Before diving into what a brand strategy is, it is important to answer the question, what is a brand? A brand is a unique set of features that identifies a product which is used in creating an image that differentiates it from its competitors. A brand is simply the perception an individual has about a product, service, experience or organization. A brand is not a product, a logo, or name of the business or website.
Let us now look at what a brand strategy is. A brand strategy is a plan that is used by a business to create a specific image of itself among its potential and current customers. The creation of this image targets differentiating the business from its competitions as well as influencing public perception in favor of the business.
A brand strategy looks at the how, where, what, when and to whom you are communicating your brand messages to. The distribution channels of a business, verbal and visual communication as well as where the business advertises is part of a company’s branding strategy. To build a strong brand, a business needs to do its research. A business should learn the needs, habits, and desires of the current and prospective customers. A business should not depend on what it thinks its customers think, it should know what they think.
Components of Brand Strategy
- Purpose; Why does your business exist? Why do the employees of the business wake up and go to work everyday? The driving force in any business acts as key differentiator between it and its competitors. Businesses that seek to achieve much more than profitability are admired more than those that are just out to make profit.
- Consistency; A business should avoid talking about things that are not related to its brand. For example, if a photo is added to its facebook page, align with the company’s message?
- Emotion; People to connect to groups, to have sense of belonging. A brand should therefore find a way to connect to its customers at a more emotional and deeper level.
- Flexibility; The world changes fast and therefore, it is important need to be flexible in order to remain relevant. Flexibility helps to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of competition.
- Competitive awareness; Competition should act as a driving force to improve its own strategy and create more value for its brand. Do the tactics of the competition fail? Do they succeed? A brand should watch and learn from its competitor’s successes and failures.
- Loyalty: If a business has people that show it love, talk about the company and brand, they need to be rewarded. These are the people who go the extra mile and talk about the brand to their family, friends and acquaintances. They act as brand ambassadors.
Techniques of Brand Strategy
There are four different techniques of Brand Strategy and they include;
- Branding by Thinking – This type of brand strategy creates a product portfolio which is controlled by a management team, product lifecycle, customer segment and supply chain. This approach is mostly used by large corporations such as Proctor and Gamble.
- Branding by Self Expression – This method allows marketers to innovate new meanings to products and customers can also participate in crating meanings that reflect their personal identities.
- Branding by Imagery – This is whereby advertising agencies develop an image for a product which is executed to the marketplace through ad campaigns and promotional methods.
- Branding by User Experience – This method mostly targets the customers as it exposes the quality and functional benefits of a product brand. The consumer is also an important element in this brand strategy approach.
Pricing in Brand Strategy
A strong pricing Strategy can have a positive effect on products brand equity. The different types of pricing strategies include;
- Premium pricing – This is the setting of high prices on products to reflect on their quality and exclusivity. The price adds more meaning and value to a purchase made and sets products apart from the competitors
- Cost- Based Pricing – This is the strategic pricing on company’s products that face stiff competition in a market place. The prices placed on goods attract more customers than other competitors.
- Everyday low pricing – This is known as a winning pricing Strategy that improves products brand equity. It also improves the position of the company as a low price and high value retailer with products that are affordable.
- Penetration Pricing – This is a pricing Strategy where the price of a product is set low to reach a large market segment. This helps in attracting new customers to purchase a product.
- Bulk Pricing – This is a price that is set to encourage shoppers to purchase more products in bulk. The merchants often offer quality discounts on bulk products to increase more sales for products.
Pros and Cons of Brand Strategy
The following are the pros and cons of brand Strategy;
- Increase customer awareness and loyalty
- Provide protection from competition using a trademark
- Brand Strategy creates consistency in the market place
- Promotes a business to its target audience
- Helps businesses in understanding its customers
- A company can attract new customers and achieve its financial goals
- Design of a brand Strategy is expensive
- It is difficult to change a new brand image
- A poor brand image can develop negative attributes for a product
- It is easy for a product to become common in a market place
- A poor brand Strategy will lead to loss of customers
- Regular changes of a brand Strategy can bring a lot of chaos and confusion
The following are the successful tips for building a strong brand strategy;
- Identify a trait that makes you unique from your competition
- Ensure that you are consistent with branding
- Showcase positivity in your brand strategy approach
- Conduct extensive brand awareness through online platforms such as Facebook, Snap chat, Twitter and Instagram
- Use your logo, name and URL to strengthen your brand loyalty
- Ensure that you are aware of your audience