When it comes to brand strategy, it’s important to have the fundamentals checked off. The impact your brand strategy can have on your entire business is immense; a poorly-planned or confused brand strategy can have damaging flow-on effects across the larger business strategy, which, according to David A. Aaker, author of “Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage and Clarity”, can permanently damage the entire business’ operation and success.
Ensuring you’ve got a solid, specific, and importantly, achievable brand strategy is key to growing your business – not just for ‘conversions’ or ‘leads’, but for overall success.
Set solid goals and ensure you achieve them
Achieving growth is not as easy as setting out to ‘grow’. You need realistic and attainable goals in order to effectively impart change. When this is executed properly, it can lead to growth. Differentiating your brand from the competition is critical and this can often be the driver of brand growth. Make sure you set realistic goals, not just broad-stroke “blue sky” goals, for yourself as well as your business.
Know your product
Knowing what you’re looking to grow is imperative. Brand strategy requires in-depth knowledge of the business function or product. When looking to grow that strategy, identifying key areas to focus on is integral to success. Growth is not always aligned to returns or financial gains; brand growth can be measured on potential, social media numbers or the market valuations that they or others have accorded them.
Know your business
Do you know what size your business needs to be in order to be the most profitable? Everyone wants to run a multinational company with lots of employees, however, not all businesses function effectively at that size. Brand strategy enables you to determine optimal operations in terms of outreach, leads, sales or market share. Knowing your brand’s growth capabilities ensures you’re able to foresee the size at which you need to maintain your business and sustain profitability.
Know your market
If your business is in a position to grow its brand, then obviously you know your target audience. Cross-channel branding is hugely important in business growth and strategy, but does your audience knowledge translate to your target marketplace?
Markets change rapidly, particularly when housed online, so knowing what channel of your brand strategy you need to develop is important. Pretend it is 2006; there’s no point in growing your MySpace strategy when Facebook is about to take over. Knowing your marketplace is key to ensuring you’re disruptive and competitive in the right place, at the right time. Otherwise, you risk becoming “a monarch king of nothing”.
More than just KPIs or target sales, you need to set realistic, yet high expectations for yourself and your business in order to see real growth. It’s easy to see a small win and rest on your laurels; however, to really get ahead, being content isn’t always profitable. You need to ensure that you have the projected expectation of where your business will be, what it will achieve and lead your team to achieve these expectations.
If you’d like to learn more about creating the perfect brand strategy, SCU Online’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) covers core units in marketing. Offered 100% online and designed with flexibility and convenience in mind, you can study your online Masters degree anytime, anywhere.