Branding strategies are the base of marketing practices used for optimizing the presence of a business, brand, or individual by differentiating them from the other competitors. The branding team of an organization generally involves in creating a brand message, logo design, brand identity, mission statement, etc in a consistent manner throughout each of the online and offline marketing communication types.
What are Branding Strategies?
Branding strategy is the long-term inter-departmental plan that is formulated to achieve the specific marketing and advertising goals of the brand. A company needs to design a brand strategy that can provide a competitive edge, improvement in customer experiences, or financial performance.
Types of Branding Strategies
Different types of brand strategy that a business can use are-
1. Company Name
In this branding strategy, a company uses its name to improve brand recognition among consumers. Generally, a consumer can identify the logos, slogans, packaging, or colours associated with the business as a whole rather than associating it with a product brand only.
When a company chooses a feeling or attitude strategy to market its product, this strategy is called attitude branding. Here, a company tries to create an emotional connection between the brand and its customers.
3. Brand Extension
When an existing well-established brand decides to extend its name to launch a new product in the market, this situation is known as Brand Extension Building. Here, the products can be different, but the brand stays the same.
Individual branding is the branding strategy where a company chooses to provide an individual brand name to its well-known products. In other words, every product will have its brand name with the help of which a consumer can recognize the respective product.
In some situations, a successful store brand uses the private label strategy to compete with large retailers.
Successful store brands may use private-label branding strategies to compete with larger retailers. For example, supermarket chains such as Kroger produce cost-effective brand options for specific food items.
6. Online Brand Strategy
It is also popular as internet branding. It can be used for enabling businesses to position themselves as a part of the online marketplace and optimize their presence on the web. It includes the use of websites, blogs, social media channels, etc.
7. Co-Brand Strategy
This type of brand strategy is used for connecting companies together. It can be understood as a marketing partnership between two or more brands or businesses. All the involved brands impact each other positively that helps in growing their businesses. The common branding strategy of Frito Lay and Taco Bell in the form of Doritos Locos Taco is a popular example of this strategy.
This type of brand strategy is used for a specific person. Such forms of branding are generally used for establishing an individual as a brand. This strategy is considered best-suited for politicians, celebrities, leaders, etc. as it presents a person’s character, personality, or work in front of the target public or the audience as a brand.
Such sorts of branding strategies are used for optimizing the presence of a particular product by making it distinct and recognizable. The use of designs or symbols is well integrated and it helps you understand the importance of product USPs that can directly communicate with your customers. The success of this strategy is based upon the consistency and performance of the product in beating the competition.
This type of branding is used for presenting a business or brand to the world and its own employees. It could use the mission, core value, and personality of the business as the key elements of the strong brand strategy used to build brand awareness.
To channelize service branding, companies try to offer best-in-class services to their users. Such businesses try to be consistent with their personalized and state-of-the-art services that play a key role in doing free marketing for the business. This form of branding strategy is considered quite powerful in optimizing the market repute of customer-service-driven companies.
5 Steps for Building Strong Branding Strategy
The best approach to develop a successful brand strategy, follow the 5-step process that is listed below:
1. Define the purpose of the organization
For building a successful branding strategy, it is crucial to understand the purpose of the organization. Here, the focus should be on the values that a company wants to provide to its customers. However, financial performance analysis is also essential. Therefore, the first step towards building a branding strategy is to do a soul-searching activity.
While making a brand strategy for the first time, even the top brands like Coca-Cola, BMW, Amazon, etc define the identity and purpose of their product or service, and accordingly, they define the purpose of the organization.
2. Understand the Environment
The next step after soul-searching is to analyze the business environment in which a company is operating. Every business has its competitors, and their performance or decision will affect your business indirectly too. So, it is necessary for any business first to analyze the competition’s performance, actions, or brands and then move ahead for developing brand strategy.
For this step, a business can use several tools for analyzing the competitors’ position and performance. One way is to conduct competitor analysis, and others can be perceptual maps of industry position or analysis of competitive forces of the industry.
3. Set SMART Objectives
After understanding the business environment, the next step is to set SMART objectives for the brand strategy. Here, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. The goals for brand strategy should include the critical strategic areas. It should be relevant for the marketplace and business.
4. Create a Strategic Plan
In this step of brand strategy, the company needs to start planning how it will meet the decided SMART objectives. This strategic plan will outline the plans for investment and action to achieve the desired SMART objectives. The actions should be flexible so that they can support the growth of the business as well. A company should include mission, values, language, visual guidelines, departmental process and policies, and investment plans for expansion and acquisition.
5. Test, Refine and Develop the Plan
After developing the strategic plan, it is vital to test it regularly. A company should see whether the decided plan is the best fit for the brand strategy and whether it is still relevant and effective in a competitive environment. If a company finds that this brand strategy is not meeting the needs, then refine and develop the plan.
While making brand strategies for a business, it is important to define your brand identity by knowing the company’s mission, core values, USP, creative elements, etc.
The marketing efforts incorporated in your brand strategy should do research and define your brand’s audience before sharing the brand story with the world. Being aware of your target market will let you have enough data to solidify your brand message and choose the right brand strategy.
What are your thoughts about the benefits of branding strategy? Share with us in the comment section below.
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.