Can your brand take advantage of changing conditions?

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Rob DaltonSMALLI can imagine the ad headline; Cruise Wear, Now With VomitGuard! How many cruise lines will fall victim to more norovirus outbreaks before a clothing manufacturer introduces a line of tankinis imbedded with VomitGuard? Far-fetched? Maybe. But it raises the question, is your brand is poised to take advantage of opportunities that arise when conditions change… even for the worst?

Cultural, environmental, social and economic change (as well as flukes of nature) may one day threaten your brand. Under duress, most brands spend their energy in “control and protect” mode. I suggest they also view change as an opportunity to give birth to new ideas, products and services.

When the buying public began raising their voices (and closing their wallets) due to the annual production of 1.5 million tons of plastic water bottle waste, Dasani responded with a bottle made from 30% plant material. That’s a very good start. But what if Dasani manufactured refillable bottles or environmentally friendly travel cups? Or, what if they collaborated with a leading refrigerator manufacturer to create kitchen appliances with built in, Dasani-branded water and ice systems? It could further mitigate a plastic waste problem and be a huge revenue builder for both Dasani and the manufacturer.

Seventeen states plus Washington DC recognize same sex marriage. Attention divorce lawyers: embrace the change and specialize in same sex divorce.

76.4 million Baby Boomers will resist assisted living centers as they are currently branded. But brand these properties more like destination resorts, or college dorms (depending on the price point) and watch them arrive in droves.

My friend Colby Swanson is an innovation scout in the building and construction industry. He sited an increase in code changes requiring residential fire sprinkler systems. Current options are pretty limited and can be expensive. He ought to know because he just installed a $27K system in his own existing home. It looks like a commercial high-rise system… because it is. An attractive (or invisible), low cost retrofit system could be a boon for the brand that embraces code changes.

Here are important principles to consider if you want to successfully turn change into revenue-building opportunities:

• Your idea should solve a problem that consumers can’t otherwise solve.

• Your brand and reputation must be strong enough to leverage your new idea.

• Your idea must fit your brand. Meaning, it should make sense to your customers.

• Your new idea must enhance your current brand. Keep in mind; if it’s not enhancing it, it’s probably diluting it.

• Your idea must make sense for your business. It has to be profitable and should open up a new category for your brand to occupy and grow.

Change is inevitable. How your brand reacts to change is up to you. Be bold. Be brave. Be the first cruise wear manufacturer to add VomitGuard and your competitors will be green with envy. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.)

Rob Dalton is president and lead consultant Dalton Sherman Brand Catalyst helps brands stand out, work harder and earn bigger marketing dividends. Visit online at

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