Brand Strategy Decisions And Their Importance
Brand strategy decisions or branding decisions are mainly focused on the consumer. To understand that, let’s clarify what the brand is about. The brand is represented in the potential customer’s mind as a number of concepts. According to marketers, the brand is the means that a company uses to ”promise” things regarding the features and benefits of the product to the consumer. There are four brand strategy decisions a company has to consider to plan the marketing of the product and the branding as a whole. Let’s have a quick look at them.
- Brand positioning
Brand positioning can mainly be done depending on the product attribute, benefits, beliefs, and values. The product attribute is focused on the features of the product. For example, a mobile phone can have a good camera. The benefits tell us how the product’s attribute will give the customer a good result. Therefore, in this particular example, the high-quality camera is translated into good photos and the ability to keep memories.
Big brands have to go a step further and promote certain values about their products. For example, Samsung and Apple both promote the integrity of their brand, contrary to Chinese companies.
- Brand name selection
Picking the right name is tricky. It has to be a name that is easy to pronounce and remember and distinctive enough not to be confused with another brand name. Ideally, it could give a hint about the product’s benefits. At the same time, it has to be capable of registration. Legal protection is crucial to protect your product from competitors. It should also be translated easily and be extendable so it can be used for a wider category of products. All of the above criteria have to be covered to move into the selection of the name.
- Brand sponsorship
Any product can be launched as a manufacturer’s brand, a private brand, a co-brand, or a licensed brand. In the first scenario -which you might have also heard as a national brand- the manufacturer has its name on the brand. For instance, Sony, which promotes Sony Bravia.
In the second case, the company sells a product that has been produced by another producer. The products take the name of the company that sells them to the consumers. This is the result of the fact that consumers would prefer to avoid paying huge amounts to buy products of a big trusted brand and settle for smaller brands with private labels.
In co-branding, we have companies that add their powers and cooperate to promote their products. It is usually big companies that go for such big steps.
Last but not least, we have a licensed brand. At this point, companies will use the brand name of a previous manufacturer whose products have already been embraced by customers. The names of celebrities can also be used for licensed branding because they already carry a whole set of values and beliefs, and no extra job has to be done.
- Brand development
In the last step, we must consider how the brand can be developed. Again four choices are available: line extensions, brand extensions, multi-brands, or new brands.
A line extension is when the company extends its brand name to introduce variations and features. A mayonnaise that also has light mayonnaise with low fat and lemon taste is a perfect example of that. This idea does not involve a lot of cost or risk, but it is possible that it may confuse the audience regarding the message they want to keep regarding the brand.
The brand extension also uses the existing brand name. Still, it uses a part of it for a whole new product category. If the mayonnaise of the previous example also produces sauce for salads and pasta, we would be talking about the brand extension.
Multibrands is the idea of marketing many brands for one category of products. Detergents give us an example of that, with P&G selling six brands of detergents.
New brand names are used to enter other industries if the value of the new industry cannot be appropriately communicated using an existing brand name that is used for other products.
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