Brand differentiation, in an increasingly homogenized and highly competitive marketplace, has become a critical factor for any organization’s long-term success.
One element that unequivocally gives any organization a strategic advantage in driving brand differentiation is developing an effective brand strategy over simply executing conventional marketing tactics.
Okay, but what exactly does that mean and what do words like brand, branding, and brand strategy development really mean?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your consumers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
Your brand allows your consumers to connect emotionally with you.To develop a brand strategy, evaluate your organization:
- Are your services about guidance, performance, and simplification, or about expediency and cheap labor?
- Are your products the high-cost, high-quality options, or the low-cost, high-value options relative to your competitive set?
- Are you widely known as the innovative gunslinger in your industry, or the experienced, reliable one?
Your brand, and therefore your organization, can't be everything to everyone, or it’ll be nothing to no one fast.
Create a memorable and effective online brand
Who you are as an organization and as a brand are based significantly on whom your Strategic Value Consumer (SVC) is or who you need you to be.
A Strategic Value Consumer is the group of consumers that will get an organization the furthest, the fastest, relative to its goals.
If the foundation of any organization’s brand is its logo communicated through, among other places, it’s website, packaging, and promotional materials, then its brand strategy is the how, what, where, when, and to whom it plans on communicating and delivering on its brand messages.
- How an organization goes to market for its consumers is part of its brand strategy.
- What methodologies (inbound vs. outbound marketing methods) it uses to activate its branding and messaging is part of its brand strategy.
- Where an organization advertises is part of its brand strategy.
- Its distribution channels are part of its brand strategy.
- And what it communicates visually and verbally is part of its brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to an organization’s products and/or services that allows it to charge more for its brand than what identical, unbranded products command.
One good example of this is Pepsi® vs. a generic soda. Because Pepsi® has built substantial brand equity within the marketplace, it can within reason charge more for its product, and its consumers will happily pay that higher price.
The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment.
For example, Gatorade® associates its products with famous athletes widely regarded as the premier players within their respective position and sport who also have built up their own brand equity, hoping consumers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to their product. For Gatorade®, it's not just the sports drink features that sell the drink; it’s also the athlete’s individual brand equity.
Defining your organization’s brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming, and uncomfortable, but without question well worth the time and effort.
e-webstrategy can guide you through this journey. We have the tools and resources available to get you from where you are, embracing everything you’ve done up to this point, and taking you where you want to be, providing Guidance, Performance, and Simplification.