Can a brand be consistent yet agile?  

1 Idea – 1 Challenge – 1 Quote


Idea From Me

Competitive advantage

Competitive advantage is a key business strategy and is concerned with that which is difficult for competitors to emulate or overcome. Barriers to entry due to legislation and a cost advantage due to economies of scale are but two examples of competitive advantage. If the competitive advantage holds long-term then it is called a sustainable competitive advantage – the holy grail of business strategy, or is it?  

Transient Competitive Advantage

I examined a master’s dissertation over the last week or so and was reminded of the lesser-known Transient Competitive Advantage. Rita McGrath reminds us in her book The End of Competitive Advantage that there is an alternative to the traditional sustainable competitive advantage. According to Transient Competitive Advantage brands should take advantage of short-term opportunities and move from one competitive advantage to the next competitive advantage in a never-ending series of events, rather than have one fixed long-term sustainable competitive advantage. This approach makes sense in the ever-changing business environment, frequent disruption and the subsequent need to be agile.  

Consistent yet agile

Is this not a contradiction? The generally accepted guidance is for brands to stay true to their core identity. To stay true to what brands are good at and to deliver against that. Well, being innovative must become core to any brand’s strategy and it is through innovation that brands can take advantage of Transient Competitive Advantage. To take advantage of some of the opportunities it may well be best to collaborate with other brands or to use a separate brand all together to benefit from Transient Competitive Advantage while staying consistent yet agile.  

Challenge to you

Clarify your brand’s competitive advantage and consider the potential longevity of your competitive advantage (sustainable competitive advantage?). Then consider how real disruption is in the industry your brand competes in. This will tell you whether you should adopt Transient Competitive Advantage as a business strategy?  

How Does Following the Rule of 5 Help with Consistency and Agility?

Consistency and agility are essential for organizations to thrive by implementing the rule of 5. This approach, based on focusing on five key tasks daily, promotes discipline and precision. By consistently allocating time and effort towards these crucial tasks, businesses enhance their productivity and efficiency. Additionally, the rule of 5 fosters agility by enabling quick adjustments and prioritizing actions that align with overall goals. Embracing this rule empowers organizations to thrive by creating a culture of consistency and adaptability.


A different type of strategy: “When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou Share this quote on Twitter   Let’s BRAND FOR SUCCESS! Pieter Steenkamp, BrandDoctor   If you found this article helpful, then please share this link:   Meet Dr Pieter Steenkamp, your BRAND FOR SUCCESS guide. I am actually a brand doctor with a PhD in brand management from University of Stellenbosch Business School. As a brand management lecturer and researcher at a university in Cape Town South Africa and a regular visiting professor at universities in Germany, I stay up to date with the latest brand management developments. This affords me the incredible opportunity to consult with leaders of some of the most admired brands. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn Visit BrandDoctor site