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Position Your Brand At The L1 Point

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Lagrange Points. These are fascinating points in space, relative to two orbiting bodies (earth/moon, sun/earth, etc.), where gravity and centrifugal force combine to establish remarkable balance and equilibrium. Commonly, there are five such points but, not being a mathematician, the only one I clearly understand is L1, the point at which the earth’s gravitational pull is balanced by that of the moon. Anything positioned there, like a satellite or a space station, would remain virtually fixed in space relative to the constant dancing of the two orbs, which are always in perpetual motion. And, because I am who I am, that made me think of branding. Because brands are really the relationships between marketable assets and their markets. And, like the earth and the moon, the asset and the market are always changing, always in motion.

A marketable asset is basically anything that needs to be marketed. It could be a business. It could be a product or service. It might be an event or a campaign. Anything. But, whatever it is, It is constantly changing. Products become new and improved. Services separate into economy and first class. Businesses come under new management. Marketable assets can’t just tell their story. They have to continually update it. The story always changes; there’s always a new chapter. That’s part of the reason it’s so difficult to hold the market’s attention.

Another difficulty – the market itself is also constantly evolving. People grow. People change. Trends come and go. Technology offers new possibilities. Pandemics come along and upend everything. Just as an example, in recent years western populations have gradually changed their opinions on how animals should be treated. This has forced circuses to close shop, marine parks to eliminate attractions and even zoos now feel themselves on borrowed time. That trend continues. And many others affect all kinds of businesses.

You see where I’m going with this. Just as there is an L1 point between the earth and the moon, there is such a point of stability between the market and the marketable asset. There is a place, somewhere in the inner space of the mind, where asset and market reach true equilibrium. And if one could make that the center point of the brand, one could establish a brand relationship that is every bit as stable as the actual L1 point between earth and the moon. One could really build something there that would function as a robust and reliable link between market and asset. It would create an unassailable – and extremely valuable – bond.

But what, or where, is that point? How do you find it? How do you recognize it should you stumble across it?

Well, that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the effort is on, these days, to seek out brand purpose. That is why marketers are so keen to align the values of their businesses with those of their markets, even at the expense of profitability. The hope is that, in measuring that alignment over time, they can gain insight into the actual constants of their brand relationships. By eliminating any negatives, they’re then free to build on the positives and become truly valuable to the market. It’s about delivering an emotional benefit to the buyer beyond just value. Then, it’s about going the extra mile to become truly meaningful in that person’s life.

When you think about your brand, when you think about the relationship between your marketable asset and your market, try to find your L1 point. Build your brand platform there. Then watch your marketing blast off.


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