Brands are stories. What we mean when we say that is, your brand is more than just a name with a logo and a catchy tagline. It is an idea that took a physical form with the help of a narrative, experience and people. Today’s market not only wants to know about your product but also the process and the story behind it. The story of your brand and its values is your Brand Strategy and the execution of that story is called Strategic Management. So, what exactly does a brand strategy entail and why strategic management is the most important for your brand? Read on to find out.
The Concept of Strategic Management
Your brand strategy identifies what your company stands for, the message you are conveying, and your brand’s attitude. It depicts the day-to-day interactions your brand has with the consumers. It is what sets you apart from your competition. Brand strategies help establish a brand and promote awareness towards it. It allows you to put your brand’s identity into words while allowing you to increase quality in communication and customer experience.
Strategic management, on the other hand, involves the process of developing a brand strategy that improves the brand and its interactions. It involves picking a suitable strategy for the brand’s benefit and the frequent updating of the strategy based on the situations. The ultimate goals of strategic management are usually long-term. From building sustainable processes that allow the brand to develop without inconsistencies to helping the brand achieve global recognition; the goals are usually specific to each brand.
Even more impressive is the fact that once merchandise is gone it is almost never sold by Supreme again. This creates a heightened level of desire since customers know that if they do not get their hands on a piece of merchandise they will never see it in a Supreme store or on its website again. Read moreTricia McKinnon
Steps to Strategic Management Process
Brand strategies capsule the company’s values, identity and so much more into one box. The following are the main steps to using that box to help bring a sound brand strategy into the picture.
Building The Brand Strategy: The Human Factor
The first step in building a brand strategy is to first understand what your brand represents and what are the core values of your brand. This is the step where you build a “narrative” for your brand. The book The Human Brand states that people think of companies and brands as humans. So we need to keep in mind that our companies are essentially humans with personalities that are unique to them and values that they stand for. Humans interact with each other with the help of stories. Let it be stories from childhood or an update of the current happenings. It is how we build an emotional connection with one another.
So applying the same equations to your company will help you build a deeper connection with your customers. With the help of a narrative, we are hoping to shift the brand’s perception into an emotion and therefore build trust in the process. Your goal with this step is to create a mental map of elements linked to your brand; something that makes your brand stand out. The essence of your brand, i.e, the brand DNA needs to come through when someone comes across your brand mantra. Brand DNA is a brand’s fundamental element that their whole narrative lies on.
Brand Positioning and Value
There are many examples of successful brands such as Nike, Starbucks, Old Spice, etc that have nailed their narrative into the customer’s minds. Take Old Spice, for example, they went through a major repositioning in 2010. Though they had a comeback into the market with a new and quirky marketing strategy, their brand DNA remained relatively the same. Their main focus remained on “manliness”. It is important for your brand DNA and your narrative to align with each other. By combining the “human factor” and your brand DNA with your narrative, you can carve out your niche in the market, which will help you resonate with your audience.
Brand Reputation Management
Basic elements of brand recognition are the design and visual elements of your brand, such as logo, slogans, etc. Take Coca Cola, for example, they have secured their footing in the user’s minds, so even if few elements of their visual appearance are taken away, their products are easily recognisable.
Once your core, i.e, your position in the market, is built and stabilised, you will need to maintain your spot in the market. Monitoring customer feedback to your marketing efforts is an important factor to help sculpt your brand strategy. Your brand reputation does not just depend on your marketing but also the interactions between your customers, employees and stakeholders. Media monitoring and social listening are essential tools for brand reputation management.
Brand Management System
This is the step that ties together and fine-tunes the previous steps. Your brand could be a one-man show or a global enterprise, but in either case, keeping your brand definitions, assets and designs centralised is important. At any scale, creating on-brand assets will simplify the brand management process. Keeping communications on-brand is one of the main aspects of brand management. This is where design systems come into play. It helps empower everyone associated with your brand.
The last step of any process would be to analyse the systems to ensure perfect balance. Performance analysis is the best way to correct your limitations. You will have to make sure to optimise the brand’s performance for the best impact. You can do so by running brand audits and brand tracking.
However, you need to keep several factors in mind while building a strategy. Here are pointers for you to refer to when trying to identify if your strategy is the best suited for your brand.
Why is Strategic Management Important for Your Brand?
We have already mentioned a few of its benefits such as increasing brand awareness and setting the brand aside from the competition. Here are more reasons why it is important for your brand:
- Provides greater appeal to the brand.
- Enhances customer loyalty.
- Allows for impactful marketing communication.
- Increases employee engagement with the company.
- Reduces vulnerability to changes in the market.
- Helps with the brand scale.
Brand strategy management is an important aspect of marketing. Successful brands do not just rely on the quality of their products and innovation, but also on customer interactions with their brand. And a brand strategy does exactly that. It tells people what they can expect from the brand. A well-implemented brand strategy will not only improve the brand on the inside but also the customer experience associated with the brand. We feel that strategic brand management is not a choice anymore, but a necessity.
What are your thoughts on brand strategy management and how would you do it differently? Let us know in the comments below.