Strategic brand management is a combination of techniques used to support companies in building brand recognition, increasing revenue, and accomplishing their long-term business objectives. The main goal of strategic planning is to bond with the brand’s audience and eventually influence them.
Companies utilize strategic brand management to stand out in the financial market. They carefully choose slogans, design, and approach to reach their target audience. In this way, they can separate the brand from its competitors with its uniqueness and promote it to achieve global recognition.
Strategic brand management focuses on long-term results, overseeing future brand development, and deliberately planning policies that add to the brand value.
When we analyze the brand strategies behind one of the most popular brands like Google, Apple, Tesla, Disney, and many others, we find all of them include essential elements that, when combined, make a successful brand strategy.
Let’s look at the examples of effective brand strategies that helped these brands become what they are today. These examples demonstrate the essential elements for making an effective brand strategy.
- Purpose – Finding the brand’s purpose and deciding why it exists in the first place is imperative when setting up a business. The whole brand strategy should revolve around what your brand can bring out to the world.
For example, the purpose of Google is to provide access to the world’s information without exclusion. This slogan helps Google inspire both its users and employees.
For im-a-puzzle.com, a popular jigsaw puzzle website, its purpose is tied to its name and brand: to satisfy your need to solve puzzles.
- Vision – The brand’s vision describes the future you wish to create. It gives your brand a clear direction towards which to go. Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish will motivate you and provide clarity to make better choices for your brand.
Tesla’s vision is a clear objective of what the company wanted and has accomplished so far.
- Personality – When building your brand strategy, it is vital to remember that you want to form a relationship with your consumers. You want to create that connection that will turn them into loyal customers.
To do that, add a human touch to your brand. In this way, you will connect with your audience through emotion.
Let’s take Coca-Cola as our example. Who doesn’t get chills seeing Coca-Cola Christmas commercials? This brand is a perfect example of a well-defined brand personality. Everything from their slogans to bottle designs invokes joy and happiness that helps them provide a human-like experience to their customers.
We listed only a few brand strategy examples. For further examples, read the article about some of the best brand strategies from different categories.
The Importance of Strategic Brand Management
Well-planned strategic brand management is a pillar of every successful business. It doesn’t only help the company grow, but it paves a solid path toward success.
Understanding the core elements of your brand (purpose, vision, mission, and values) will define the perspective for your future decisions. Knowing who you are and what changes you bring to people will provide a clear marketing plan and target the audience you want to reach. Gradually, you will gain trust and loyalty from your customers.
It is a common amateur mistake to publish content without a plan and clear objectives.
Strategic brand management includes content planning. You need to make sure you align your content with your brand’s voice, personality, and tone. It will make your brand more appealing and memorable, differentiating it from the competitors.
A good strategy not only provides good customer-oriented results but increases employee satisfaction. With a clear objective, there will be less confusion about their duties. Having a good brand strategy can help employees feel more engaged and impactful.
How do you create a brand management strategy?
Building an effective brand management strategy takes time and effort. It’s important to try to improve operations and reduce budgetary expenditures. You can do it by implementing managed business services for brands. But, if you know all the elements that make that strategy successful, it doesn’t sound as complicated as it seems.
The branding process is a set of deliberately planned actions used to define, communicate, and enhance the brand identity. This process helps establish the fundamental elements for creating an authentic brand.
To define one’s brand, you need to understand the brand’s purpose. What drives the company and its employees to do the business and invest their time and efforts. Also, you need to understand their vision of the future and the mission that will lead them to accomplish the vision. The brand’s values are a group of principles that dictate the brand’s culture.
The communication part of the brand deals with the brand’s voice, tone, and personality. It needs to be in harmony with the business idea the brand wants to establish. This part of the branding process focuses on providing a human experience to the audience.
The complete branding process includes the following stages:
The research stage aims to establish the current position of the brand. Moreover, you gather information about your business, competitors, and target audience. It serves to clarify the brand’s vision and goals for the future. In this stage, you want to decide on the brand’s vision, values, personality, and target company’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask managers their definition of the company’s vision.
