In any business this is the backbone that drives the business forward. The brand strategy is created keeping in mind the goals and objectives of the company. Once this has evolved and developed, the company must define the goals of the brand and plan accordingly. For any business, whether big or small, brand strategy plays a crucial role in the success of the business. However, with the rapid pace at which brand name recognition is being lost to competition, the need for a sound brand strategy has become all the more important.
In marketing, brand strategy starts with an assessment of how the brand is perceived by the market, proceeds towards planning how they ought to be perceived and finally continues with making sure that the brand gets perceived in accordance with its plans and goals. This is formulated keeping in mind the objectives of the company. The brand strategy should define the essence of the company and its uniqueness. It should represent the vision and ideals of the company. The brand strategy is the vehicle that carries the brand identity from the creative minds to the marketing agencies.
The brand strategy incorporates various important elements like positioning, where the positioning gives the message of the company to the market and the target audience and at the same time serves as the launchpad for the marketing campaign. Another element essential for developing a brand strategy is segmentation where the company specifies the segments of the target audience and the segments to be marketed. The positioning not only gives the message but also identifies the target audience segment. Segmentation helps in creating an image, a set of characteristics, services and features that distinguishes one company from the others.
In addition to brand strategy formulation, a company also needs to chalk out smart objectives to implement in the actual execution. The smart objectives give the direction for the company in terms of product development, sales and financial performance. Smart objectives also give a clear picture of the company’s performance.
A brand strategy should be based on the assumptions that what the consumers want today. This gives room for innovation, creativity and adaptation. To identify what the consumers want, one has to conduct market research that should be representative of the real scenario of what the consumers are looking for. Market research helps in determining the short-term and long-term demands of the market. It gives the company a clue as to what the market needs and wants today. The smart objectives not only help in identifying what the consumers want today but also allow the company to predict the demand for the products in future.
There are different types of strategies to identify what the consumers want. These strategies include: Brand positioning which seeks to promote a product by creating a name for it; branding strategy which attempt to create a high perceived value for the product by making an investment in it; and long-term strategies which are built upon a solid foundation by taking advantage of the loyalty and the credibility built up by the brand name over time. While building a brand strategy, it is crucial to determine what the objectives really are. If the objectives do not align with the company’s goals, the strategy will have minimal impact on its growth. Moreover, it will fail to provide long-term value.
A successful brand strategy makes sure that the company maximizes its assets, while using minimum expenditures to achieve those objectives. A brand strategy that focuses on performance will make the company focus on providing financial performance. Financial performance is the driver of this, as it determines the brand’s resale value and its penetration into the marketplace. Moreover, financial performance will help in projecting the strength and the sustainability of the brand.
Successful brand extension strategies involves taking care of the customers. It involves creating a positive perception about the company, increasing sales, driving the returns and maintaining the loyalty of the existing customer base. The brand extension strategy involves the creation of new market segments for the brand. These new segments will be contingent on the new brand strategy adopted for the same company. This also involves building the profitability of the brand.