In the fourth PBL trigger we stayed in the branding theme and the trigger is about brand strategy and repositioning brands. I found lot of similarities in this trigger and also in the given company/ case example to the former trigger. Personally, I’m very passionate about branding and brand building and enjoy these triggers a lot.
The learning objectives for the trigger were:
- What are the brand strategy processes behind strong brands? Explain by example.
- What are the steps of a repositioning process behind strong brands? Explain by example.
Good videos to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xmLWjgtWME & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e81vy05exTQ &
I found a very good blog post called Introduction to bran strategy: 7 Essentials for a strong company brand. By definition, brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. There are many different types of branding strategies. Ultimately, a business cannot survive without a strong brand image and strategy behind it. Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. Your brand is much more than that — it’s the stuff that feels intangible. The seven components for a comprehensive branding strategy were:
- Purpose: Defining the purpose of your brand. Purpose has to be specific. While understanding what your business promises is necessary when defining your brand positioning, knowing why you wake up everyday and go to work carries more weight. In other words, your purpose is more specific, in that it serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors. IKEA’s vision isn’t just to sell furniture, but rather, to “create a better everyday life.”
- Consistency: All of your messaging is cohesive. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty. For example when you post pictures to Facebook they all need to relate to or enhance your brand. To see a great example of consistency, let’s look at Coca Cola. As a result of their commitment to consistency, every element of their marketing works harmoniously together
- Emotion: Meaning emotional branding and creating community around your brand and make customers feel they are part of something bigger.
- Flexibility: In this fast-changing world, marketers must remain flexible to stay relevant. While consistency aims to set the standard for your brand, flexibility enables you to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competition. These days, Old Spice is one of the best examples of successful marketing across the board. However, up until recently, wearing Old Spice was pretty much an unspoken requirement for dads everywhere. Today, they’re one of the most popular brands for men of all ages.
- Employee involvement: It’s equally important for your employees to be well versed in the how they should be communicating with customers and representing the brand. Zappo and zappos customer service, that everyone keeps excellent.
- Loyalty: You should thank your customers for their loyalty. Loyalty is a critical part of every brand strategy, especially if you’re looking to support your sales organization. At the end of the day, highlighting a positive relationship between you and your existing customers sets the tone for what potential customers can expect if they choose to do business with you.
- Competitive awareness: Take the competition as a challenge to improve your own strategy and create greater value in your overall brand.
Then I searched for strategies that different successful companies use to build a strong brand. I found that often these companies follow these steps:
- Be focused
- Figure out what makes you special
- Be authentic
- Understand your client
- Define your company voice
- Take advantage of social media
- Remember the customer always comes first
Goal definition is also a crucial thing. As you develop a brand strategy, it helps to start at the beginning. In other words, begin by setting your business goals. You should also avoid short-term plan, when it comes to building a brand, it’s a big mistake to get caught up in the short-term activities and tactics. Brands aren’t built overnight, so your brand strategy shouldn’t be focused on short-term tactics but rather on long-term goals and sustainable growth. You should still also stay flexible as well.The best brands stick with their strategies, but those strategies leave room for flexibility as the market, consumers, and competitors change.
I found a Brand Equity Model for building a strong brand. The concept behind the Brand Equity Model is simple: in order to build a strong brand, you must shape how customers think and feel about your product. You have to build the right type of experiences around your brand, so that customers have specific, positive thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions, and perceptions about it.
The four steps of the pyramid represent four fundamental questions that your customers will ask – often subconsciously – about your brand.
The four steps contain six building blocks that must be in place for you to reach the top of the pyramid, and to develop a successful brand. When you have strong brand equity, your customers will buy more from you, they’ll recommend you to other people, they’re more loyal, and you’re less likely to lose them to competitors. The model in the figure illustrates the four steps that you need to follow to build strong brand equity. Keller’s Brand Equity model is also known as the Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Model.
Within a pyramid, the model highlights four key levels that you can work through to create a successful brand. These four levels are:
- Brand identity.
- Brand meaning.
- Brand responses.
- Brand relationships.
Within these four levels are six building blocks that further help with brand development. These six building blocks are salience, performance, imagery, judgments, feelings, and resonance.
I also found a very good article that presented 7 different most common brand strategies that companies use published by CMG partenrs.
- Name Brand Recognition
A well-established company will often use the weight of its own name brand to extend to its products. Most often, a company with large name brand recognition can be recognized by its logo, slogan, or colors. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple, and Mercedez-Benz are all iconic while featuring multiple subsidiary products featured under the company name.
