Only 53% of firms say they have a long-term brand strategy in place .(1)
While 80% of advertising and marketing professionals say they are strongly aware of their company's brand positioning, only one fourth of them "...can clearly articulate (their) company's brand position to... clients, customers or prospective clients.“ (2)
Strong brands never happen by accident. Yet many companies do not take a disciplined approach to brand planning and execution.
The need for brand building is widely accepted. What is missing is a shared set of tools for creating and implementing an effective brand strategy.
This toolkit is designed to be a step-by-step template for marketers and marketing students who understand the importance and principles of branding, but need a common language to implement the process in their organization.
The purpose of a brand strategy is to provide a plan for the systematic development of a strong coherent brand in order to enhance revenue and profits. The strategy should be driven by the principles of differentiation and sustained consumer appeal.
“ There is no tool better than the brand for uniting the forces and the stakeholders inside and around your company.” Thomas Gad, 4-D Branding: Cracking the Corporate Code of the Network Economy, 2001 “ The role of brands has evolved; brands are now company DNA, the spark from which all corporate life grows.” Will Murray, Brand Storm: A Tale of Passion, Betrayal, and Revenge, 2001 “ ...ideally, the brand will make black and white decisions not just at the top of the house, but also all the way down the line.” David F. D’Allesandro, Brand Warfare: 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand , 2001
The brand strategy should influence the total operation of a business to ensure consistent brand behavior in the marketplace and consistent brand experiences for the customer.
Brand Strategy is separate from the 4P’s. It guides and inform decisions about every aspect of the marketing mix.
Brand Strategy is an integral part of the overall strategic marketing process. It helps to bridge the gap between business strategy and marketing strategy. I. Corporate Objectives & Brand Portfolio II. Marketing Objectives III. Brand Strategy Communications Strategy Product and Pricing Strategy Channel and Distribution Strategy IV. Marketing Execution & Monitoring Strategic Marketing Process
Brand Strategy Process Target & Insight Brand Execution Brand Elements Competitive Assessment Brand Inventory Equity Pyramid Positioning Objectives & Metrics Personality Communications Strategy Brand Experience Map Brand Strategy Brand Audit CRM & Community Building Points of Parity and Difference The process of creating a brand strategy begins with a brand audit and ends with a plan for executing the brand across all touch points. It can be generally thought of as having three stages..
Target Matrix The purpose of the target matrix is to identify and evaluate alternative candidates for equity building in order to ensure the brand focuses on the customers and prospects that offer the greatest potential for increased revenue and profitability. Satisfaction Role of price Brand Importance Key Influences Barriers/Concerns Decision Process Usage Behavior Decision Criteria or Motivators Size/Profile Lapsed Users Category non-users Competitive Brand Users Current Brand Users
Decision-Drivers The purpose of laddering is to identify key emotional and rational decision-making variables and their relationship to key benefits and consumer values in order to identify the most relevant ideas to consumers.
The purpose of a target insight is to describe how a meaningful connection can be established between what the brand offers and the target’s explicit or implicit needs in order to help identify a relevant brand promise. Trends Motivations/”Sweet spots” Decision-making process/criteria Higher level benefits Image/Identity gaps New Segments Unmet needs
“ What we found was that people buy things because of how those things make them feel… So the idea is that the item allows you to get to some other place in your life that makes you feel good.”
National Youth Anti-Drug Program “Above the Influence” campaign
“ We wanted to elevate the conversation to make it more ‘pro-me’ than anti-drug. We know teens are very sensitive to influences, positive and negative, from peers and the media. That’s why we positioned it so teens would see influence as the enemy and marijuana as one of the influences that gets in their way. It’s a way of empowering them so they can stand on their own at a key moment of choice – seeing that they could be above the influence.”
