"A hot brand ends up in one of two different ways," writes Laura Ries at the Ries' Pieces blog. "It burns bright too fast and fizzles. Brands like this are known as fads. Or a brand burns hot then continues at a steady simmer. Brands like this are known as iconic."

So how can you steer your product toward the iconic category? According to Ries, you have more control than you might think. She illustrates her point with the serious errors committed by Crocs, the maker of ugly-but-functional shoes composed of a lightweight foam. The company went from boom to bust in a few short years, and Ries cites reasons like these:

  • It did nothing to limit supply. "If you flood the market with your product, it can lose its appeal," she notes. "While you may rack up some amazing short-term sales, long term you will undermine your brand's specialness and exclusiveness."
  • It indulged in line extension. Instead of sticking to the oddball product customers loved, the company began to offer a wide range of shoes, some of which were—gasp!—attractive. This strategy gave the company a rather conventional image.
  • It failed to focus on its core customers. "Crocs went from a sports enthusiast shoe to a shoe for everyone," she says. "A brand that tries to appeal to everyone ends up appealing to nobody."

The Po!nt: When you have a hot item on your hands, thank your lucky stars—and closely manage the transition from sales sensation to enduring icon.

Source: Ries' Pieces. Click here for the full post.

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