Every brand strategy serves one goal: communicating your brand to anchor it in the minds of your target groups for the long term. When implementing a brand strategy, the digital revolution dictates our actions. Even companies that have not prioritized digitalization are moving in this direction.
But what does the term "brand strategy" mean? What are common brand strategies? And how do you develop a brand strategy? Find the answers in this blog post.
Definition of the term "brand strategy"
Before you start wracking your brains about the best brand strategy, first examine the word itself. Here is a definition from the Gabler Business Dictionary:
"Conditional, long-term and global behavioral plans to achieve brand objectives."
So brand strategy focuses on solidifying your brand identity and communicating it consistently across all channels. But why do even global mega corporations still find this so difficult?
The answer often lies in the complexity of corporate structures. The more diversified the markets a company serves, the more departments have to coordinate when it comes to brand communication. Unfortunately, this rarely works without well-founded brand management software.
Types of brand strategies
1. Single brand strategyHere, each product has its own brand. It does not matter that the company offers other products in the same market segment. Examples are the confectionery Mon Cherie and Raffaello from Ferrero Roche. This allows the company to position each product in a targeted and specific way. Each product brand stands alone and cannot be associated with any negative attributes (e.g. bad reviews) of the company’s other products. However, this brand strategy is very costly.
2. Multi-brand strategyCar tires are a good example of this brand strategy, which is also quite costly. A manufacturer offers different tires of different qualities. It is quite possible that their own low-priced product will steal customers away from their own expensive products (the cannibalism effect). Nevertheless, this brand strategy often leads to higher market shares and strengthens competitiveness.
3. Family brand strategyIf a company produces shaving cream, shampoo, facial soap, etc., which appeal to the same target group, then it makes sense to market them as a family of brands with their own image. This brand strategy reduces the cost of advertising. However, bad reviews of one product may affect all members of the family brand.
4. Umbrella brand strategy
Successful companies often use their name as an umbrella brand across their entire product line. This significantly reduces advertising costs. The disadvantage here is that products cannot be positioned independently. If the company's brand falls into a negative light, then all of the company's high-quality products suffer from a damaged image.
Developing your own brand strategy
Usually, a new product or the modernization of an existing brand system requires a new brand strategy. Keep in mind that a brand strategy is a longer-term endeavor. As a rule, it can take three to five years to implement. Also, keep in mind that markets constantly evolve. You need to continuously measure, analyze, and possibly adjust your brand strategy.
Several steps will give your brand strategy a solid foundation.
1. Brand Intelligence
- This requires market and consumer research. Look at the brand environment, both internal and external. Does the intended target group have a specific need? How do they perceive your brand?
- The competitive environment plays an important role in brand strategy. You should consider where your brand can fit in - whether it can fill a suitable niche. If you find that your target group exceeds your country, you might want to consider reading up on international brand management.
- Identify all political, economic, and social influences that may affect your brand. If you are aiming for a global brand strategy, you might want to consider cultural differences and import laws.
2. Brand identity
Define your brand's value proposition. Find out what your brand stands for and what added value it offers. Company values, goals, and key product features form the foundation of your brand identity. Corporate design and your brand style guide need to capture this identity and communicate it as part of your brand strategy, both internally and externally.
3. Brand positioning
This part of your brand strategy is based on both brand perception and brand identity. On the one hand, you need to make your brand stand out and differentiate it from the competition. On the other hand, you need to make your brand visible to all consumers. You want to transform your brand into a "love brand".
4. Implement brand strategy
Put the theoretical parts of the brand strategy into action. Use every channel at your disposal. Be sure to communicate your brand consistently, clearly, and uniformly - from letterheads to your employee's email signatures to PowerPoint slides. Integrate brand strategy into the workflows of all employees.
5. Measure and analyze brand strategy
Continuously monitor the impact of your brand strategy. This is the only way to determine whether and where it gains traction, or whether it needs to be adjusted. Key performance indicators include:
- Sales figures
- Engagement rate on social media
- The conversion rate on the website
- Customer surveys on brand perception
What makes a good brand strategy
- The value proposition defined by you and your team is the DNA of your brand strategy.
- Test your brand strategy against your competition.
- The brand strategy sets the tone for marketing strategy. Not the other way around!
- Your brand strategy must be followed by management and employees alike. Communicate it uniformly both internally and to the outside world.
Brand management software solutions such as our MS Office add-in suite empower® play a decisive role in enabling uniform brand communication. empower® ensures that your corporate design is adhered to throughout the company, and also reduces workloads many times over.
Learn more about brand management in our ultimate brand management guide.
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