Elements of Brand Strategy
A new way to maximize your company’s brand revenues – regard and treat all of your customer and prospect interfacing functions as media, and organize them to ensure that they are maximized as media.
Let us assume that your business already has a great brand strategy. That’s terrific. After all, a great many businesses do not have one. Moreover, you cannot really expect to grow your business organically without one. Consider your business for a moment.
And your own job in it. You are there primarily to keep increasing the value of your business’ stock. This is done in just two ways: increasing your revenues in a sustainable way, and reducing your costs, likewise in a sustainable way. Of these, the more important is the increase of your revenues, if only because you don’t have a business at all without revenues, that is, money coming into your business.
Its benefit is increasing market share. Our business is about enabling our clients to keep increasing market share at the expense of their competitors on a sustainable basis. Therefore, our business is not just about providing them with a brand strategy, name, and graphics, because they may not steal a single sliver of market share from their competitors, if this brand strategy is not implemented effectively over time. What use is even the best brand strategy if your business is not able to take advantage of it?
Where do you start with a brand strategy?
You begin by understanding what a brand is, where it is located, and how it forms and grows. A brand is the cluster of perceptions that determines the relative importance of, and relative preference for, your product or service offering over those of your competitors among existing and prospective customers, and therefore most influences the likelihood of their purchase, and consequently, your revenues.
As a cluster of perceptions associated with a specific product name or symbol/s, the brand is located exclusively in the emotional and conceptual space in the hearts and minds of both existing and prospective customers. Accordingly, the brand is formed by the conceptual and emotional residue accumulated from all the experiences that these existing and prospective customers associate with the offering’s signals, such as the product name or symbols.
Brand strategy should increase brand revenue. Therefore is therefore the management of three things: a) The identification of the emotional and conceptual residual content that is most likely to maximize the importance and preference for your product or service offering/s over those of your competitors among existing and prospective customers. b) The development and design of your offering’s signals in the form of name, logotype, symbol/s, color/s, sounds, and texture/s. c) The development and design of all communications and experiences that existing and prospective customers might attribute to your product or service offering via its name or other signals.
Elements of the brand strategy
These might include, but not be limited to:
- Sales people’s Demeanor
- Sales people’s Appearance Sales people’s Language
- Sales people’s Usefulness Sales people’s Consistency (Follow-up)
- Sales literature
- Product Names
- Product Literature
- Product Packaging Appearance
- Product Packaging Functionality
- Product Packaging Disposability
- Product Appearance
- Product Application
- Product Performance vis a vis competition in all key parameters
- Product Disposal
- Customer Care Access
- Customer Care Demeanor
- Customer Care Language Customer Care Usefulness
- Customer Care Consistency (Follow-up)
- Bills Appearance
- Bills Comprehension
- Bills Accuracy Collections
- Timing Disruptiveness
- Collections Demeanor
- Collections Language
- Collections Consistency
- Communications Tagline
- Communications Rationale
- Communications Character
- Communications Tonality
- Communications Core Message
- Communications Selling Idea (visual dramatization)
- Advertising (all media)
- Promotions (all media)
- Vehicles Brand
- Direct Marketing
- Internet Marketing and Communications
- Social Media
As you can see from this list, there are a great many different kinds of customer experiences that can influence your brand’s revenue and meaning, and thus influence the quality of importance and preference of your product or service offering/s, and thus determine purchase, and of course, your revenues. It must be clear by now that your brand positioning service, your brand design service, your advertising agency, and your promotions and merchandising support services, even together, don’t have all the competences necessary to manage all these ways toward building your brand.
So you have to think of all these functions also as media for building your brand, and organize to manage these functions in a way that maximizes each one’s potential for building your brand. Even a cursory glance at the above list will show you that some of these functions are covered by your existing marketing communications agencies and design services. A closer look will show you that most of these agencies and services help you primarily with your interactions with prospective customers. That’s when you realize that there are many of your business functions, especially those that interact exclusively with existing customers, that you currently don’t even consider as media that are influencing the quality of your brand. So, you have to do two things in a hurry.
Firstly, make sure that these functions that are both not covered by existing agencies and services, and not managed as media for building your brand – are no longer neglected in this way. This means identifying someone who can make sure that all these functions fulfill their media function as well as this can be done. Secondly, make sure that the residue of both the work done by your agencies and services, and those that are managed by your new internal media czar are both optimally contributing toward building your brand in the minds and hearts of your existing and prospective customers. (Read about the process of making your brand important to prospects here)