When you can determine and clearly understand the challenge you face, you can build, protect and grow a leading brand. Most challenges a brand will face fall into one of eight challenge areas:
Knowledge is the first and most important step in branding work. Branding, as a practice, sees challenges for their positive opportunity in the long-term. It addresses the root cause of a challenge rather than a symptom. Your vision may have changed. Your competitors of today may be different tomorrow. Your staff may be confused on organizational purpose. The wise investment is the one made in the research, investigation, audits, market analysis and future-casting. This process provides the complete picture on how to position your brand for sustainable success.
To stay true to who and what the organization is, a brand needs purpose and vision. When everyone can understand this foundation, they can embrace it and live it. If not clearly articulated, your brand foundation may undermine brand intentions, confuse an audience and misdirect communication efforts. Amplifying the vision/mission with specific brand attributes reinforces the expression, behavior and overall experience of your brand’s meaning.
Every audience interaction should promote positive brand perceptions. Without coherence, there is potential for an undermining experience, where your touchpoints create confusion, erosion of confidence, or misperceptions. A holistic approach to brand experience — from physical touchpoints to brand behavior — creates continuity through the entire brand journey.
For any brand to be fully understood, it needs to connect with relevant audiences that find meaning in its foundation. When you target the wrong audience, use the wrong channels, or send the wrong message, it can undermine and even alter what your brand is all about. A strategic brand awareness approach integrates all forms of engagement with a focus on recognition, so an audience fully understands the heart of a brand.
In a constantly changing market environment, organizational relevancy is essential. It’s easy for a brand to fail to keep pace, fall out of sync or evolve beyond what it once was. Your audience may have moved beyond the original brand meaning. Your brand may have lost competitive distinction, changed focus or expanded its offerings. A repositioning strategy adapts to evolutionary changes in a market — aligning a brand in a way that maintains brand relevancy and furthers competitive advantage.
Brand is for the long-term and should be treated with the same regard as any other corporate asset. It needs attention, care, management and, most of all, protection. The brand launch is only the first step of a brand’s future life. If brand management fails to provide clear brand standard principles, across all touchpoints, your brand value will diminish over time. A brand management strategy builds loyalty and equity that endures.
A family of brands makes for a complex dynamic. This portfolio must be bound together in a way that allows each brand to thrive on its own, yet supports the parent brand. Brand portfolios are evolving. Without synergy, you may encounter a lack of clarity from redundancy or undermining value from obsolete brands. A brand architecture strategy acknowledges that change is expected. It creates unique hybrid models of intra-portfolio relationships that provide brand management agility.