Brand management, Brand strategy

How to succeed with your brand development strategies

Having a brand development strategy is an essential part of company growth. In fact, as much as 77% of B2B marketers say branding is crucial for company growth. But how do you ensure success? 

First, you need to start with a plan – where you are going and how will you get there? And knowing that branding is more than just one task, your plan also needs a line of attack on how to overcome the obstacles and challenges that lie ahead.  

Planning is easy, execution is hard. Let’s have a look at what we believe are essential steps in succeeding with your brand development strategy.  

Brand growth demands brand consistency 

Is your brand a newcomer or a veteran? Are you looking to conquer a new market or target group? Or perhaps you are launching a sub-brand? Multiple angles of approach, but anyway we twist and turn, the way to brand growth demands brand consistency. 

Successful brands worldwide have one thing in common, their ability to remain consistent while building long lasting relationships with their consumers. Look at Apple or Mercedes Benz, ranked in top 10 best global brands by Interbrands in 2020, these two brands have managed to stay consistent worldwide for years. Regardless of product lines or consumer behaviour, their brand stay the same.  

Also read: Empower your brand development with BrandMaster

Step 1 – Identify your branding challenges 

You need to understand your current brand processes and identify your challenges to succeed. And this is an important part of the entire process, as it will also establish the foundation for measuring your brand development success later down the line. Start by listing issues and problems faced by the organization with regards to brand management. Look closely at the challenges and needs in the marketing department: 

  • The ability to remain consistent: Colleagues and local offices are struggling to get hold of correct branded material and repeatedly, off-brand assets and communications are distributed.  
  • Lack of resources: Your marketing team is struggling to deliver on demand. There is simply not enough time to support requests and you fall behind, unable to deliver your brand on time.  
  • Limited budget: Budget cuts is not uncommon, and you are forced to cancel or limit brand campaigns.  
  • Unable to stay market relevant: The market changes fast, and if you are already struggling with the above, your ability to remain market relevant is impossible.  
  • Stuck in a loop: Are you constantly getting the same questions for assets or collateral?  

Step 2 – Map up your current branding situation 

A new brand has the luxury of starting from scratch, but if you have been in the market for a while and stagnated, you need to know why. Either way, to analyse your current state, here are some questions to consider that can help you decide on the next steps;   

  • How loyal is your target group? Is it of importance for your target group what brand they choose, or are there other elements in focus? Price, quality, where to purchase, etc.  
  • Is your brand perceived as intended? Is your brand understood as intended and are you delivering on your promise?  
  • What’s the competition? Who are they and how successful are they? Know what you are up against and understand how to get in front.  
  • How do you reach your target group? In store, online.. You need to be where your customers are, so make sure you know where that is.  
  • What is the length of buying decision process? If the purchase decision is made in the store, you need to plan on how to convince and build-up brand recognition that puts you in front of your competitors. If the decision process is long and requires research, you need to plan on how you can help them decide and take part in their purchase cycle.  

These and many more questions should be considered before you move on to deciding what brand development strategy to choose.  

Step 3 – Identify the strategy that will lead to your brands growth  

Many roads lead to Rome. Which way suits your brand? If you are new it is safe to say that you have to start building brand awareness and make a name for yourself. If you have been in the game for a while, but reached market stagnation, you need to identify how to unlock your growth potential. Do you need to target a new market? Do you have to redefine your brand promise?  

Whatever it is, make sure you decide what’s best for your brand. Look at what factors are holding your growth back.  

Step 4 – Identify your brand’s development metrics  

You are ready to execute, but before you do make sure you have the necessary KPI’s in place to make sure you can measure your success based on facts instead of feelings. In other words, you need to set KPI’s that can measure before and after.  

(KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators and is a term commonly used in business to measure how things are going. For business goals KPIs represent a metric that is used to gauge how well you perform). 

Also read: Identifying KPI’s in brand management

Let’s look at some KPI examples: 

Metric 1:  

As initially stated, consistency is key to brand growth, but your current state is showing that local offices are repeatedly using the wrong logo.  

Strategy goal: Secure brand consistency  

KPI: All local offices should within 3 months use the correct logo according to brand guidelines. 

Metric 2:  

Regardless of how much your try, you simply do not have enough resources and time to deliver on demand and you lose out on brand presence. Yet brand growth is dependent on your ability to be visible in the market.  

Strategy goal: Secure brand presence 

KPI: No backlog of requests. Respond to requests within same working day.  

Metric 3:  

Growing a brand demands focus. However, current status shows that you are constantly spending your time on ad hoc- and repeated tasks and your time for value added brand work is reduced.  

Strategy goal: Enable self-serviced brand assets 

KPI: Eliminate requests for existing assets. 

Step 5 – Enable proper branding processes  

You are aware of your challenges and you have a plan on how to overcome them while growing your brand. Now what? This is when you have to start thinking about what it will take to reach your KPI’s that will lead to you succeeding with your brand development strategies.  

We recommend that you look into a brand management platform. Not only will such a tool help to structure your branding processes, it will also increase your marketing efficiency and establish seamless workflows that are beneficial for your entire company.