Brand Inventory Heritage/Historical Positionings (existing products) Brand Identity logos, icons or symbols Secondary associations Gaps between identity and image Organizational strengths Brand Values/Vision Product performance claims, proprietary technology/patents Third-party ratings or endorsements Where to Find Assets or Gaps The purpose of the brand inventory is to identify existing or potential assets that can be leveraged or gaps that need to be addressed in order to build on or create sustainable points of differentiation.
Competitive Brand Differences Their PODs Wants and Needs The purpose of a POD’s analysis is to identify what ideas from our brand and competitive brands are most meaningful and potentially differentiating. The purpose of a POP’s analysis is to identify which category benefits are critical for establishing credibility.
Brand Pyramid The purpose of the brand equity pyramid is to outline the basic building blocks of a what the brand should stand for in order to guide the process of building brand equity. It is the basis for determining key elements of the brand strategy – brand vision, brand positioning, and brand personality and brand measurement. Identity Relationship Response Meaning Brand Equity Pyramid The model was developed by Kevin Keller, professor of brand strategy at Dartmouth, based on his ‘Customer Based Brand Equity Model’ (CBBE). Keller is the author of two definitive texts on brand building. The pyramid is just one of 4-5 leading representations of the components of brand equity. Other models include Y&R’s Brand Asset Valuator, Millward Brown’s BrandDynamics model, etc. While each model has its adherents, upon closer scrutiny, they are all very similar in their content and purpose. Whichever is selected, what is important is that it provide a shared basis for understanding what is meant by ‘brand equity’ and how this construct applies to your brand. Resonance Consumer Judgments Consumer Feelings Brand Imagery Brand Performance Salience
Brand Positioning The purpose of brand positioning is to explain how the brand will create a sustainable competitive advantage in the minds of prospects & customers in order to win loyal customers and ensure revenue and profits. For (Target), (Brand/Company) is the only/best (consumer frame of reference) that (statement of key benefit or guiding value), because/by (reason to believe, key credibility point). Evaluation Criteria: Brand Fit, Customer Relevance, Uniqueness, Sustainability, Credibility
For women concerned about perspiration wetness, Secret is the one brand of antiperspirant that is strong enough for a man but gentle enough for a woman.
For adults concerned about oral hygiene, Listerine is the one brand of mouthwash that not only stops bad breath but also helps prevent gum disease.
For adult cold suffers, Nyquil is the one brand of cold remedy that effectively prevents cold symptoms at night so one can sleep.
For financially constrained college intenders, PNC is the only university in NW IN that provides both a prestigious, marketable degree and a more authentic, “real college” experience.
Brand Personality The purpose of brand personality is to ensure a brand behaves in a way that is consistent with its values in order to increase its appeal and create greater affinity with its target. Brand personality can also help to differentiate a brand’s imagery relative to competitors. What Brand is: What Brand is NOT:
Integrated Communications Strategy Current Beliefs Current Actions Message Desired Belief Desired Actions The purpose of a communications strategy is to ensure all communications are unified around a compelling brand idea in order maximize the consistency and efficiency of brand building communications.
IMC Strategy Example Current Actions Buy whichever sport drink is on sale Message Gatorade is the only sports drink that is backed by years of research Desired Belief Gatorade is better than other sports drinks Desired Actions Buy Gatorade even when other brands are on sale Current Beliefs All sport drinks are the same Target: Moms with kids 8-17 who purchase sports drinks at supermarkets
The purpose of the Brand Experience Touchpoint Cycle is to map the points of interaction that influence customer behavior and brand perceptions through the customer lifecycle in order to identify and optimize high-impact customer touchpoints.
Brand Experience Brand Experience and Touch Point Cycle Post Usage Pre-Purchase Experience Usage Experience Brand-Customer Relationship
The smartest marketers have realized that it is possible for communities to be formed around brands and are helping nurture the process.
A whole new way to sell things that is beyond both mass marketing or narrowcast, one-to-one strategies. Requires “supporting”, “nurturing”, “listening” and “validating” the group that is participating in your brand.