Extending Model Relevance And Distinctiveness
Brand strategy Insider helps marketing-oriented executives and experts like you to define and increase brand value. BSI readers know that we regularly answer questions from marketing-oriented managers and experts everywhere. Today we hear from David, a CEO in Atlanta, Georgia, who has this question about expanding brand relevance and distinctiveness.
"We are an established consumer goods brand that is closely linked to our legacy. This year we are focusing on broadening our relevance and distinctive character at a time when consumer health and food safety are paramount and our vision, to become the most trusted name for food and agricultural products, I should also add that family spokesmen have been at the forefront of our message from day one and we are preparing to move to a new speaker. I am following The Blake Project for some time now and appreciate your opinion. Which approach would you recommend to achieve our goals? "
Thank you for your question, David. Here are some initial recommendations to consider.
Start by understanding which brand stocks, messaging and attributes work for the brand and which should be reconsidered. This includes identifying the right speaker and messaging that tell the brand's story in a way that matches the brand's established stocks.
We know that a successful brand is one that easily comes to mind when you think of this category. Top-of-mind brands are mentally available due to their different but related (consistent across all touch points) stocks. One of the keys to brand growth is a deep understanding of what makes up your brand identity.
Know which elements of your brand are most valuable
A brand's identity includes many different elements, but not all of them have the same value. There are elements in your brand identity that represent brand values. They are the key to advancing your brand to make a breakthrough while ensuring that you do it relentlessly consistently.
There are two characteristics of a brand element that distinguish it as an asset.
First, a brand object must be distinctive or "belong" to the brand. This means that consumers clearly associate this asset with your brand. The effect of a distinctive brand value is that it attracts attention and promotes recognition amidst the flood of competing messages in communication or in variants on the shelf. Consumers see the asset and use it as a "mental shortcut" to identify your brand.
Second, a brand object must be relevant or “on-brand”. This means that the asset reinforces and strengthens the promise of your brand. Because the asset is iterated consistently across multiple touchpoints, it strengthens the mental structures that consumers have associated with the rational and emotional benefits your brand promises. This creates another "mental shortcut" – one that reminds consumers of how they feel about your brand, and therefore tends to add them to their thinking set, take them off the shelf, and possibly buy them.
Know what your brand should say and convey
As you keep learning, growing and developing David, you should find out what the brand stands for and what emotional associations consumers have with the brand and its shares. Ultimately, you should determine which brand values are working (and should be kept and activated) and which are not working (and should be further developed or deleted). When you know this, you can determine what your brand should say and convey through messaging and communication.
You will find that Brand Identity and Distinctive Brand Asset Research are extremely useful for this.
Identities consist of many different types of elements, including colors, shapes, scents, sounds, textures, tastes, slogans, tones, trademarks and speakers, endorsers, packaging, product, logo, font and claims.
With brand identity and distinctive brand analysis, you can answer the following questions:
1. Which of my brand elements determine the particularity of my brand?
2. Do all my brand elements work together to promote brand coherence across all points of contact?
3. When should I further develop brand elements or remove them from my brand identity?
How to increase the growth of your brand assets
Brand owners have two very important goals. To achieve short-term business results while building long-term brand value.
To drive growth, stay relevant to consumers, and make a breakthrough, marketers need to push the boundaries of their brand promise and identity. At the same time, we know that real long-term brand growth stems from a brand promise that is brought to life by remarkable ideas that are implemented with relentless consequence. As brands evolve to make a breakthrough, they need to stay true to their roots – the associations and emotions that built their brand in the first place.
Your brand is diverse; It affects thousands of stakeholders across the spectrum, from creatives to consumers, from marketers to media purchases, from retailers to retweets. A well understood and remarkably consistent brand across the spectrum ensures that every touch point is maximized.
So if you go beyond the boundaries of brand promise and identity, how much of a push is too much? Mastering this tension is what distinguishes the most successful brand manufacturers from everyone else, and it is not easy, especially since each brand, its competitors and the category itself have specific nuances.
Phil Duncan, the Chief Design Officer at P&G, perfectly positioned this challenge when he said:
“I tell my colleagues that it is the responsibility of the brand teams to write the next chapter for the P&G book and not to write a new book. The goal is always to keep the story interesting and to push it forward. "
While this is much easier said than done, the first step along the way is to deepen your understanding of how hard the assets look to your brand within your brand identity.
We hope this is helpful, David, and wish you all the best to help you achieve your 2020 goals.
Do you have a question about brand management or the growth strategy? Just ask the Blake project
Just send me an email, Derrick Daye, to find out more about how we can help you discover the most important asset of your brand and those of your competitors.
The Blake project can help: Accelerate brand growth through strong emotional connections
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