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What Is Brand Strategy for company, product and services

What is a Brand?
A brand is the sum total of associations, feelings, attitudes and perceptions related to a company, product or service. It is a relationship with the customer and a promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services.

Why Invest in Brand Building?
A brand is one of the few things a company can own forever. Without patents, technological insulaton or barriers to entry, a company's brand is one of the few assets it can rely on to extract value and enhance margin over time.

The strongest, most enduring brands result from the disciplined alignment of brand strategies and plans with customer requirements.

Developing an effective brand strategy involves three key brand strategy components:
1. Brand Positioning 
2. Brand Architecture 
3. Brand Extension


Brand Positioning

What is it? - A brand positioning is the conceptual place you want to own in the target's mind - the benefits you want them to think of when they think of your brand

How it is used? - Positioning is used as an internal statement of strategy to guide external implementation.

Brand Positioning Examples:

s"Smart Choice"

Brand Positioning Statement - To (target audience), (Product X) is the only (frame of reference) that (benefits delivered) because (reasons to believe)

Four strategic choices underlie positioning development:

  1. Definition of Targets
    Who is the brand being built for?

  2. Frame-of-Reference
    What is the competitive context?

  3. Benefit Delivered
    What benefits should be the brand stand for?

  4. Proof Points
    What are the reasons-to-believe the positioning?

Brand Architecture

What is it? - Brand architecture is the conceptual logical, strategic and relational structure for all brands in the portfolio

How it is used? - Brand architecture is used to ensure clarity, synergy and leverage across the portfolio

Customers relate to brands at several levels

  • Master brand → Product brands → Product descriptors

This allows an organization to create a brand portfolio that appeals to distinct segments or need states

  • Acura vs. Honda vs. Honda Accord
  • Apple vs. Mac vs. iPod vs. iPhone vs. iPad vs. iPad5

The master brand often carries emotional benefits, with product brands conveying rational benefits and target specific relevance.

Key objectives include improved clarity, synergy and brand leverage

Product Brands vs Product Names:

Product Brands require investment and management, and represent value greater than the functionality of the offering alone

Product Names are simple descriptors that serve to identify the tangible value the customer receives


Brand Extension

What is it? - Brand extension involves stretching the brand into attractive categories, by creating "equity bridges" for customers to cross

How it is used? - Brand extension is used to stretch the brand into new categories to drive new business growth

Brand extension is a process that allows companies to define new and attractive business opportunities for existing brands, with two basic approaches:

1. Deductive - Customers follow trademark to logical places
2. Inductive - Marketers determines attractive categories and create quality bridges for customers to across

Brands can be highly elastic - the key is not to violate the inherent benefit essence of the brand

Benefits - Advantages of brand extension (vs. new brand creation):

  • Further strengthen and build the brand franchise
  • Enhance the chance of the new business success
  • Reduce the cost of new business development

Brand Development Process balances internal and external assessment, focused ideation, concept development and execution in delivering on customer requirements

Step 1 - Perform brand assessment and confirm issues

Step 2 - Conduct brand strategy visioning session

Step 3 - Conduct ideation & develop brand strategy concepts

Step 4 - Optimize brand strategy concepts internally and with target customers

Step 5 - Prepare brand strategy recommendations and action plan

Key issues

  1. What do we know about the 3 C's?
  2. What alternatives exist for establishing the brand strategy?
  3. What are potential brand positioning / messaging concepts?
  4. What are optimal concepts, from the eyes of the customer?
  5. What is the recommended strategy and action plan?

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