Keys to preparing a business branding strategyVincent Nwaikwu
So far so good, we have all been drawn to the reality that Brand stays in the minds of consumers and helps the company to grow their market share and revenue. In today’s series, I will briefly share with you a few basic steps to build a strong business branding strategy:
– Be sure to study the market, need of the hour, competitors, and target audience. Do well to also study the purpose of what you wish to accomplish through the brand.
– Always Decide what brand personality, culture, and profile you represent. Think of distinctive features to stand out from your competitors.
– Also, do well to identify how the stakeholders perceive the brand as well as how they bridge the perception gaps.
– Go ahead to decide where you want the brand to position in the market.
– Then create a plan and work on strategies where you want to place the brand.
– Outline your marketing components and tools so as to communicate the brand to consumers via TV ads, social media, online marketing, etc.
– Be sure the consumers remember the brand.
– Always evaluate if the consumers are influenced in a right way and if you have accomplished the purpose intended.
– Identifying and Establishing Brand Positioning, to identify brand positioning, the brand manager needs to study the market segment of the venture. To establish a strong brand positioning, you need to get clear answers to questions like:
1. What is the Brand’s benefit?
For example, The Body Shop uses natural ingredients in its products and is environment-friendly. Tropicana packs real fruit juices in tetra packs, etc. Now that is a typical way one can outline a brand benefit.
2. To whom is the Brand For?
This simply a way to define the target audience of the brand and it can be grouped as gender, age, economic bracket, etc. For example, while Nike is top clothing brand for all income group, Gucci and Fossil remain high-income handbags brands.
3. Brand is for what reason?
These are the facts that you can outline to support your claimed benefits for the brand to consumers.
- To whom is the Brand Against?
This should be able to define the way to attack competitors’ market share.
ACHIEVING BRAND POSITIONING
There is a standard formula to achieve brand positioning with ease, there are:
For … (target market of potential buyers or consumers)
Brand X is … (definition of frame of reference and category)
Which gives the most … (promise or consumer benefit)
Because of … (reason to believe)
– The target market is the psychological and social profile of the consumers a brand aims to influence.
– The frame of reference is the nature of competition.
– Promise or consumer benefit is the feature that creates preference and drives decision after making choice. For example, Cadbury promises its Silk chocolate bars to be the smoothest ones among other Cadbury chocolate bars.
– The reason to believe is a reinforcement of promise or consumer benefit. For example, Tropicana Products, the producer and marketer (a division of PepsiCo), promises to be delivering 100% pure fruit juices in its Pure Premium juices range.
CURTAIN FALL ANALYSIS
To drag this segment to a close, let us take an example of brand positioning conducted by Shoppers Stop, the retail chain in India that sells retail clothing, handbags, jewellery, perfumes, toys, home furnishing, and accessories. It has business evaluated to the tune of 20 billion dollars and was founded in 1991 with the first store at Mumbai and rapidly expanded across the country soon.
In 2008, it started to lose it shine in the retail competition because the consumers started to perceive it as a mass market.
Brand managers and company management together had to carry out a store audit at all outlets, take time to study customer experiences, updated their brand identity, and came up with a new tagline, “Start something new”. It then repositioned the brand as premium, accessible-luxury sector. This position of bridge-to-luxury appealed young, middle-class consumers in India, who had their own money to spend at a young age. The new repositioning also added the credibility of Shoppers Stop to present itself as a potential partner for international brands who were looking to enter the Indian market.
The impact was, its share price grew 450% from 52-week low, sales rose more than 10%, and as newly acquired strength of positioning the brand, it started co-branding with international brands such as Chanel, Dior, Armani, Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, Mothercare, Mustang, Austin Reed, and so on.