Did you know that some customers are willing to pay by 31-50 percent. more for the same service, if they get the impression that the company represents something valuable? Companies with poor branding also have to pay 10%. higher salaries than those with a vision clear to employees. Do you still doubt that it is worth having a brand strategy?
It is also being created today brand strategies places, cities or events. This concept has long ceased to apply only to brands in the traditional sense of this concept. Traditional manufacturing companies also have to compete in creativity when it comes to strategy. An interesting example from recent years is Nike. The mere sale of sports shoes is no longer a distinguishing feature on the market.
Thousands of companies have a similar offer. So Nike focused on branding based around... life attitude and beliefs. The famous "just do it" was just a starting point. Today, a proactive attitude is promoted in the company's advertisements by athletes, and Nike endorses a meditation application and numerous motivational graphics. In this way, he sells not shoes, but the beliefs associated with them.
What is a brand strategy?
The example of Nike shows that a good brand strategy can largely protect against crises or fluctuating economic conditions. How is this term defined? According to the definition, it is a long-term set of various activities aimed at achieving a predetermined goal. All these activities must be uniform and serve to achieve one effect. At the same time, in marketing textbooks, volatility is mentioned as an indispensable element of the strategy. The point is to be able to adapt the strategy to changing conditions, if necessary.
In building brand strategy everyone from the highest level to the rank and file should be involved. The strategy must also be consistent with the company's mission. The long-term brand strategy can be broken down into smaller stages, e.g. planning short-term activities that contribute to the achievement of a larger goal. A brand is a trademark, the impressions of products and a recognizable style (we say, after all, that someone has "made a good name"). A company is simply an enterprise and its strategy may be based on a simple profit and loss account. Therefore, one has to distinguish between the brand strategy, the company's strategy and the marketing strategy.
A company, product, brand, even distribution - everything has its own strategy. Each of them must be well defined and planned in order for your company to develop properly. Brand strategy generally may seem like an uncomplicated concept. However, as you read deeper, you will certainly notice how important a role it plays and how many elements can shape it.
Brand strategy is the way a company builds its brand identity in conjunction with the entire brand structure. With its values, priorities and organizational culture. The strategy determines what the brand should be like. Who is the recipient. How to position itself on the market. What distinguishes her. What constitutes its advantage, etc. It can be compared to a well-thought-out and ordered map of activities. Their goal is to increase brand loyalty, brand awareness, and build a positive brand image. It should also be remembered that the brand strategy is comprehensive long-term activities that serve the development of your brand. They cannot be quick, unplanned actions, organized ad hoc. Then the company will not achieve its goals.
Firms with brand portfolios need to decide how their brands should be organized for both internal organization and external communication. DA Aaker and E. Joachminsthaler in their book "The Brand Relationship Spectrum: The Key to the Brand Architecture Challenge" listed four types of brand strategies.
Brand strategy - definition
The first brand strategy is: sub-brand. It concerns the creation of a so-called subsidiary brand by combining two names: the name of the main brand with another name in one product category or in a completely new category. The sub-brand has its own logo, colors, even a different image, all so that the mother brand could reach a new group of customers and build relationships with them.
This brand strategy helps the parent brand to build loyalty, attachment and trust. Consumers, thanks to the success of the subsidiary brand, are more likely to buy the mother's brand products. There are many examples of companies that have implemented this strategy in their operations, eg McCafe is a McDonad's sumbarka, Corolla is a Toyota sub-brand, Honor is a Huawei sub-brand.
Another proposed brand strategy is the so-called brand supported, promoted. “It involves creating a sub-brand with its own identity for specific business units under the parent brand that are included in one of the brand portfolio.”
They leverage the brand equity and reputation of the parent brand. They don't have to build brand awareness from scratch. What can you gain from this? Increasing the prestige, credibility and reputation of the parent brand. Examples of such activities include Avengers, Spider-man, which are a sub-brand of Marvel Universe, or Obsession by Calvin Klein.
The third brand strategy is the House of Brands, the so-called House of Brands. "This strategy is a type of brand portfolio that offers a collection of independent brands under one major brand that may not be known to customers." - explains Bednarz in "Brand as a source of competitive advantage for food industry enterprises." House of Brands is home to a number of brands, each independent of each other and with their own audience, marketing, looks and way of being. A Polish example of a brand house is the Maspex company selling under such brands as: Krakus, Libella, Tymbark, DecoMorena and many others.
A final example is a branded house. It is characterized by a main brand that manages its sub-brands. Major brands such as Google and Apple are exemplary in this style. Both have smaller brands but are all sold and operated under the umbrella of the parent brand. For example, you can check appointments in your Google Calendar. Later, you write your message in Gmail. Tomorrow you will top up your budget in Sheets. Each of these products is a sub-brand of the parent company, but they do not function independently and never overshadow the main brand.
3 main elements of a brand strategy
There are three main components of a brand strategy that have a huge impact on future business success and profits. Such a division was proposed in the book: "The Brand Strategy, the Charted institute of Marketing."
The first element is targeting, i.e. targeting the most valuable customers. The company has to answer questions such as: "Which customers are important to the market?", "How can the company get more customers?" It is important to analyze what types of consumers provide the greatest value, and therefore profit, for our organization.
The second element is values. The customer buys a brand's product because its values are in line with the brand's value. Each brand must build strong links between the values and customer experiences.
The third element is the proposal. The company chooses the tool with which it will convey information about its brand. It's not just about advertising, it's about customer service, intangible brand messages, accessibility, and so on. The proposal shows brand value through all company activities.
Brand strategy - quotes
In the case of a brand and its strategy, there are three forms that are quite confusing: brand strategy, business strategy and marketing strategy. You need to understand the importance of each to keep your business moving in the right direction.
“The importance of a business strategy for branding is that it defines the vision, goal, tasks, business model, resources, competencies and motivation for the brand. What the business strategy aims to achieve is transformed by the brand into a value proposition. So the brand strategy deals with what makes the brand unique, inspiring, credible, trustworthy and liked and even admired. " - we can read in "The definitive book of branding."
A well-defined and implemented brand strategy affects all aspects of the company's operations and is directly related to the needs of consumers, emotions and the competitive environment.
Knowing what a brand strategy is, it is worth looking at the definition proposed by Kall J., Kłeczek R., Sagan A. in: " Brand management. "
“The brand strategy is a comprehensive action plan to promote and protect the organization's brand. The company's activities can be directed to:
- to increase brand awareness,
- shaping the brand image,
- gaining a strong position on the market,
- increase in customer loyalty to the brand,
- improvement of brand recognition "
Also, foreign authors of marketing blogs indicate that a brand strategy is a certain action plan. Susan Gunelius, a branding expert, points out that “A brand strategy is a long-term plan to develop an effective brand to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and implemented brand strategy affects all aspects of the company's operations and is directly related to the needs of consumers, emotions and the competitive environment. "
With all brand strategy definitions, common elements can be seen: sustainability, action plan, consumer needs and values. Everyone who runs his business must remember about the coherence of these four elements. Brand strategy is a very important link in building your awareness in the minds of consumers. If we want to attract them to us, be recognizable - brand strategy is the basis for building your company.
Brand strategy elements
Brand strategy consists of two most important elements, which can be described as theory and practice, or in other words: strategy planning and implementation. At the theoretical level, the following may arise:
- creative brief,
- mission of the company,
- company vision,
- company structure,
- brand personality,
- company claim (password).
At the same time, information about the competition or the target group is collected. On the basis of these components, projects are created. Sometimes introducing a brand strategy requires rebranding if designing a new website. But these are not only graphic elements, but also a content and marketing strategy or other specific activities that correlate with the new assumptions.
Brand strategy - examples from the moto industry
There are many different ready-made branding strategy models. There are also new ones, related to new customer habits or technological reality. The old division speaks of four main strategies:
- product line development,
- brand development,
- new brand.
However, let us follow the example of a brand strategy that eludes these patterns.
Tesla stands out from other automotive companies thanks to its differentiation strategy. The nature of the products is completely different than that of the competition. Prices are high. All the style and marketing built around the company, cancels to completely different values than in the case of a conventional car. With the thoughtful actions of Tesla, something that remains a dream of other car manufacturers was achieved. Corporate account on Twitter already tracks almost 10 million. followers, and the entries cite the biggest journals on the front pages. For comparison, Hyundai or Volvo are watching 180-200 thousand. people. These brands do not arouse such emotions.
Sometimes two companies are engaged in very similar activities, and the brand strategy is the only thing that distinguishes them from each other. This is the case with Uber and competition (Lyft, Bolt). While others are focused on being unpretentious and as low-priced as possible, Uber has opted for quality at one point. The service is basically the same as for others. Most people choose the basic form of travel anyway. However, in the case of Uber, customers are aware of the premium version with exceptional handling and better cars.
Although most of the safety problems were related to Uber trips in the first place, today the brand's strategy is built around broadly understood safety. On the company's website, this word is abbreviated by all cases in the context of the safety of women and other passengers, proper sanitation, fair pay, etc. The aftermath of this strategy is also the reach of the company (1 million Twitter followers), which is left behind by any other company in the industry.
When is a brand strategy needed?
A brand strategy is useful when talking to potential shareholders and investors. However, it cannot be built without complete data about the company's situation. Therefore, it should be based on prior analysis – e.g. marketing audit. It may happen that the solutions used so far are no longer effective. Or maybe the situation on the market has changed so much that the old tactics no longer work?
As the example of Uber and Lyft shows, a brand strategy comes in handy when competition appears. When Uber was the first and only company to offer transportation, it did not look for differentiators. Today it is necessary not to be just one of many entrepreneurs. Uber, Tesla, and Nike are also selling values and a lifestyle. No company that offers only shoes or cars can threaten them.
Are you looking for an effective strategy for your brand?
Reach for a made-to-measure.
Individual brand strategy
We are talking about an individual brand in a situation where one producer introduces many goods to the market, which are targeted at different groups of recipients. Each of them is under a different brand, and the name does not refer to the manufacturer in any way. Mars Co, which produces the famous Mars bars, as well as Whiskas cat food, can serve as an example. There are many more companies operating on this principle, usually they are very large enterprises that want to increase their market share, because their products compete with each other and with the products of the competition. This type of strategy can be implemented provided that the company's products are differentiated in terms of quality and price. There should also be a different purpose and method of using the products.
The basic advantages of an individual brand include the enormous possibility of differentiating the product offer in terms of specific features, and thus reaching different consumers. Another plus point is the fact that the risk of actions taken is evenly distributed among all brands. In this way, the manufacturer is able to minimize losses if one of them is unsuccessful in the market. In addition, the manufacturer has great flexibility in shaping the product portfolio and brand portfolio. It should also be mentioned that the individual brand strategy has a very strong influence on competition. If all brands of a given manufacturer are simultaneously on store shelves and are equally displayed, they limit the space for competitors' brands.
The individual brand strategy, despite its many advantages, is not without its drawbacks. The biggest problem may be the budget and costs incurred for the promotion. If each brand is to enter the market and sell well, you have to reckon with the need to promote all of them separately with the same financial outlay. You also need to build a separate strategy for each brand, and each of them must have a different brand manager. There is also a risk of cannibalization, i.e. internal competition.
Family brand strategy
Family brand strategy consists in the transformation of the brand, i.e. the common marking of all products or specific family groups with one brand. Johnson&Johnsos, for example, operates on this principle. When to use a family brand strategy?
- For product groups that are reasonably homogeneous, i.e. bought and consumed in the same way.
- The company has an established position on the market and is not threatened by competition.
- A company with a limited advertising budget.
- For creating a comprehensive corporate image.
The family brand strategy actually has many advantages. Its use allows to implement a comprehensive, combined promotion of the entire product line, and this in turn translates into increasing the recognition of the brand name and strengthening its position on the market. A family brand with an enhanced name will have a positive impact on each of the products labeled with it. There is a very high probability that a consumer who has used one of the products and is satisfied with it will be much more likely to choose another, even if it is a blind choice.
It can therefore be said that satisfaction with one product translates into greater trust in the entire brand. The family brand works very well when it comes to launching a new product. The manufacturer does not have to build trust around him from scratch, because consumers associate the brand well because they used other products. A brand that has a good reputation among customers has an easier task when introducing new articles, because the new product will quickly find recognition among consumers.
As with an individual brand, the family brand is not without flaws. The biggest problem seems to be the inability to differentiate between products. It will also not be a good solution for products of varying quality and price. If such a situation occurs, it is a good solution to use separate brands for each product family, as e.g. car companies do.
How to build a brand strategy?
Marketing specialists agree on one thing - a brand strategy is needed by everyone. The size of the company does not matter too much, because it turns out that in creating a strategy, everyone struggles with similar problems, although they achieve a much larger scale. So where to start?
As an entrepreneur, try to visualize your ideal customer first. Start by analyzing when the customer will be willing to buy your product. Think about where it is and what is driving it. The traditional ideal customer profile, which most often consists of demographics (age, gender, city), will probably be useful, but it doesn't really say much about your consumer. It is important that the customer is your boss on the market. If your product does not meet his expectations, forget that he will spend money on it. Therefore, you need to know exactly who to reach and where you will find them.
