Consumer product companies have long known that building brands is a path to growth. Brands aren’t just for CPGs anymore nor are they exclusively business to consumer. The goals of branding and brand strategy apply to all companies: awareness, loyalty and advocacy. Google is as much of a brand as Coca-Cola and IBM as much as Apple. In today’s competitive markets brands that differentiate and provide superior value to the customer are the brands that win.
All businesses pursue an explicit or implicit growth strategy but often rely on the same data and information to develop their brand strategies. Companies often end up with similar strategies from the customer’s perspective. We can challenge this “strategy convergence” by taking a different approach to brand strategy development.
Strategy isn’t just for the C-suite but also for brand managers. Of course you need an enterprise strategy but you will gain a lot by infusing strategic thinking deep into the organization. The goals of strategy can be applied to brands: knowing how to compete and win. When thinking about building your brand, think about doing more than just communication. Think about truly innovating your brand strategy.
Innovating brand strategies
At Strategos, we apply our deep expertise in developing business growth strategies to brand strategy. We help clients achieve growth in emerging and mature categories by delivering compelling value propositions to new and existing customers. We challenge and overturn a widely shared belief, an orthodoxy, that strategy is only for the company as a whole. We believe a category is a business. Innovating brand strategies at the category level can break you out of the strategic convergence that plagues many products and services.
A STRATEGY ALLOCATES RESOURCES TO A COHERENT SET OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE BELIEVE WILL HELP US GROW THE BRAND AND TRANSFORM IT OVER TIME BASED ON A SHARED POINT OF VIEW THAT DRIVES OUR CHOICES.
Determining strategic identity aligns strongly with brand positioning:
· Who is the target customer?
· What is the brand promise?
· What is the brand essence? Archetype? Personality?
At Strategos, we believe brand positioning is more robustly described through brand attributes on an industry map rather than a demand landscape. For example, the category of electric cars is made up of many attributes: (1) reliability, (2) environmental sustainability, (3) credibility, (4) style, (5) comfort, (6) performance and (7) utility. The Prius brand is built on attributes of credibility, environmental sustainability and reliability. Tesla’s brand is built on attributes of style, performance and environmental sustainability.
Developing Insights how to grow your Brand
An industry map is a visualization of attributes within a category that generates insights about how to grow. Prius saw a gap in comfort and utility for families and created the Prius V. Should Toyota have created a whole new brand or sub-brand? We challenge our clients to have these debates and discussions about brand strategy insights. Fresh insights will drive growth.
Determining how to transform brands and categories is captured in a migration map addressing actions needed over an appropriate time frame:
· How will we identify and reach our desired customers?
· How will we provide benefits (channels, communication, production)?
Our migration map delivers a coherent set of actions sequenced in order to deliver long term brand growth.
Strategos differs because we help brand managers explore and clarify their point of view that drive the choices they make. Discussing and aligning on underlying beliefs first makes it easier to make choices for the brand. We do not build media campaigns or conduct quantitative research but support our clients by working closely with their agencies once we have defined their brand strategy. Our approach will build broader capability in your brand management teams.
- A new shared perspective of the brand as a business
- A brand strategy that is different from the competition
- Strategic capability embedded deeper into your organization
- A coherent set of opportunities and actions to build the brand
If you are ready for a different approach to brand strategy, contact us.
Links to articles:
Innovating Brand Strategies
Businesses are looking for brand strategy because the forces of fragmentation and expansion create challenges for any brand to connect with customers.