What is an ‘ER’ Brand and Why You Should Never Be One

by | Nov 24, 2020 | 0 comments

An ‘ER’ brand is a business that relies on others to explain ‘who’ they are. For example, when anyone tells me, “we’re just like X only cheaper, healthier, faster, bigger, sexier, whatever”. (Hence the name “ER” from cheap-er, etc.) These descriptions instantly set off my internal fire alarm about this company’s breakthrough ability and long-term viability.

Never be an ER brand. One way to distinguish a really viable business from a so-so one is to see if they are a copycat brand.

Why It’s Bad to be an ER Brand

An ‘ER’ position relegates your Brand to subordinate status as compared to the Brand used as your benchmark — it tells consumers your Brand possesses only comparative value rather than inherent value. It also puts your Brand under constant pressure, because NOW its value is tied to Brand X’s product/service. Moreover, this leaves you with little basis to achieve meaningful and sustainable differentiation. In today’s market with so much competition, your brand should stand out as unique in itself and not depend on another brand as a crutch.

Iconic Brands Are Unique

Your Brand must capture the imagination of current customers and potential consumers alike — and have reference points only to itself. Not every product can be truly new, but even if it is somewhat unoriginal, the brand must clearly stand out above the competition. It cannot use an existing, competitive brand to explain itself.

So, think — what makes you unique? Not just that you are cheaper, better, etc., but HOW are you cheaper, better, etc. What features and benefits does your product or service have that your competition does not? Focus on your strengths, benefits, features and how you can solve or alleviate your potential target market(s) pain points or problems. This is what’s called a unique selling proposition or USP. This must be defined as well as your target markets before you can build your brand.

Never be an ‘ER’ brand. It provides no opportunity for momentum growth and scaling.

That’s what 4MP all about — helping you build momentum for growth in you business. We want to help you succeed.

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We provide our members reliable insights that you can instantly implement for your business success. These include how-to’s, tips, and takeaways based upon the 4Ms of business acceleration: Management, Marketing, Money, Momentum. It’s the information you need to help boost your business to the next level.

Please let us know what other types of articles or resources will assist you in your business. We want you to survive and thrive through these uncertain times. We’re here for you!

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Categories: Branding

By Jim Lavorato

Jim Lavorato is the founder of 4M Performance which is designed to assist businesses to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. Jim launched an entertainment-related company in 1988. He was at the forefront in cinema technology and helped spearhead the movie industry's transition to digital presentation and distribution. He also co-founded the Arboreal Group, an environmental consultancy. He has published articles on the motion picture and media industries and is a contributing editor for ScreenTrade magazine and writes a blog "Cinema Mucho Gusto". He is a certified SCORE Mentor in the SCORE Greater Phoenix Chapter and lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Learn more about Jim in his "About" page.

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