Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.
What are the characteristics and the tenets of any brand strategy? Let's try to find the answer to this question through this blog.
Marketers with every advert or plan, always try to tell a story to their audience. Their primary objective is to educate the population so that they can capture the attention and perception of the people.
But, advertisers have to be wary about the consistency and initiative of their branding strategy. There are specific things that marketers can learn and understand before they pump efforts and resources into creating the perfect brand strategy to lure shoppers to their brand.
So, let us dig deep and try to understand what precautions advertisers must aware of when they create a branding plan for their product or service.
1. The branding strategy should have a clear and coherent objective or goal
What is the point of creating an advertisement campaign if it does not have a target to achieve and push for?
As a marketer, you have to be certain about what you can expect from your advertisements. If your strategy does not have a proper plan, then you will always wonder when to stop, accelerate, slow down, or push for the maximum.
Your brand strategy should always promise something to the audience, and it should give them a reason to associate with you. Along with that, as a responsible marketer, you must also be clear about what you want to achieve with your plan. If you know that, then you will have a very clear vision of what needs to happen, how it must get done, and how much effort you have to put in.
Your brand strategy’s purpose should also match your organizational goals. For example, if you want quick success from your business then your advertising plan should be robust. Whereas, if you want to attract loyal customers, spread goodwill, and divulge trust, then your advert scheme should do likewise. Also, it is always about providing excellent service and quality, rather than about making profits all the time. People love these types of brand strategies where entities logically educate people about their offerings.
See this advert from KFC, as clear as daylight.
2. All types and mediums of communications should get used
Which form of media should I use or reject?
When you want to inform someone about something, we are sure you always make use of all types of communication channels. For example, you call, meet up with the concerned person personally, send an email, share a picture of the event at his or her social media account, and if possible send an invitation card via postal mail!
The marketers should do the same thing when it comes to informing that ‘someone’. Here every single person is the audience, and because of it, they must maintain a holistic approach towards selecting the medium to interact with customers.
There are several sources that companies can use to fine-tune their brand strategy.
- Digital media adverts
- Traditional media options like print, radio, billboards, and outdoor mediums
- TV advertisement etc.
When you have a robust brand strategy and when you intend to maximize your media circulation, then you can also depend on a balanced media mix plan. Remember; never discount any single medium channel just because you believe it can’t provide you with the true benefit.
Take inspiration from PayTM— the company uses all forms of advertisements to educate the Indian audience about the digital economy and cashless payments.
3. Consistency in your message and vision is the key in all scenarios
For how many years shall my brand strategy run and should my message differ?
It is vital that your brand strategy campaign should remain consistent and not steer away from your brand’s value and image. Every radio jingle that you make, or billboard that you put up, has to portray the same thing. Do not confuse your audience by highlighting different styles and adverts at different times.
It is vital that you should have consistency on whatever adverts you place for the shoppers to check out. Look what Pepsi has been up to with their brand strategy. It is consistent and similar in every single medium they use. Cohesive messages and harmonious plans have allowed the company to be one of the leading brands in both India and the world.
Because of their current strategy, people these days associate a smiley face with the brand Pepsi!
Another important thing is the timeline. Now companies might or may not want to change their branding strategy yearly and at multiple frequencies. However, it is critical to keep a similar, or at least homogenous, advertisement plan for an extended period of time to keep your brand and the campaign popular.
Take inspiration from Amul, the company over the years has educated the population about recent events in a very unique and consistent way, just to connect with the people of India.
People now associate the brand with witty billboards and hoardings thanks to its consistency for the last 30 plus years or so.
4. Be adjustable in your approach
I have to be consistent but dynamic, what changes can I make then?
Okay, it is vital to stay consistent, but you must also keep your advertising program flexible so that you can maintain the balance at all times. It is logical to be consistent, but it is also vital for your brand to provide fresh and unique things in the process. Take the Amul posters again. Their idea, and approach, remains consistent but their content changes with every single event or signboard. Here they provide the flexibility that a branding campaign may need.
Just check out how neatly Godrej has changed its branding strategy to suit the younger audience whilst being traditional. They have also invested in business plans that have made sure that the brand is affordable to all in order to appeal to the masses in India. Sometimes, even if your campaign is used for years, you have to change at least the content of your adverts to suit the current scenario. But, never rule out a complete change if you feel the plan is not working in the current advertisement ecosystem and environment.
5. Always remember your loyal customers
Thank your loyal customers; they are the ones who will get you new set of people to serve with their convincing powers.
Whatever planning you do or whichever medium you select, you must always keep the focus towards your customers. And, your branding strategy should pay respect to its loyal customers too. You can provide your buyers with some exciting offers just to show your appreciation and gratitude towards their devotion.
Brand loyalty is a vital aspect that you cannot ignore when you are making your advertisement campaign. You must always do something special for your shoppers, and you must thank them through your adverts if possible. Remember, loyal customers are the ones who will eat, sleep, and drink your product at all times and also organically promote your brand in front of their colleagues, friends, and family.
Just check out how McDonald’s is celebrating its 20 years in India by showing a loyal customer centric advert. It is an easy way to thank the regular shoppers!
Brand strategy is the most compelling thing that advertisers have to rely on if they want to make a mark and impression on a customer’s mind. When you make a plan, we believe you must remember the aforementioned pointers so that you have a completely balanced campaign to woo in the shoppers to your brand.
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