Brand: strategy to execution.
Brand strategy is a big concept and has many levels. It’s also been made overly complex by marketers and their models, so lets simplify branding to a workable concept. A brand is the cumulation of users perception of your entire offering, which is built up through every single interaction. A company tries to influence it’s brand perception, its ‘Brand positioning’, through brand planning, design and delivery. All of which is driving to two goals; uniqueness from others and consistency at each touchpoint and over time. Brand positioning is created by either emphasising distinguishing features i.e. what it is, what it does and how, or creation of imagery i.e. inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end through advertising, done in order to build brand preference. Plans are developed to a) increase Brand Awareness and b) build Brand Image associations. A strong relevant brand is a competitive advantage that can be used to drive growth.
Starting from the top, brand strategy is how you compete, how will you win? What is your competitive advantage? How will you better meet the needs of your customer?
For___________(target audience), who_______(target audience need), X provides________________________________________________ (main benefit that differentiates your offering from competitors), because__________________________________________________ (reason why audience should believe the above statement).
Define your ‘mission’ or ‘why you exist’, you’ll weave this into all brand communications. You’re looking to grab some ‘head space’ in consumer’s minds. Make yourself useful to customers so they care.
If you’re going to bother they need to be specific and they need to guide internal decision making. Values are only meaningful if they start costing money as they are driving choices.
It is the structure in which multiple brands within a company’s portfolio are related to and differentiated from one another. Brands in a portfolio should meet different customer needs with the purpose of maximising revenue/profit.
Brand Culture/Internal Branding
Vitally important for building a strong brand. Invest time in defining brand standards for; hiring, on boarding, training, reviews and invest in staff surveys and communications.
Deliver your brand through the 7Ps
Through Price /Product /Place / Promotion/ Process/ Packaging/ Physical Evidence.
Need to measure progress at least once per year a) internal brand understanding, b) Brand Awareness and c) Brand Image Perceptions.
Do this via Brand Trackers/ website user trends/ Brand search terms & volumes/ Qual & quant research/ Social analysis (sentiment, mentions, engagement)
Use storytelling as a technique to bring the brand to life and add value. Use words, imagery, anecdotes and stories to connect emotionally to your audience. For a fascinating insight into storytelling’s value read this experiment ‘significantobjects‘.
Brand Style Guide
Publish a ‘BRANDBOOK’ to set standards for communications and experiences for all those involved in their creation and delivery. Examples: Boy Scouts of America, American Red Cross.
Embed Brand in the experience
Integrate the brand into every single CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE touchpoint. What makes it your brand moment?
Produce relevant brand content to help customer’s along their journey with you. Ensure each piece makes an emotional connection.
The Branding Journal is comprehensive with great case studies
How Customer Think. Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Gerald Zaltman
“The most startling truth is we don’t even think our way to logical solutions. We feel our way to reason.” Unconscious branding: How neuroscience can empower and inspire marketing, Douglas Van Praet,
There are two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. Our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical). Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman,