Building a sustainable brand is a slow process. And it takes money, lots of it! Formulating a well-thought-out brand strategy before taking the plunge will reduce the risks and improve prospects for commercial success.
Because a brand is not a tangible thing, there are an infinite number of definitions. In the simplest terms, a brand is like a promise (more on that later).
A brand strategy is based on the business objectives and serves as a roadmap for decision-making for all members of the organization. It is generated from a thorough understanding of the target customer’s needs, together with an unbiased view of how the brand compares to the competition.
The marketing group is usually responsible for brand strategy. However, it is advantageous for research chefs, and other members of the multi-disciplinary team, to understand the strategy, target customer and competitive environment. Working collaboratively, rather than in silos, is essential to ensure consistent execution.
A brand strategy puts product development in context, by imparting critical knowledge about:
Applying these guidelines adds a customer perspective and is beneficial for defining project parameters and making decisions such as:
Careful consideration should be given to what the brand is promising. Does it align with business objectives? Does it meet the target customer’s needs? Does it set standards that some areas of the business, like product development, cannot achieve?
To earn a customer’s trust, the promise must be delivered consistently including:
A “positioning statement”, for internal use, summarizes what sets the brand apart, and describes:
Here’s an example: “For busy mom’s who can’t slow down, XYZ brand delivers sustained energy without the sugar high and crash of other energy bars, as shown in clinical studies.”
With the brand strategy in hand, you have a framework for the marketing plan, which outlines how the brand message is communicated. These are essential ingredients to create a brand your customers will seek out, buy, grow to trust, and talk about.
As a packaged foods consultant specializing in strategy, brand and packaging development, Birgit Blain makes brands more saleable. Her experience includes 17 years with Loblaw Brands and President’s Choice®. Learn more at BBandAssoc.com. Contact Birgit at [email protected].