You realize that we do not live in a monopoly time and that every customer has a huge selection of products. This should automatically raise the question: what will he gain if he buys from me? And this is what you need to answer when creating your brand strategy. Forget the clichés of "high quality" or "reliable service". Your task is to find those features that actually set you apart from the competition that your rivals will not be able to imitate. Take into account that this is not about the features that are important to you as an entrepreneur or members of your team. It is especially about the customer, so what is he able to pay you for?
Every customer experiences a brand on an emotional level, and you have to design that experience as well. Let's take taxi companies as an example. Each of them guarantees today that the car will appear at the address in no more than 10 minutes. Prices are also at a very similar level, as are the cars that corporations use to transport customers. So where can you make that difference? The answer is simple: a driver who can be a serious official or a cheerful talkative guy. Even if it seems to you that you will not find a place where you can stand out from the competition, it is communication strategy allows you to create them and use them for your own use.
Inspiring examples of brand strategy
How is it that only certain brands are talked about? The key is a good brand development strategy. Here are some inspiring examples of brand strategies that have gained recognition and achieved success:
- Apple – Innovation and Design: Apple always focuses on innovative products and minimalist design. Their strategy is based on creating products that change the way people live and work.
- Nike – Motivation and Community: Nike not only sells sports products, but also promotes a lifestyle based on physical activity and achieving goals. Their ads and community motivate people to take action.
- Coca-Cola – Emotions and History: Coca-Cola builds its brand based on emotions and nostalgic feelings. Their advertisements often focus on creating memories and positive moments.
- Tesla – Sustainable Transport: Tesla is focused on creating electric cars that are environmentally friendly. Their strategy is based on changing the way the world travels.
- Dove – True Beauty: Dove promotes body diversity and acceptance. Their campaigns focus on building self-confidence and a positive perception of beauty.
Developing a brand strategy is one thing. Equally important is an effective communication strategy that increases brand awareness. Visual identification, consistency of message - all this influences shaping brand image and allows you to highlight its unique features. Without taking care of these aspects, marketing chaos results.
Effects of implementing a brand strategy
Developing a brand strategy is one thing. Implementing a brand strategy is equally important. Key elements of the brand strategy developed by specialists will allow for spectacular brand development. The benefits of a brand strategy can be both short- and long-term. Here are some key effects of implementing a brand strategy:
- Increased Recognition: An effective brand strategy helps in building brand awareness among customers and the market. This means that people are more likely to recognize the brand and products.
- Greater Customer Loyalty: Customers often remain loyal to brands that provide them with positive experiences. An effective brand strategy helps build this loyalty.
- Increased Revenues: Improving customer recognition and loyalty can lead to increased sales and revenues. Customers trust brands they recognize and like more.
- Increase in Brand Value: A strong brand can be much more valuable than the products or services themselves. Brand value can constitute significant company capital.
- Better Position on the Market: An effective brand strategy can help a company take a stronger position in the market and compete more effectively with other players.
- Greater Marketing Effectiveness: A strong brand can reduce marketing costs because it is easier to attract customers and generate interest.
- More Effective Introduction of New Products: A brand can help bring new products to market with greater trust from customers.
- Improving the Company's Image: An effective brand strategy can help build a positive company image, which can influence customer perception and public opinion.
- Better Negotiations and Cooperation: A strong brand can help you negotiate with partners, suppliers and other entities, which can lead to more favorable contracts and terms of cooperation.
- Much Greater Durability: Brands with strong strategies are often more resilient to market changes and economic difficulties.
These are just a few of the many possible benefits of a brand strategy. Each effect can impact a company's success and sustainability, which makes investing in brand strategy an important element of business development.
What is a brand strategy?
Simply put, it is a set of uniform actions aimed at achieving a predetermined effect. It is important to be able to adapt the strategy to the prevailing conditions at any time.
What are the main elements of the brand strategy?
The main elements of the brand strategy that should be included in it are: long-term, action plan, consumer needs and their values. The brand strategy should be the answer to the question of what image and offer the company will create so that customers finalize the purchase.
When is a brand strategy necessary?
The brand strategy will be needed during talks with future investors and potential shareholders of the company. It is also worth taking care of the strategy when competition appears on the market.