this blog:
- Brand strategy: Create your entire brand as a customer-focused application
- FAQ: Creating your brand as a customer-focused application
They will get you started with the right framework and strategic view.
Developing the full context of your brand
Developing the full context of your brands means that you have to envision how your brand can create (and co-create) value in multiple dimensions: practical, creative, emotional, moral and spiritual. Chances are, you already have some ideas about what these dimensions are. Of course, it pays to think big. (Brands never think small.) With your brand as a killer app you will seriously re-position the customer to win. You will also change the game by changing the customer. Yes, the full context of your brand means a newer and fuller context for the customer.
As practical steps, you might begin by asking yourself these questions:
- What is holding our customers back?
- Where do they want to go—and how can we help them get there?
- How can our brand advance customers beyond the reach of competitors?
- How can we create customers that add value back to the brand?
- How can our customers become our strongest competitive weapon?
The above questions are from my post called Strategy for an “immersive” brand. Killer apps are immersive.