The most important brand (MIB)

Consider the highlight points made by Tom in the article below….they all relate to many of the same topics that we talk to here at the Page Group…you want to develop your brand to the level where your consumers reflect that you are their most important brand.  When that happens you are successful in connecting more closely with them than your competitors, and it brings you brand loyalty and relevance. 


The “MIB:” Most Important Brand

by Tom Stein
Chief Executive Officer
Stein IAS (Americas)

As the baseball season meanders along to the playoffs, chatter will soon turn to who the MVP will be this year.


  • If you consider a brand the most important in a category, it is immediately your go-to brand.
  • Brands have achieved MIB stature by virtue of applying the principles of brand activation.
  • Every brand worth its salt should make becoming an MIB its prime directive.

In the NL, will it be the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton? The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen? Or how about Clayton Kershaw? He’s been unhittable for the Dodgers. In the AL, does Mike Trout already have it locked up?

While probably not as much fun to kick around at the local watering hole, we at Stein IAS like to think about which are the “most important brands”–the “MIBs” in their respective categories.

Our agency’s game is B2B brands. And we really believe there is such a thing as an MIB, based on very particular criteria. We further believe that being perceived as the MIB in your category is the ultimate brand goal–because it is the ultimate business momentum driver.

Think about it: If you consider a brand the most important in a category, it is immediately your reference brand. Your “go-to” brand for innovation and thought leadership, the benchmark against which you measure other brands. It also is the brand you are most likely to do business with.

Let’s pick a couple of categories as illustration. In the BPO segment, which brand is most important? IBM? Accenture? Cognizant? Convergys?

Among asset managers, is it BlackRock? Fidelity? State Street? Pimco?

I have my opinions, but that’s not the point. In each case, one of these brands has achieved MIB stature by virtue of applying the following principles of brand activation:

Relentless topicality: providing thinking, solutions, and value that are entirely of-the-moment–or ahead-of-the-moment.

Extreme customer intimacy: knowing what customers need before the customers know themselves.

Multichannel engagement: using all the channels valued by key constituents so that you meet them wherever they are (while avoiding gratuitousness at all costs).

Values-driven: maintaining an internalized set of values and sense of purpose that color all external relationships.

Value delivery: offering value that extends beyond pure commercial relationships, substantive value that makes customers’ lives better in highly relevant ways.

Industrious innovation: I know, the innovation bromide. But it is more than that; it’s creating innovations large and small that are applicable and, from the customer’s standpoint, delightful.

So there you have it: The MIB, and the criteria that make them so. Some brands are “naturals.” It’s in their DNA. Some brands will never get there. I posit that every brand worth its salt should make this its prime directive.

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