Generate Insights - Zagging not lagging
Generate Insights - Zagging not lagging
Rob Grindlay
Rob GrindlayPartner - Generate Insights

If you’re not zagging, you may be lagging.

With business branding in mind, consider zigging (following others) vs zagging (going your own way). Is it best to stay flying in formation with competitors… or to plot your own flight-path? Here’re a few thoughts to consider.


Your brand – that gut feeling people have about your product, service or company – needs to get noticed. Trouble is, the marketplace is becoming increasingly cluttered, with customers spoiled for choice and marketers spamming media channels with mediocre messages. So what can your brand do to stand out in the crowd?

Complete this sentence: “Our brand is the only ______that ______”.

Great. Except, in reality, your brand isn’t just what you say it is – it’s also what your customers say it is, based on their perception and/or experience.

Simplistically, customers want to know how their lives will be made better through choosing your business and buying your product or service. So, finding the intersection between your unique point of difference and your customer needs is essential.


There’s a saying that goes: “Find a parade and get in front of it”. Sometimes finding a trend and capitalising on it is a good idea. Using our flying analogy, think of this as finding a tail-wind!

High-performing brands are almost always propelled by trends, at least at some stage in their growth. For example, brands have been propelled by trends toward openness, or transparency. Towards democracy. Towards green living, slow food and alternative energy. Towards experiences rather than products. Towards a sense of community. Towards DIY. Towards modernist design… the list goes on. But the ‘right’ trend is the one that aligns with your essential brand and has resonance within your corner of the marketplace.

But there’s a creative challenge: while trends are powerful, they’re also, well, trendy – they come and go. They’re hot… then they’re not. Riding trends when you want your brand to outlive them takes some skill, but can be highly profitable if you get it right.

In summary, we encourage you to invest time (and a bit of money) to find your ‘Zag’… your distinctive fight-path in your corner of the marketplace. Then find a tail-wind to propel it. If you get it right, you’ll have others eventually zagging too… but in the meantime you’d have had a whole lot of blue sky all to yourself.

Here to Help