Balancing product advances, marketplace
differentiation and customer acquisition in today’s competitive landscape is
tough. Sustained growth…and ultimately, market dominance, relies on flawless
execution – strategic, operational and tactical. Before this can happen, a
solid brand framework needs to be in place and functioning.
This means a brand position and architecture
constructed of a well-defined value proposition, brand awareness strategy with powerful
messaging and creative execution.
A strong brand increases market share. Constant new
product and service launches ( and
relaunches ), rapidly changing technology, and new consumer attitudes make a
challenging environment even more complex. Business acquisition and customer loyalty
is built on brands delivered with distinctive articulation and unique
Position A solid brand position means providing a
sustainable competitive advantage, or brand promise, for the customer
experience. The result helps you manage a range of
critical success factors:
Increased market share
Increased lead generation
Increased customer loyalty
Increased internal motivation
It is easiest to define your brand as the sum of
all experiences your prospects and customers have with the product or service
you are selling. In our brand-driven culture, strong brands take up a larger
percentage of mind share. They influence decisions to try, repeat and remain
loyal to a product. And over a customer’s
lifetime, that loyalty represents a huge value.
Architecture A key component of brand development is the
selection of a brand system structure.A brand system is important to companies with multiple
products or service lines and numerous customer constituencies. This becomes
particularly relevant to companies investing in an aggressive sales expansion
or acquisition strategy. Examples of brand systems include:
Umbrella brand:One brand name, no product or
service names, several markets
Range brand:One brand name per market
segment, no product or service names
Line brand:Single brand for lines of very
closely related products or services
Endorsing brand:Separate brands with own
identities and positions; visible endorsement of brand guarantor
Product brand:Separate brands with own
identities and positions; no visible endorsement of parent company
system generates a strong unity or synergy between overall brand,
product/service lines, business units and sub-brands.
Equity A strong brand is simply a bottom line issue—a
long-term asset that drives margin and volume. Brand equity follows a basic
model. To those prospects that are not aware of your brand, it does not exist.
For those who are aware, the challenge is to continually seed brand-supportive
knowledge into the mind share. If what your customers perceive, and know, about
your brand corresponds with a positive use experience, you will see preference
and market share growth, ultimately followed by loyalty and potentially dominative
Strong brands are able to demand a premium price.
Brands such as Starbucks and Nike produce a much higher margin than weaker
brands, on the perception of name alone. This is in spite of the fact that
there may be little or no actual extra value in the product. A strong brand
also has a head start when it comes to launching new products. Think of the
leverage and influence of Apple, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Google, GE or Sony.
environment of product parity and commoditization, your brand may be your most
precious corporate asset. So, whether building a new brand or revitalizing an
existing brand, making any kind of adjustment must be done with a high degree
of insight, deliberateness and precision.