Also, research customers and staff to get a better insight into the current position. In this stage, you should test the performance of your current marketing strategies, for instance with visually appealing presentation templates. Test the logo ideas, colors, design, fonts, and similar. Don’t forget about your competitors, because you need to decide what makes you different from your competitors. Once you gather all the information, you’re ready for the next stage.
The strategy. In this stage, you define a clear direction for your brand, consolidating your brand’s vision, ambitions, and values. A good brand strategy is essential for a company’s growth. To develop a successful brand strategy, combine theoretical thinking with creative problem-solving.
During the development process, consider how you want to be seen by your customers and what problems can you solve? Narrow the focus and decide on one thing that your brand will be known for. In this way, you will position yourself better in the market, because customers will know why they should buy from you.
Once you have a clear strategy for your brand, it’s time for a design. In the design stage, your work on the visual representation of your brand. The first thing on your list should be making a logo for your brand. To do that, you can hire a professional, or you can use software to do that for you. Once you have the logo, decide on colors, fonts, and imagery that you want to use consistently. Use the logo on any digital or paper document to strengthen your brand identity.
The last stage of the branding process is the implementation of the strategy. Before launching the brand to the public, share it with the company first. Employees and managing staff need to be in tune with the current events to have everyone on the same page. After that, you are ready for the brand launch to the public. Keep in mind that it should always be customer-oriented, targeting the right time and the message.
A target audience is a group of people most likely to be interested in buying your products. Therefore, you want to focus your brand marketing efforts on them. Successfully targeting your audience will save you a lot of money and improve your relationship with your customers. There are several things that you can do to target the audience.
- Research the market
To know your audience, you need better insight into the market. You can use SWOT analysis with market trends, competition, and buying habits to gather information for the next step.
- Understand customer journey
If you want to provide the best customer experience, you need to understand their needs and offer a possible solution to their problems. The understanding customer journey will allow you to create personas and content that will educate your customers on their doubts.
- Analyze your current customers
By analyzing website and social media analytics, you can understand the type of customers who prefer buying your products. If you want to find more information about your users, use online tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights.
A marketing strategy is a long-term plan used for targeting potential consumers and turning them into customers. The main goal of a good marketing strategy is to differentiate itself from competitors and present the brand’s advantages. A successful marketing strategy needs to highlight the company’s vision, values, and beliefs.
A perfect example of an effective marketing strategy is eco-friendly campaigns that the fashion industry started with a few years ago. In this way, they inspire their customers to contribute to the world while at the same time gaining an advantage over prospective rivals.
The key for every successful business is a strong base of loyal customers. However, building loyalty takes time and effort. Because what you’re building is a relationship with your customers.
Strategists use relationship marketing to build long-lasting relationships with customers. They use different marketing strategies to keep the customers happy and convert them into loyal customers. Relationship marketing promotes an emotional connection between you and your new/old customers. In this way, they will keep coming back and even refer you to others.
Fostering a good relationship with your customers can have various benefits. It saves a lot of money because it’s cheaper than finding new customers. Moreover, experts say that 75% of people prefer brands that offer rewards.
To build customers’ loyalty, choose from different strategies. It can be creating loyalty reward programs, sending birthday and holidays greetings, or allowing them to create profiles and share their thoughts.
Providing an excellent customer experience is the key to turning them into loyal customers. First, you need to understand their needs. Then, realize their reasons to engage with a brand. Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what questions and problems they could have on their customer journey. Be responsive to their feedback and integrate them into possible changes.
Nurturing a good relationship with your customers and engaging with them through different platforms can help you build a strong base of loyal customers.
A satisfied customer means a loyal customer. For that reason, companies need to check the customer satisfaction rate as often as possible. If they fail to do so, they will miss the opportunity to target the things which are not serving the customers.
To check customer satisfaction, you can ask for feedback. You can either create Google Surveys or use other tools to help you determine customer satisfaction. Once you gather the feedback, don’t let it stay there. Turn them into actions and improve things that your customers pointed out.
