No brand can be successful without having a robust branding strategy to support it all the way through in the long run. A number of significant advantages come about from having a brand strategy that is aimed at the continued success of the brand. It makes the brand visible across all platforms, excites and inspires the members of the target market through engagement across multiple platforms and touch points. It increases the visibility of the brand, generating qualified leads which turn into potential customers.
Furthermore, a brand strategy also encompasses strategies for retaining existing customers, converting them into loyal fans and evangelists so that they start advocating your brand through word of mouth and generating brand awareness for you. It even anticipates the future revenue streams that may come about as a result of the impact of various sub strategies aligned with the overall brand strategy.
In order to build a winning brand strategy, three questions always need to be on top of your mind:
- What are:
- The three immensely important attributes of your brand?
- The advantages of these attributes for your target market?
- Why does your brand exist in the first place?
- What is your target customer profile?
The way these 3 questions can be answered is by way of three definitions. These definitions will help you come up with a unique brand strategy that will be customized to your brand and your brand alone. It will align your core brand promise and offering with the overall objectives of your business. This will help you create a successful brand strategy.
Definition 1: Your X-Factor
What sets you apart from others in the same line of business? Assess, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the advantages of availing your services and buying your products. Your core or augmented product may have some attributes that allow you to have the superior edge.
Take a look at FedEx. When people think of sending a package through a distribution service brand, there are only a handful of services that come to mind: UPS, DHL and FedEx, of course. These brands have developed their core to such an extent that people have even begun substituting the actual word for sending their packages with the names of these companies. Whenever someone needs to send something through courier, they say “FedEx it!” or “send it through UPS.”
So think of the X factor of your product or service and aim to be the best in that, by leveraging the strengths that you have as a brand, and aim towards the top brands in your industry niche, and you’re destined for success.
Definition 2: Your Purpose
Everyone and everything in this world has a purpose and your brand does, too. Being vague and generic will get you nowhere. In today’s goal oriented and technologically advanced world you have to specifically define what you need to do to get ahead of the curve. Creating a successful brand strategy means that you have to take into account what you do and how you do it.
Consider the example of Top Brands that are excelling in their respective niches. Toyota comes at the top of brands of 2016, topping out BMW and Mercedes. It is known for its lineup of reliable vehicles that deliver both power and performance and it also has a wide distribution and service network. You can find a Prius just about anywhere; so the brand has an international presence as well.
Define your brand’s purpose in the market well, and build your content, PR and engagement strategies that contribute towards the fulfillment of that purpose.
Definition 3: Your Target Audience
If you don’t clearly define who you are selling to then you’re lost. You have to know the Target audience that you have; their needs and habits and all that lies in between. This means doing a lot of research and having software in place that collects and analyses the “big data” that helps you develop strategies that are more suited to them. Being relevant to the audience is the most important thing these days for any brand.
Take IKEA for instance. They know very well that their target audience consists of the wooden furniture lovers that want freedom and flexibility to build their own pieces of furniture to add to their homes’ elegance. They make part and ship them to their customers, who assemble the furniture themselves.
So define whom you are marketing to and constantly keep their needs in check. Involve them in the creation of your strategy by taking their feedback and incorporating it into the creation of your various brand strategies.
With these definitions in place, you can develop and shape your immediate or long term brand strategy efficiently and purposefully.
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