Brand development strategy is a formal plan that companies develop to build an image or perception about their product or service in the eyes of their current and target customers. Industry leaders invest a lot of time and money in building their brand. If properly executed, a brand development strategy can drive customers to select a particular product out of all available options in the market. Once the brand has been recognized by the target audience, it provides growth in revenue and exponential increase in market share. Companies like Coke and Apple are recognized around the world by people of all ages and in all walks of life because they have a strong brand image. When companies are being bought or sold, the brand value is taken into account during the valuation phase.
A brand is represented by a logo and sometimes a tagline as well. An example of a world-recognized brand logo is the Nike ‘swoosh’ which is followed by a tagline ‘Just Do it’. Brand logo and tagline takes a considerable amount of time in a brand development strategy. Therefore, when companies develop a brand image, they usually ‘trademark’ it so that it cannot be used by anyone or any corporation anywhere in the world. Each brand has an interesting story behind its logo. A single bite on the ‘Apple’ logo was designed so that people would not confuse it with a tomato.
How corporations define their brand development strategy
Brand development strategy is a major challenge for any corporation while marketing their product. While formulating a brand development strategy, companies focus on three essential components of the business which include:
- The purpose behind the product or service being offered.
- The consistency of serving customers with right product or services.
- How the firm is able to emotionally connect with its target audience.
Here are some useful steps in defining a brand development strategy:
Define your brand purpose
In order to build a powerful global brand, companies need to identify the purpose of their business, and how they can leverage on the brand to achieve that purpose. Brand development strategy may differ based on whether a company wants to launch a new product, increase the market share of an existing product or create the product’s awareness.
Tesla is a great example of one of the most powerful brands in the market today. However, unlike General Motors, which focuses on promoting its luxury SUVs, Tesla’s brand image creates awareness about how electric cars can help in conserving energy resources. Based on the brand purpose, Tesla focuses on building technology that drives fuel efficiency, without compromising on speed.
Spend time on creating awareness
Building a brand name requires a lot of time and effort. Some of the most powerful global brands including Coke and Microsoft have spent decades in building up their brands. Coke, when it was introduced in the early 1900s, was considered as a luxury drink available only in bars. Over time it has become the most widely used soft drink around the globe.
While building a brand development strategy, companies emphasize a lot on creating product awareness. There are many ways to make the target audience aware of a new or existing product or service. The best way for brand managers to create awareness about their company is through social media channels. Keeping the target audience updated with the latest developments and upcoming events helps them stay connected and ‘spread the word’ about the company.
When customers respond to brand marketing, it is always important to reward them for their purpose. One of the best examples of how companies promote loyalty is through reward points. Loyal customers account for the majority of sales in any industry. Banks reward customers for every referral they bring, while online retailers reward clients for high purchase with free delivery or bonus cash.
Companies that are able to build a loyal customer save on marketing costs, and dedicate their time on new customer acquisition.
Involve everyone at the firm
A brand development strategy is not just executed by top management, but it is implemented at all levels. Every employee of a company is their brand ambassador. World class brands provide a great experience to their customers from their first point of contact to the time they are delivered with the final product.
Top airlines are a great example of how every staff member plays a significant role in building up the brand. Customers are provided great service from the time they book their ticket to the time they reach their destination. Every individual is a brand ambassador, whether they host the customer during the flight or receive them at the baggage counter. With so many people involved in promoting a brand, companies are able to create a long-lasting impact on their customers.
Always be willing to innovate
Brand development strategy is not just focused on creating a strong impression on existing customers; it is used to create a long-lasting impact that lasts for generations. Brands need to be ‘adjusted’ with time. Barnes & Noble is a great example of how companies are able to bring innovation to their brand development strategy. The company was initially designed to attract customers to physical outlets where they could not only buy books but also read them. With time, the organization realized that people were buying books from Amazon rather than visiting local stores. The company quickly adapted to this change and today Barnes & Noble boasts one of the top online bookstores in the world.
An important part of being innovative is to be flexible and embrace change before a brand becomes obsolete.
While formulating a brand development strategy, companies should focus on being consistent with how they project their brand on different media channels. All platforms whether they are physical stores, online websites or social media pages should resonate with each other to show consistency in brand marketing.
The brand implementation strategy is a vital component in the growth of any kind of business. Therefore, companies need to ensure that it resonates well with their product or service and that it is embraced by every individual at the firm.