- Individual Branding
Sometimes a larger company may produce products that carry their own weight independent of the parent company. This strategy involves establishing the brand as a unique identity that is easily recognizable. General Mills, for example, distributes Cheerios, Chex, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kix, Total, Trix, and more—and that’s just the cereal division. The company also distributes other major brands from every food group.
- Attitude Branding
Ambiguous marketing can often go above the actual product itself in the case of attitude branding. These brands all use strategies that bring to life personality and a customized experience with products and services. NCAA, Nike, and the New York Yankees made Forbes list of “The World’s Most Valuable Sports Brands 2015,” and are automatically associated with a certain style. Other brands, such as Apple and Ed Hardy, also reflect a customer’s self-expression.
- “No-brand” Branding
A minimalist approach can speak volumes. No-brand products are often simple and generic in design. The most successful company to establish this marketing method is the Japanese company, Muji, which simply translates to “no label.”
- Brand Extension
Brand extension occurs when one of your flagship brands ventures into a new market. Say you have a shoe company that is now making jackets, athletic wear, and fragrances. The brand name carries its own identity to your product mix.
- Private Labels
Store brands—or private labels—have become popular at supermarkets. Retail chains such as Kroger, Food Lion, and Wal-Mart can produce cost-effective brands to compete with larger retailers.
These brands are outsourced to the public for brand creation, which allows customers the chance to be involved in the naming process, and effectively drives up personal interest in a product.
It was mentioned that these popular brand strategies only scratch the surface, and there are plenty of other strategies as well.
2. I started my studies about the second learning objective by looking for the definitions in able to understand the objective well.
Brand repositioning is when a company changes a brand’s status in the marketplace. This typically includes changes to the marketing mix, such as product, place, price and promotion. Repositioning is done to keep up with consumer wants and needs. To implement brand repositioning the company must choose a strategy. Each strategy determines where the main focus of the new campaign will be. The new campaign may focus on the consumer, other businesses or the general public. Let’s review some available strategies. There is a constant need to innovate, reinvigorate, update, recalibrate, or just simply fend off the competition in an effort to better explain “why buy me.”
As companies and brands today look to brand repositioning, they first have to ask what the reasons are for repositioning the brand. They can include declining sales, loss of consumer/user base, stagnant product benefits, or the competition, including such issues as increased technology and new features.
Phase I. Determining the Current Status of the Brand
- What differentiates our company and brand from the competition?
- What are the equity drivers of the company and brand?
- What are the historical ways to communicate the company and brand equity to consumers and customers alike?
- Who is the current target customer base?
- What is his/her profile?
- What are the reasons for purchase?
- What are the buying patterns?
- What are the user patterns?
Phase II. What Does the Brand Stand for Today?
- Identifying key growth areas for your brand, marketplace and industry opportunities
- Looking at your brand positioning in the competitive landscape
- Measuring the current equity of your brand
- Determining opportunity areas of where to take the equity of your brand.
Phase III. Developing the Brand Positioning Platforms
- Who do we want our brand to be?
- What benefits will it deliver to the consumer?
- How will we promote the brand product purchase, collection, and user patterns?
Phase IV. Refining the Brand Positioning and Management Presentation
Review and refine the new brand positioning and communicate to all function departments in order to align efforts.
The I took a look of the examples of re-positioning and re-branding. I think Apple is one of the best ones and certainly famous ones. Apple almost faced bankruptcy and then they made a campaign of THINK DIFFERENT. Jobs used the brand’s outsider image entice customers to rebel by choosing Apple products; its 1997 And the “Think Different” campaign essentially marked the beginning of Apple’s re-emergence as a marketing powerhouse. – Apple expanded beyond its original core product line of computers, but that didn’t require a change in their name. They simply dropped the word “Computers” and shifted the message to “Think Different.”
Nike is another good and famous example. Nike began life as a footwear company – but with the introduction of “Just do it” they began an evolution into an athleticism brand that now spans numerous products and sub-brands and that has taken the brand into more and more new areas. More recently, Nike’s technology initiatives have seen them emerge as an important brand in the “wearables” market, pursuing lucrative opportunities with health-conscious consumers.
Good points to remember:
- Reposition if the company name is right but the message and/or image are wrong
- Rebrand if your company name causes confusion
Repositioning a company makes sense when the company brand name is well established and not in any way misleading. In other words, it’s not so much an issue with the identity as it is with the image and reputation. Apple expanded beyond its original core product line of computers, but that didn’t require a change in their name. They simply dropped the word “Computers” and shifted the message to “Think Different.” They no longer position their brand as a “computer company” but more as a cool digital lifestyle provider.