A clear brand strategy is key to success.
It can help direct decisions and define the kind of brand you want to be.
Micheal Coden (Head of Marketing at ProQuo AI) and Jim Brennan (Managing Director) spoke to us about the all-important task of creating your brand strategy.
Read on for their six essential steps for getting your strategy nailed down.
1. The Opportunity 👀
Work out where your brand sits within the market. What opportunities can you go after?
Look at this in terms of three areas:
Understand the world around you.
Work out what’s going on in the category you’re in. How big is it? What are the subcategories? Where can your brand fit?
What do customers need within the category? What could your brand serve them?
Work out whether customers in your category buy because of more emotional reasons (e.g. Attraction or Transparency) or rational ones (e.g. Value for money or Availability) and look for areas you could disrupt.
What other brands are playing in your space? Where are they doing well and where are they weak? Look for opportunities to meet customers’ needs and create value for them.
2. The Audience 👩💻
Define your target audience. These are the people who will get the most value from your products.
Michael & Jim recommend segmenting into four areas:
- Location (e.g. where in the world, are they urban or rural?)
- Demographics (e.g. age, gender)
- Lifestyle (e.g. what are their hobbies and mindsets?)
- Behaviours (e.g. do they already use products in your category, how often do they buy?)
Use these segments to write out a definition of your target audience.
3. The “What” ❓
It’s time to define your business objectives. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish in the current year, following year, and in five years. Set objectives to define what you want to achieve that year.
You could have a business objective for a few different areas:
- Grow distribution – convince retailers your brand is worth stocking.
- Gain penetration – get your product into more households.
- Drive market share – take on a competitor.
- Grow category – create more usage occasions.
- Disrupt the category – attack an area no one else has their eye on.
4. The “How” 🧐
Now figure out your marketing objectives. This is how you’re going to deliver on your business goals. How do you want your target audience to feel about you to get them to do what you need?
Michael & Jim use GET-TO-BY here: GET a target audience TO do something that delivers your business objective BY marketing.
This becomes your marketing mission statement.
5. The Details 😅
Position your brand to own the opportunity. How will you present yourself to the outside world?
Now you know who you’re going after, what you’d like them to do, and how to get them there, it’s time to pull out the marketing levers. Which do you need to pull to meet your objectives?
- Proposition – what’s your brand’s purpose and promise to its customers? Make sure you can articulate it in one sentence.
- Product – what are the functional and emotional benefits of your product? Choose the right mixture of both to present value to your audience, based on whether your category is more Rational or Emotional.
- Packaging – this is one of the strongest comms channels you have. How can you use it to appeal to your target audience?
- Price – think about price as value. Your product is only worth as much as your customer is willing to pay based on the value it adds to them. Don’t start with margin.
- Promotional strategy – work out how much promotion and sales you want to do. Promos reflect on brand image, so make sure not to be too aggressive.
- Place – where do you want to sell your product to reach your target audience? Do you want to choose a limited number of outlets or go big? Also, think about where in-store or online you’d like your product to sit.
6. The Story 📝
Find the story that compels your target audience to take the action you want to hit your objectives. What will compel them to act?
Creative is a big part of this. Put together a really strong brief that outlines what you want to achieve, who you’re trying to reach, and what you want them to do. The more single-minded your messaging, the better.
Once you’ve gone through all the steps, write out the key points on a page to refer back to. Make sure your strategy is consistent – don’t pivot based on knee jerk responses to the unexpected. Instead, go back and understand how to solve the problem based on the strategy.
Enjoyed reading Micheal and Jim’s tips? Check out the full talk for even more advice on building your brand’s strategy.
Charlotte & The Copy Club Team