Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Why You Need a Brand Strategy," discusses the importance of branding and why all organizations should have or develop a brand strategy. The art of branding is different from a sales strategy. For one, branding is an ongoing effort designed to secure mindshare over the long term. After all, if folks are unaware of the brand, how can they consider buying from that brand? Sales, on the other hand, is also an ongoing method that keeps businesses afloat; however, sales is a short term tactic and, as such, changes consistently over the term of the sales objectives.
Our Quote of the Day: "If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand." – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
The art of branding appears to have taken a back seat to the immediate sales activation process, whereby most marketing collateral tactics initiate quick sales with consumers, and that's for both B2C and B2B.
The Branding Game
Branding took its leap forward from the early days of television, where we experienced ad spots that shied away from offering sales pricing and the like. Instead, television advertising mostly delivers a value proposition that represents the brand. Very few calls-to-action are part of those ads.
As the digital age intruded into our lives and grew to dominate our every waking moment, television advertising gave way to immediate sales tactics. These tactics include special pricing, freebies, BOGO, and time-sensitive declarations that focus primarily on products and services. As the debate rages on, some marketers believe that by sticking with sales activation content, they can raise brand equity. They wrongly assume that a "sales strategy" gets the brand off the hook when it comes to developing and deploying a brand strategy.
Television broadcasting adds to the complexity of brand strategy. Now, television has to compete with digital, and in particular, social media, video, and email marketing strategies. As the consumer marketplace has exploded into thousands of niche groups, it is much more difficult for consumers to find brands, unless of course, the business has established itself as a brand contender.
The Numbers Game
Home Depot is an excellent example of a brand creating mindshare. When you think of home repairs, paints, tools, redecorating, flooring, windows, or just about anything related to home care, Home Depot is in the conversation. Why? For one, Home Depot ran two types of campaigns, one that focuses on who and what Home Depot represents, and other campaigns that are primarily sales-driven and seasonal by nature.
The point is that while I may not need anything for my home or landscaping today, if and when I do, Home Depot quickly becomes top of mind. That is an example of mindshare. Keep in mind that developing and creating mindshare is a long term consistent effort that focuses more on value than sales.
Strategic Benefits of Having a Strong Brand
If you want your brand to last, you build it on a robust, strategic foundation. The foundation should be grounded in a strong sense of (brand) self and cover all brand endeavors. Attention spans are much shorter today because we, as a culture, are exposed to massive amounts of information, advertising, and other forms of marketing.
Keep in mind that we also have a heightened BS meter, while simultaneously feeling overwhelmed, not to mention our fickle meter and its ability to jump off the charts.
Brands that have a robust and consistent image can boost recall and awareness, which, in the long run, almost guarantees that those brands will stand out from their competitors. More importantly, those brands have a brand presence that provides consumers with the ability to anticipate offerings, which ultimately ensures brand survival.
Brands that Experiment are Rewarded
The art of creating a perfect brand does not exist. Consumers have learned that brands willing to experiment drive reception levels to a higher ground of acceptance. All brands must remain competitive, and to that end, it is a dangerous proposition for brands to jump to the latest trends just because the competition does.
Moreover, it's also a good idea to make small, intelligent changes along the way to avoid waking up one day only to realize that the consumer has moved on, possibly with the competition.
When brands do take the plunge and experiment, it is critical to keep your consumers and prospects in the loop. You may even find it necessary to explain why the brand has chosen to experiment at this time. One should note that the belief that consistent is equal to uniform is a huge misnomer. That said, you must protect brand assets while simultaneously investing in ways that distribute and project them to consumers. The brand must also be multi-dimensional complete with nuanced layers and meanings that engage various niche audiences, their needs, wants, and pain points.
Purpose Driven Brands Excel
When a brand can effectively communicate a purpose-driven lifestyle brand concept, steeped in authentic brand values that reflect how the business model operates, consumers tend to react positively.
It is also essential to consider building a brand portfolio where the one-size-does-not-fit-all is taken under advisement. This type of portfolio allows brands to execute in various directions and incorporate different elements that alert customers and maintains their interests.
Brand building is not an afternoon walk in the park. Instead, the brand-building process is one of consistency that focuses on value and lifestyle elements, coupled with an ability to impart to consumers and prospects that the brand does care about their lives and concerns.
Brand building helps prospects. After all, when consumers are in the market for a product or service that your brand offers, your brand should be in the consideration mix; if it isn't top of mind, that is a problem and the reason why organizations need a brand strategy. Thanks for reading" Why You Need a Brand Strategy!"
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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "New Marketing Strategies for 2020," examines what marketers, digital innovators, and brands are now contemplating if they want to re...