A breakaway brand is a great brand that is built to be a winner over the long term. Time after time, a breakaway brand leads its category, generates high awareness and grows market share, despite intense competition. Nike, Apple's iPod, and JetBlue exemplify breakaway brands.

Building a breakaway brand doesn't happen by accident. The brand owner and the brand's advertising agency likely follow a process to build a brand that has the potential to achieve and sustain success.

While the approach may vary from one marketer to another, the process is essentially the same. Ultimately, the goal is to reach the brand truth. The breakaway brand process examines the following areas.

Company Vision

The vision of the company behind the brand is a critical factor. The breakaway brander needs to know who the company is, what its management values are, where it wants to go and what the business challenge is. It helps to have a brand-engaged CEO and a talented, empowered CMO articulate the company vision.

Business Insights

A comprehensive overview of the brand's category is necessary to understand the brand's challenges. Key factors include how the brand's company makes money in the category, the brand's attributes, the characteristics of the competition and where brand sales are going to come from. A breakaway branding campaign must be tightly aligned to the key profit-driving elements of the business.

Target Insights

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Barry Silverstein (barry@thebreakawaybrand.com) is a senior vice-president at Arnold Worldwide, a leading U.S. advertising agency. He is coauthor of the new McGraw-Hill book The Breakaway Brand (www.thebreakawaybrand.com).