Growing Brands in New and Unusual Categories

Pop quiz: What do the Chevy Nova, Google Glass, and Crystal Pepsi have in common? They were all supposed to be the next big thing… and they all failed. In this week’s episode, we’re talking about how to grow brands in new and unusual categories. Special guest Tracey Wallace joins us to chat about her work in this area… and how she makes her marketing decease-sions.

Let’s have a moment of silence for all the “disruptor” technology and products that died on the vine.

The Chevy Nova. Crystal Pepsi. More recently, Google Glass. Remember when Google Glass was gonna be the next big thing? And then it just… really wasn’t. Probably because it looked like this.

If only we had Market Clairvoyance, so we could see which “disruptive” new products and services would really change the world… and which would end up being mocked on shows like this one for years to come.

Well, we’re not psychic, but we do have access to industry experts. This week, we’re talking about what it takes to grow brands in new and unusual categories — and how to recognize the difference between passing fads, growing trends, and true market shifts.

Special guest Tracey Wallace joins us from Eterneva, where she leads marketing for this very unusual company — which turns the cremation ashes of loved ones and pets into lab-grown diamonds.

Stick with me to hear more!

Rifts, Not Real Boys

Welcome to Marketing Is Broken, the weekly series where when we die, our ashes will be turned into gleaming jewels that make it IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET US.

We all dream of launching and growing a brand that changes the world… but even when you’ve got a genuinely great idea and a proven market, how do you make sure you end up with the Oculus Rift and not the Nintendo Real Boy?

One way is to make sure you consider how your product will fit into your market’s day-to-day life and their future — especially if you tend to get the Scooby-Doo reaction from potential customers.

A July article by Enrique Dans in Forbes takes a look at the evolution of the self-driving car industry. With more than 10 major car manufacturers investing significantly in autonomous driving, he wonders: are we moving from cars as possessions to cars as a service?

Dans goes even further, predicting that…

  1. A shift to as-needed, self-driving electric cars could help us head off our impending environmental doom
  2. Car dealers, who benefit the most from selling cars, will be the last and bitterest battle in the war to go autonomous
  3. Winning that war will happen through legislation — because only when disruption is forced upon a market will that market actually change in response

Hmm, maybe there IS such a thing as Market Clairvoyance.

Growing Brands In Brand New Spaces

Now, I sure hope you’re buckled in, because we’re shifting gears from the automotive industry to the death industry. Wait, what?

That’s right, there are plenty of disruptors in the death and grief space, not even counting your childhood dog, who you still miss. We recently heard about a fascinating startup called Eterneva, which turns the cremation ashes of loved ones and pets into lab-created diamonds. The process can take up to a year — and even once you wrap your head around wearing dear, departed Meemaw on your finger, you’ll probably still have a ton of questions.

Luckily, we’ve got ecommerce expert Tracey Wallace here to tell us what it’s like to lead messaging, marketing, and educational efforts at Eterneva.

Watch the episode to hear Tracey answer these questions:

  • What's the strangest reaction you've had to Eterneva?
  • How can marketers spot the differences between a fad, a trend, and a market shift when it comes to disruption?
  • How much of your branding is focused on growing the brand vs. creating awareness and familiarity for the category?
  • What made you want to come on board with Eterneva? How does your past ecommerce experience help you handle the brand marketing strategy?

Now it's your turn. What’s the strangest product or service you’ve ever had to lend your marketing expertise to? Did you find luck with conventional marketing tactics or did you have to get creative? Share you thoughts in the comments and you might just win yourself some new Brandish Insights gear. We’ll see you next time!

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

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