BRAND STRATEGY: BUILDING AND MANAGING BRAND EQUITY
Building strong brands and customer relationships has always been at the core of our work even long before the Strategic Harmony® process was developed. That is our heritage as strategists. Whether your brand is in trouble or wants to reach new heights, or whether you’re building a new brand or managing an iconic one, making high-stakes decisions on adding or retiring brands, or needing to rationalize your branding architecture with clearer value propositions, we have successfully addressed these issues on both the client and agency sides.
What brand strategy is. We define brand strategy as developing and acting on a clear articulation of the most relevant, credible, and unique brand promise possible – what the brand must stand for in customers’ minds. That promise must be backed up by the most compelling proof points as reasons to believe that a brand and its offerings excel on the things that matter most to customers. We start with the belief that the company with the deepest understanding of drivers of brand choice at every intersection of a product line and market segment will always take market share if they can execute well. We work with select marketing research firms to apply the best of brand science with qualitative and quantitative research as necessary to identify, prioritize, and define the rich meanings of those choice-driving attributes in customer terms. We then develop a Brand Strategy Platform that maps strategic proof points back to those drivers of choice and the brand promise that is built on them.
Brand strategy and sustainability. It is becoming impossible to successfully manage a brand without also proactively managing sustainability. That’s why the Strategic Harmony approach to product and service portfolio optimization ensures that early-stage sustainability assessments can be systematically integrated with other core brand metrics – before development and significant sunk costs.
Managing and measuring. Beyond brand positioning, SHP also provides counsel on managing brand equity by measuring and monitoring brand health over time with actionable diagnostics, as well as marketing plan development, marketing and brand training, and coaching for non-marketing executives on brand strategy and the impact of brand equity on shareholder value.
A note to companies creating a new category of product or service:
If your brand is creating a new category, category adoption is likely the primary issue rather than “brand choice,” since you’re the first brand in the space. We have found that the same discipline that creates a brand choice model and builds strategy on it can be very effectively applied to creating a category adoption model, so that both product/service design and brand communication can be aligned on category adoption drivers and hurdles. This ultimately also serves as a platform for migrating to a closely related brand choice model and further brand differentiation as new competitors enter the market.