How to build a product and service brand strategy
Marc L. Goldberg
What is a brand? It is how buyers and potential buyers perceive you, your business and the products and services you offer. Brands are perceptionsbut they become facts in the minds of consumers. Archer Malvo Ventures created a canvas to describe the construction of a brand strategy much like Strategist is committed to building a business model. Here’s what to think about when building a brand, according to Archer:
Customer/user knowledge. What do people think of the category your product is in? Is it a luxury or a commodity or something in between? How relevant are the needs, wants or desires to the product? Does it have a real impact on the lives of buyers? What problems does the product or services solve? What does the product or service do to improve the lives of shoppers?
What benefits do buyers find most valuable? Are the benefits both tangible and intangible? Some benefits are rational or tangible. Some are intangible. And what most influences their purchase decision? Is it a factor of price, quality, availability, reliability or accessibility that drives buyers to make the decision to buy?
Competition. Who are the company’s direct and indirect competitors? What defines them? Location, product/service offerings, price, availability? Are there gaps in the market that are being filled by others? What are the differentiators and competitive advantages of competitors? Is there a disruption in the product or service category? Do all of the competitors offer relatively the same product or service with minor differences, or do one or two stand out by taking a different approach?
Characteristics of the company/product/service. What is the simplest description of the product or service offering? Can it be easily communicated? Can the description include differentiators that create uniqueness in the minds of buyers?
Values represented by the brand. How do the values of the founders influence the brand? They are central to the development of a brand strategy. Brand values influence everything the organization does, how it interacts and communicates with customers, and how they provide solutions. Examples of brand values are: transparency, authenticity, collaboration, fairness, integrity, service orientation, knowledge and lifelong learning. Think about your brand, what values are delivered when current or potential customers and users see the brand communicated?
Once the brand values have been confirmed and communicated, it is time to address the brand personality. These characteristics are normally communicated in the form of adjectives describing how it is to do business with an organization. For example: warm, open, friendly, knowledgeable and quality-conscious.
Now that the brand parameters are defined, it is important to create a Brand positioning statement. After all, that’s what branding does. It positions the company, products and/or services in the minds of buyers so that they see no suitable substitute for that offer.
There are five criteria that the brand positioning statement should have: significance, unique, credible, achievable and sustainable. To do this, the audience (target customers) must be clearly defined. Who are they, how do you describe them in relation to their desires?
The description. What is, in the simplest terms, a description of the goods or services that the mark represents?
Benefit to. What is the unique selling statement that defines the key differentiators of the product or services? When combined with the people who represent the brand, what is its competitive advantage?
Evidence. What is the main purpose of a brand?
Pay. What is the ultimate emotional gain for the customer or user? Does it meet the user’s needs, wants and desires?
Brand essence. What is the central idea, the determining concept or the main differentiator of the brand? Is it material or immaterial? Is it attitudinal? Is it unique and clear and can it be communicated in two to four words – “Performance improvement through training and measurement”.
After carrying out an evaluation of the brand image of a product or service, according to HingeMarketingDeveloping a brand strategy involves specific steps:
1. Examine your overall business strategy and identify the role your brand plays in customer engagement and retention.
Small-scale economic development:Snack Shack sets the stage for the economic development of Harbor Overlook Park
2. Clearly identify and define your customer base in order to design a campaign that reaches them where they are.
3. Develop the position you want your brand to hold in the minds of current and potential buyers – are they the go-to for information, services or solutions?
4. Develop your message so that it is clear, succinct and memorable. Create a strategy that will get your message across to stick on – as the Heath brothers defined it in their historical book, “Made to Stick”.
5. Create a name, logo and tagline to connect with your target audience in a way that has meaning for them, as well as a call to action.
6. Then and only then can you develop a concrete marketing strategy to include your social media, website design and collateral materials (traditional or digital).
Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor, SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands. www.capecod.score.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-775-4884. Source: A 10-step brand strategy for your professional, www.hingemarketing.com 01/14/22, The Brand Strategy Canvas – Archer Malvo Ventures, Austin, TX.