Accidental Success in the Market


I remember going to the road safety centre when I was in primary school and learning about safe driving. They said,

“There’s no such thing as an accident. We call them car crashes because they are always a result of someone’s mistake. Car crashes don’t just happen by accident.”

In a recent discussion, it was suggested to me that a particular brand had done well in  China “by accident”. The considerable success of the brand in question was not due to the actions taken by the brand team and the rest of the company in executing a focused plan to enter that marketplace. Rather, the brand and its team had been successful purely because consumers had come to the producer’s home region and pulled the product through.

It was clearly my colleague’s position that the brand’s team could not take the credit for their own success; that somehow the credit belonged to clever resourceful intermediaries recognising an opportunity in the market and playing the arbitrage. In this theory clever and resourceful micro entrepreneurs sought the brand out and resolved its effective distribution.

To say it was a point of contention would be an understatement.

You know what I say? Bravo!

Their brand and product clearly offered a solution to a consumer problem so effectively that the consumer sought them out and went to lengths to place them in a market where the company had limited access or distribution. In this instance the success was so great that it created a supply challenge.

Brand success doesn’t happen by accident. Success happens when intent, purpose and value all work together consistently and authentically to meet a need. Brand success is the result of clear messaging, which occurs through trustworthy, reliable and consistent behavior.

Sure, sometimes aligning of consumer trends with product offers can help boost profile, but the original offer has to resonate to have any chance of achieving this brand’s level of success.

In the same way, brand failure is often the result of not watching the road, or focusing too much effort racing the guy in the next lane, while tuning the radio, eating a hamburger, and checking your makeup in the mirror all at the same time. It’s no surprise – and no accident – when it all ends in a crash.

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