By Bryan Smeltzer

Creating A Brand  Ecosystem | How to Create Brand Stickiness

Content from Bryan’s new Award Winning, Bestselling Book

The Visionary Brand, The Success Formula Behind the World’s Most Visionary Brands.

  • Readers Favorite Award Winner: Best, Non-fiction, Marketing book
  • Amazon Bestseller.

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.” –  Elon Musk


How about a definition?

  • The quality of sticking to a surface.
  • The resistance of a liquid to shear forces.
  • Quality products or websites where the results are people staying with a company or their site for long periods.

Stickiness is a term utilized by brands looking to create an ecosystem. At the core of their vision is creating a product or service that serves as a “hub” to the tentacles called an ecosystem.

These tentacles are what Apple has built over time, allowing it to continue building out additional services or interconnected products that serve a specific purpose for maximizing the use of its suite of products or services. It is a brilliant strategy but extremely hard to achieve sustainably over generations.

The platform is built first on a product that provides immediate and desirable value. This “core” product becomes the centerpiece for creating loyalty to the brand through a customer’s realized value through use. Once the core has been developed, the tentacles can be bolted on, each an additive value to the core. I say “additive value” by design, as many brands that have failed to build a true ecosystem do not account for community or customer value. Instead, they look at increment income. Value degrades if the add-on is too expensive relative to value, is not a seamless integration, or is overly cumbersome, and the user experience (UX) is unfavorable.

Creating stickiness through developing a product or service ecosystem involves building a comprehensive and interconnected set of products, services, and experiences that cater to the needs and preferences of a brand’s community and customers.

Having worked with global brands through LiquidMind, where some have “stickiness,” and others are looking to create this, the following are some strategies we deploy with these brands relative to where they are in this Journey:

Interconnected Products and Services | Brands develop a range of products and services that complement each other and create a seamless user experience. For example, a technology company might offer a suite of devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops) that work together seamlessly, along with cloud services for data synchronization.

Cross-Platform Integration | Brands integrate their products and services across multiple platforms to provide a consistent user experience. This could involve ensuring compatibility between mobile apps, web services, and physical products, allowing users to transition effortlessly between different platforms or services.

Ecosystem Lock-In | Brands incentivize customers to stay within their ecosystem by offering exclusive features, content, or discounts. For example, a streaming service might provide original content only available to subscribers, encouraging users to remain loyal to the platform.

Data Sharing and Personalization | Brands collect data on user preferences and behaviors across their ecosystem to personalize the user experience. By leveraging insights from user data, brands can offer tailored recommendations, content, and services that enhance stickiness and customer satisfaction.

Community and Social Engagement | Brands foster a sense of community and social engagement within their ecosystem by providing forums, social media platforms, and other channels for users to connect. By building a community around their products and services, brands encourage user loyalty and advocacy.

Continuous Innovation | Brands innovate and iterate on their products and services to keep users engaged and excited. This could involve releasing regular updates, introducing new features, or expanding into new product categories to meet evolving customer needs.

Partnerships and Integrations | Brands form partnerships and integrations with other companies and platforms to extend the reach and functionality of their ecosystem. This could involve integrating with popular third-party services or collaborating with complementary brands to offer bundled products or services.

Overall, creating stickiness through a product ecosystem requires a combination of seamless integration, personalized experiences, community engagement, and continuous innovation to keep users engaged and loyal over the long term.

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