Increasing market share with brand strategy
Brand strategy and market share are directly linked
The “desired brand image” is usually the last item on the creative brief. Most often, it asks the brief’s author to describe the brand in human terms such as “dependable,” “trustworthy” and the like. The intent is that these few descriptive words will influence the creative execution and make sure that the marketing and advertising message is true to the brand. This an important step to increasing market share.
Increasing market share. Are you out in Siberia?
In many ways, it stinks that the box describing the branding strategy is located in the Siberian endpoint of the brief. It is not a tactical afterthought. The brand, as it turns out, is the cornerstone of all the brand’s strategic opportunities. It is the key in increasing marketing share.
All of us in the brand and advertising arts need to rethink this important idea. Develop a fresh perspective of the brand and pay it homage it deserves.
A brand’s personality cultivates over the years of the users’ experiences. They rely on the promise of their own expectations as a means of selecting and making purchase decisions. To customers, the brand is much more complex and dimensional than the two or three words we often use to describe it. The brand is a living entity looks an awful lot like themselves. Branding strategy, at the end of the day, is all about self-identity.
Who am I? It’s THE question you must ask to increasing market share
The essence, the heart and soul of a brand strategy, resides with the customer. That realization should sound like a trumpet blast to marketers and advertisers. When you futz around with a brand’s image, you are messing with the identities of customers. What do we mean by this? Well, quite simply, we all purchase services and products that help us reinforce who we believe we are.
In fact, purchase decisions are almost exclusively emotional choices and not intellectual/rational ones. Customer rarely choose as a result of benefits alone, despite all the efforts of marketers who followed the old school thoughts of Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
They choose based upon who they believe they are and which brands reinforce that belief best. This was not always so. The market was once less crowded. Consumer choices were just beginning to mature and consumers were avidly exchanging old ways of doing things for new ones. Baking soda gave ground to toothpaste (Arm & Hammer Care). (You can read a market study on Packaged Goods here).
Consumers were hungry for knowledge and new ways of doing things. Communication informed the consumer of the better feature so USP worked. Today, USP is simply the price of entry into a new or existing category. Despite all the talk about cynical consumers today, they actually assume all the products work.
This realization lead to the rise of generic store brands. The value equation for package goods marketers was thrown all out of kilter because the customers do not consider store brands generic. Grocery store shoppers believe all soap powders, like Tide, Cheer, All, and Gain, will clean their clothing.
Marketers diluted the actual power of their brands when they didn’t realize how strongly the consumer actually associated with the brand. Why? Because a brand’s promise is a little about performance and a lot about who the purchaser believes they are. That is why, on the brief, we use human terms to describe the brand image in the first place.
How important is this? Consider the marketplace for a moment. It is crowded, similar, and loud.
Know that consumers are less loyal to brands today. Brands generally say what they do rather than who the consumers are. Product benefits do not differentiate. Once we understand just how important this all is, we begin to understand the brand’s importance in increasing market share.
The brand image is fundamental to the marketing strategy when increasing market share. Not an aside to it. Knowing that will affect the way the brand is communicated. Getting noticed is important for awareness. But at what price? We must have a thorough and deep understanding of a brand before we write a brief. That understanding influences the brief itself.
When executing the message, make sure the brand strategy is honored and reinforced through the execution as well. If the medium is the message, then there are a lot of loose ends to be managed as we nurture our brands.