It’s a brand-new brand year!

That’s not a typo. The new year is an opportunity to create something brand-new ... for your brand. The beginning of the year is a time of renewal, a time to “clean house" and set goals. We do this in both our personal and business lives. Now is the time to create a wish list for your brand. Here are some brand goal-setting ideas to think about:

Is it time to increase brand awareness?

Is it time to speak up in your business community or simply target a new or refined audience? Think about who your ultimate target audience is. I know it’s marketing 101, but many organizations seem to miss the mark on being able to firstly describe who their audience is. You cannot be the right product or service solution for every customer or company out there, so take some time to think about the specific audience you wish to reach and why. Are they more transactional? Are they a better long-term customer? How do you best reach this audience? Do you earn more profit with a certain “type” of customer group? Get to know your target audience and make sure your brand awareness campaign speaks directly to them. Provide relevant, meaningful and thought-provoking ideas that will make them want to engage and learn more about your organization.

Is it time to create a sub-brand?

One of the best ways to target a particular market is through the development of a sub brand. They are built upon the existing equity you have in your master brand and can help to expand your product or service offering. Perhaps your master brand quality is pegged at the mid level from a quality standpoint however you see emerging trends in your industry that are opening the door to a premium offering, that’s a little out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to embark on brand expansion; it is a key growth tactic and can create an entirely new market opportunity for your business. Do your research and make sure there is a strong, long term opportunity to be had before you dive right in. Always remember to fall back on your master brand values and personality. The idea here is that you have built enough brand recognition and loyalty, and that a sub brand offering will automatically come in tact with the same brand values as the master brand. I often describe the brand architecture as a family; if the Master brand is “Mom,” the sub brand becomes the “child.” The brands will share the same DNA because they are part of a family.

Does your organization have a Brand Promise?

I help organizations define their brand and provide a foundation upon which to build a unique product or service experience. In my mind, a brand promise should accompany every business and organization out there. It is a clear and simple way to speak to all of your audiences; customer, suppliers, partners, employees, stakeholders and the communities in which you operate. It tells them how your offering is differentiated and gives a sense of your culture, approach, brand personality. It is amazing what a few words can do to invite in the right audience and also act as a rallying point for your team. Think about telling a bit more about your brand story this year. Create a Brand Promise.

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