Brand strategies define how a business presents themselves to customers.
Some brands have become so iconic that they no longer need their name for consumers to identify them. Houston Chronicle defines a brand strategy as a means of identifying a company in a marketplace that is unique and recognizable. A successful branding campaign can cement the business in the minds of customers. However, determining if a company’s strategy is working requires a little bit of digging. How does a business figure out if what they are doing is actually working?
Is Your Brand Strategy Working?
Entrepreneur mentions that a business’ brand is more than just their name and a logo, it defines what the company offers to clients, what values it enshrines, and what makes it unique in the industry. Brand strategies aren’t plans that businesses can concoct in an evening. They require insight into the industry as a whole, and how to best represent the company with consumers that are most likely to want the company’s products. Businesses that have fail with company branding strategies might fall into one of the following traps:
Plans that are Too Risky
Without risk, there is no reward, but riskier branding strategies have a greater chance of failing. Risky branding strategies are those that aren’t concerned with the fallout they create. Marketing Mag notes a handful of risky branding strategies that worked out, including the likes of tech giant Apple, and self-care brand Old Spice. What defines a risky strategy is one that has the potential to blow up and go viral, but whether it’s positive or negative is sometimes anyone’s guess.
Poor Execution of the Strategy
Adobe’s CMO mentions that while marketers usually have the best intentions when it comes to planning strategies, the failure in execution could haunt the brand for years to come. Brand strategies that don’t have proper logistics behind it, or lack foresight and depth won’t come off as impressive but will look as though the company is trying too hard to get their message out.
Not all branding is successful. If the return on investment for a brand strategy is just barely negligible, or into the negative figures, it’s a safe bet to conclude that the plan failed. Before a company implements its strategy, the businesses should have an idea of what a successful campaign should look like in terms of numbers. If the numbers don’t match up, it’s time to adopt a new strategy.
It’s better to tried and failed than to never have tried at all. B2B Marketing explains that a brand strategy takes the value and activity the business has on the marketplace and leverages it to reach new customers and promote its value. A branding strategy is an essential part of doing the business known to potential customers. No branding strategy inherently hobbles the business’ ability to grow and evolve.
Implementing a Functional Strategy
After taking a long, hard look at what a business should avoid in their branding strategy, the question remains as to how a company can implement a strategy that works. At its heart, a brand strategy is about giving the customer insight into what the company offers and stands for. To do this, we need to be more positive in how we present the business and what it does. The idea of proactive marketing isn’t a new one, but it’s a practice that is massively underutilized in modern branding.
Proactive branding understands that there’s no end to building a brand. Every new advertising campaign is as essential to the idea of brand image as each concluded project. Proactive branding takes the initiative to present the concept to the consumer and even include them in the growth of the brand. Psychology Today notes how vital the need to belong is for human beings as social creatures. Proactive branding taps into that innate need and leverages it to build a relationship with customers through the brand.
One of the most successful advertisements that demonstrates precisely how powerful proactive branding can be is Coca-Cola’s 2014 Share-a-Coke campaign. Investopedia mentions how well it allowed the corporation to connect personally with customers. In proactive marketing, the aim is to market the brand but to cater to the customer. The Share-a-Coke campaign manages to do both and doesn’t have to risk offending others to do so.
Developing Proactive Branding Campaigns
Granted, not all businesses have the same level of expendable income as Coca-Cola, but even smaller companies can benefit from understanding how proactive company branding strategies work and applying it to their industry. Innovative branding stands out more than the same thing that everyone is used to. All it takes for a company to implement a proactive company branding strategy successfully is to approach the problem from a new angle. Who knows, the next Share-a-Coke campaign might come from your very own business.