With the advent of the digital economy, there is unprecedented convergence of consumer behaviours accompanied by the constant evolving nature of brand strategies.
Digital transformation is clearly blurring the lines between consumer usage and purchase behaviours of products and services. Hence, this spells the need to getting your brand strategy right while being aligned with your firm’s objectives.
Your brand strategy has to define what you stand for, convey these messages to the consumer and utilising the tools you need to put this strategy into words.
#1 Determining your Brand Objectives: What do you stand for?
Your brand should be composed of your company’s personality and image, which is backed by your core competencies.
Two key questions need to be asked to help determine your brand objectives.
- What do you want your brand to do for your company?
- What do you want others to know and say about your products/services?
Your brand objectives should ideally be derived from your brand’s vision, and should be easy to understand to compel your employees to take action.
Your logo, slogan and colour palette are only creative elements that convey your brand, but does not represent your brand strategy in its entirety – your brand has to live in the day-to-day interaction that you have with your customers.
Thinking of your brand as a person helps to determine its personality as well as the descriptions that you use to symbolise the brand and convey these traits in everything you do and create. These descriptions will then help you to craft positioning statements and your brand story, which you can then use throughout your company materials.
#2 Develop your brand around emotional concepts & benefits
The reason why most brands invest in creating emotional linkages to their brand is that people buy on emotion and rarely on logic.
A diamond without its branding is just seen as a shiny stone founded in mines, but De Beers saw that it needed to associate diamonds with a strong emotion (which became love) to offload its surplus of diamonds in the 1930s.
To strengthen its branding proposition, De Beers associated diamonds with occasions that encapsulated the notion of love – weddings. Their famed slogan in 1947, “A Diamond is Forever”, is still relevant today and represents the notion of timeless romance linked to love and commitment in a relationship.
De Beers also knew that besides men looking to propose, women looking for empowerment and feminine independence also formed a significant consumer segment that the diamond market could not ignore. As a result, De Beers marketed “right-hand rings”
#3 Fulfil your brand’s promise when executing your brand strategy
How will you show your customers what your company is all about?
Consumers want your brand proposition to come to life and have an impact on their lives that is relevant and applicable.
Unfortunately for most companies, particular small-medium enterprises (SMEs) which often state in their mission statements that the company “values its customers” and “strive for excellent customer service”, these words often fall into talk and no action.
It’s time to go deeper and think clearly about how you can fulfil your brand’s promise, and provide value and service to your targeted customer segment. Strong brands tend to convey credible and distinctive brand promises.
In a digital economy where customers are able to access wide sources of information at breakneck speed, there is a need to prove what your brand promises. Building that trust is needed to enhance your brand’s credibility which requires complex execution and management of one’s touch points with your customers.
Your brand strategy is the essence of what you represent, with an effective strategy helping you to communicate your business objectives clearly and precisely to your target consumers.
Following up with concrete actions that executes your brand strategy strengthens the interaction that you want with your prospects.