Don’t forget to educate your customers and provide answers to possible questions. Provide content that will come in handy to your customers, or use a live chat on your website. In this way, you will save them from frustration and save them a lot of time.
Finally, make their journey as simple as possible, and avoid any complications.
Brand Positioning & Value
Brand positioning is defining how your customers perceive your brand. This strategy doesn’t revolve much around the product itself. It has more to do with the company’s culture and values.
With value-based positioning, you add value to your offer to differentiate yourself from the competition. In this way, you stand out from your rivals, and customers are more likely to buy from you.
To successfully position your brand, you need to understand the unique proposition of your competitors and make an offer that will align with your vision and core values. Articulate it to the world through a mission or vision slogan to make it memorable for the customer.
A perfect example of a successful brand positioning is Apple. Customers see Apple as a luxury brand, even though they sell watches and tech gadgets. But it is all about perception. To sell their products at a premium price, they have to position themselves as a luxury brand because no one would spend thousands of dollars on a product made in a budget-friendly company.
Apple positions itself as a company that offers innovative, luxurious, and high-quality products, so customers who buy their products buy the image that goes with owning Apple products.
Brand Reputation Management
Maintaining a good reputation for your business is one of the essential elements to reach success. Brand reputation management deals with monitoring customers’ perception of your brand and developing strategies to improve the brand’s image.
You can measure brand reputation through reviews, social media, and Google. A positive brand reputation can boost customers’ loyalty and increase the purchasing rate.
To maintain a good brand reputation, provide excellent customer support, send promotional emails with discounts only for your subscribers etc. In this way, you can answer customers’ queries and have another satisfied customer.
Commonly, people leave negative comments only to provoke a reaction, even though they are not your customers. Separate real from fake customers, and reply to those who seem to be using your products.
Finally, stay present online despite how busy it can get, and engage with your customers because they show you the way for future endeavors.
Brand Management Systems
A successful brand is a consistent brand. Customers need to see your logo, colors, fonts, and statements over and over again, to build brand awareness. To do this for your brand, use a brand management system.
A brand management system can be software or a combination of solutions centralized in the heart of your brand strategy. It helps stay consistent in all fields of your brand strategy, from content to marketing assets.
This system allows you to store all documentation in one place (logos and other visuals, marketing campaigns, presentations, etc.) Also, it means that you can finish the job more efficiently because it’s connected with other platforms. A brand management system is a union of all your brand assets in one place, on a cloud.
There are varieties of different brand management software that offer diverse solutions. Some of them are
- Widen – Simple to use because it brings content together, and it can send it anywhere, any time.
- Extensis – Supports the workflow allowing more time to focus on day-to-day activities.
- Brandmaker– Unique because it can manage three marketing tools with one software.
Brand Performance & Analysis
Analyzing brand performance gives an insight into how successful your brand is on the market. It reveals the authenticity of your brand customer’s perception of your brand.
Measuring brand performance is not as easy as measuring marketing campaigns because there are no metrics to measure awareness or perception. Still, there are some things that you can employ to analyze brand performance.
- Measure the awareness
Measuring awareness tells you how many people remember your brand. It determines whether you are the first brand they call when they hear a keyword, for example, a burger – Mcdonalds.
- Track customer’s perception of your brand
Understanding customers’ perceptions will show you how they feel about your brand and what emotions it invokes. A business proposal is a professional and attractive way to promote your business. It may include increased brand awareness and trust, as well as an increase in profits from sales-related activities.
Use different online tools that will track brand mentions on social media that give you an insight into customers’ opinions.
- Understand customer’s familiarity with your brand
This metric will indicate if the customers understand your brand and its values. One way to measure familiarity is to analyze the session duration on your website and the bounce rate.
These can be the indicators to see if you communicate your vision clearly or the communication requires some polishing.
Andrej Fedek is the creator and the one-person owner of the InterCool Studio. As an experienced marketer, he is driven by turning leads into customers. His goals always include White Hat SEO. Besides being a boss, he is a real team player with a great sense of equality.
Gravatar: [email protected]