What Makes a Symbiotic Relationship Critical to a Brands Survival?

Updated: Jul 29

It is not just families who the saying Clogs to Clogs in 3 Generations apply to, it is Brands as well!

Shopping Centre

As we say goodbye to more High St stores, we need to also prepare ourselves now for a long farewell to some of our well know and cherished Brands.


As retail stores close, the showrooms and showcases for many wonderful brands disappear also. To vanish slowly like the Cheshire Cat, only the smile will remain as we think of these once noble and treasured brands of, what will be, yore.

For those who remember the afternoon Tea Service or the Dinner Service, laid out on white linen table cloths, with matching Napkins, for those who are yet to enjoy that magic, alas it will likely be too late to create the memories that will last a lifetime.


Teasing us to splash out

Whilst moving on from this reverie, the cold reality is that these niche brands will have nowhere to go to get noticed, be seen or even be heard of. A wander around the high street and into department stores show-cased aspirational brands and products, tempting and teasing us to splash out on future heirlooms, or to save up to buy just one place setting and request the same for presents or just a store voucher to add to others to get another set.


The Future for these brands is quite bleak to be honest. The option of trying to get on the first page of a marketplace or on a search engine costs and costs dearly. Not just In £s but in brand positioning, through discounting, mimicry, and of course price wars, so their premium product is in a “proverbial” discount bin at the bottom of the screen, touted for pennies and no longer being aspired to, but treated as an “also ran!”


So, what is to be done? Who is to blame? Where can we point the finger? Remembering when we point a finger, we need to be mindful where the other three are pointing!


Where does the Blame lie?


It lies firmly at the feet of “Awareness”, its twin, “Lack of Awareness” and their best friend Apathy!


Awareness that throughout the supply chain, we can have our cake and eat it too, run with the sheep and run with the wolves, triple our sales overnight by joining the wrong online show! Awareness that it is so simple, to sell, not to do that much work in sticking in online and they will browse, they will buy! Awareness that we can find cheaper suppliers, to support intake margin, when sell-through margin takes a kicking!


Lack of Awareness that online for a Brand is only really one marketplace and the only real differentials will always be Price and Placement. Lack of Awareness that when selling wholesale, your resellers are looking for sales, not brand loyalty! Selling is Business, not a Love Affair! Lack of Awareness, that to get a better intake margin, some-one is REALLY doing without, those at the very bottom of our economy, whom will do anything for a $1 a-day, those that your customers are now seeing being dragged out of collapsed poorly built sweatshops in Bangladesh! Lack of Awareness that your customers are going as they are now looking for more from you as a brand they follow.


The Awareness twins are also is great friends with Apathy! Apathy loves to think that they are fine for now, it is great “Always has been, always will be!” Apathy loves to support Lack of Awareness.


What can be done?

Loads! For a start, brands need to start to really understand the future and their place in to. They need to understand that their customers are morphing into followers and that they their followers have deep seated values that must be cherished.


How to Cherish a Followers Values?

First, understand your brand and your values as a brand, then your followers and what the symbiotic relationship is! Unless you know to whom you are partnering with, and that is exactly what you are doing, then you have no idea what they need to make the synergy work.


Did you know that ants are farmers? They farm aphids! In a symbiotic relationship, the ants move and place juvenile aphids on their favourite plants. Aphids secrete a sticky honey like substance which the ants love to feed on and feed their own offspring! Working together they have a great relationship, so the ant and the aphids get what works for both!


Not only are your followers key, your distributors also must share the vision and be likewise followers, protecting your brand as their own so they too will have nectar to enjoy from the work you are doing. If you pick a bad route to market, expect a very bumpy road, that once driven on, is very hard to turnaround on!


In summing up: The main cause of the problems behind us were driven by Awareness, Lack of Awareness and Apathy. It being about "Realistic Sales Expectations", "Realistic Future Sales" and "Long Term Sustainability"!


There is far more to this, but this is the “Headline Act” in your own Brands Show!


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