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Brand Strategy Toolkit

Everything you need to define a brand in one place


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Strong brands never happen by accident. Yet many companies do not take a disciplined approach to brand planning and execution.

Only 53% of firms say they have a longterm brand strategy in place.(1)

While 80% of advertising and marketing professionals say they are strongly aware of their company's brand positioning, only one fourth of them "...can clearly articulate (their) company's brand position to... clients, customers or prospective clients. (2)
(1) (2) Prophet, Best Practices Survey, 2002 Louws Management Corporation Survey, 2007

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This toolkit is designed to be a step-by-step template for marketers and marketing students who understand the importance and principles of branding, but need a common language to implement the process in their organization.

The need for brand building is widely accepted. What is missing is a shared set of tools for creating and implementing an effective brand strategy.

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Brand Strategy Defined

The purpose of a brand strategy is to provide a plan for the systematic development of a strong coherent brand in order to enhance revenue and profits. The strategy should be driven by the principles of differentiation and sustained consumer appeal.

The brand strategy should

influence the total operation of a business to ensure consistent brand behavior in the marketplace and consistent brand experiences for the customer.
...ideally, the brand will make black and white decisions not just at the top of the house, but also all the way down the line.
David F. DAllesandro, Brand Warfare: 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand, 2001

There is no tool better than the brand for uniting the forces and the stakeholders inside and around your company.
Thomas Gad, 4-D Branding: Cracking the Corporate Code of the Network Economy, 2001

The role of brands has evolved; brands are now company DNA, the spark from which all corporate life grows.
Will Murray, Brand Storm: A Tale of Passion, Betrayal, and Revenge, 2001

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Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy

Brand Strategy is an integral part of the overall strategic marketing process. It helps to bridge the gap between business strategy and marketing strategy.

Brand Strategy is separate from the 4Ps. It guides and inform decisions about every aspect of the marketing mix.

Strategic Marketing Process I. Corporate Objectives & Brand Portfolio II. Marketing Objectives III. Brand Strategy
Communications Strategy Product and Pricing Strategy Channel and Distribution Strategy

IV. Marketing Execution & Monitoring

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Brand Strategy Process

The process of creating a brand strategy begins with a brand audit and ends with a plan for executing the brand across all touch points. It can be generally thought of as having three stages..

Brand Audit
Target & Insight Competitive Assessment Brand Inventory

Points of Parity and Difference

Brand Strategy
Equity Pyramid
Positioning Objectives & Metrics Personality

Brand Execution
Brand Elements Communications Strategy Brand Experience Map CRM & Community Building

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Brand Audit

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Target Matrix
The purpose of the target matrix is to identify and evaluate alternative candidates for equity building in order to ensure the brand focuses on the customers and prospects that offer the greatest potential for increased revenue and profitability.
Current Brand Users
Size/Profile Decision Criteria or Motivators Usage Behavior Decision Process Barriers/Concerns Key Influences Brand Importance Role of price Satisfaction

Competitive Brand Users

Category nonusers

Lapsed Users

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The purpose of laddering is to identify key emotional and rational decision-making variables and their relationship to key benefits and consumer values in order to identify the most relevant ideas to consumers.

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Target Insight

The purpose of a target insight is to describe how a meaningful connection can be established between what the brand offers and the targets explicit or implicit needs in order to help identify a relevant brand promise. Trends Motivations/Sweet spots Decision-making process/criteria Higher level benefits Image/Identity gaps New Segments Unmet needs

Where to Find Insights

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Insights Examples

Mastercard Priceless campaign

What we found was that people buy things because of how those things make them feel So the idea is that the item allows you to get to some other place in your life that makes you feel good.

National Youth Anti-Drug Program Above the Influence campaign

We wanted to elevate the conversation to make it more prome than anti-drug. We know teens are very sensitive to influences, positive and negative, from peers and the media. Thats why we positioned it so teens would see influence as the enemy and marijuana as one of the influences that gets in their way. Its a way of empowering them so they can stand on their own at a key moment of choice seeing that they could be above the influence.

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Brand Inventory
The purpose of the brand inventory is to identify existing or potential assets that can be leveraged or gaps that need to be addressed in order to build on or create sustainable points of differentiation. Heritage/Historical Positionings (existing products) Brand Identity logos, icons or symbols

Where to Find Assets or Gaps

Secondary associations
Gaps between identity and image Organizational strengths

Brand Values/Vision
Product performance claims, proprietary technology/patents Third-party ratings or endorsements
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Points of Parity and Difference

Potential Brand Differences

Wants and Needs


Our PODs


Points of Parity (Category Benefits)

Their PODs

Competitive Brand Differences


The purpose of a PODs analysis is to identify what ideas from our brand and competitive brands are most meaningful and potentially differentiating. The purpose of a POPs analysis is to identify which category benefits are critical for establishing credibility.

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Brand Strategy

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Brand Pyramid
The purpose of the brand equity pyramid is to outline the basic building blocks of a what the brand should stand for in order to guide the process of building brand equity. It is the basis for determining key elements of the brand strategy brand vision, brand positioning, and brand personality and brand measurement.

Brand Equity Pyramid




Consumer Judgments

Consumer Feelings

The model was developed by Kevin Keller, professor of brand strategy at Dartmouth, based on his Customer Based Brand Equity Model (CBBE). Keller is the author of two definitive texts on brand building. The pyramid is just one of 4-5 leading representations of the components of brand equity. Other models include Y&Rs Brand Asset Valuator, Millward Browns BrandDynamics model, etc. While each model has its adherents, upon closer scrutiny, they are all very similar in their content and purpose. Whichever is selected, what is important is that it provide a shared basis for understanding what is meant by brand equity and how this construct applies to your brand.


Brand Performance

Brand Imagery

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Brand Positioning
The purpose of brand positioning is to explain how the brand will create a sustainable competitive advantage in the minds of prospects & customers in order to win loyal customers and ensure revenue and profits.

For (Target), (Brand/Company) is the only/best (consumer frame of reference) that (statement of key benefit or guiding value), because/by (reason to believe, key credibility point).

Evaluation Criteria: Brand Fit, Customer Relevance, Uniqueness, Sustainability, Credibility

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Positioning Building Blocks

Homeowners/Business owners Adults 35+; HHI $50,000+ Aware of -----Experiencing ----

Category definition Need state or problem



Product quality or value Most Reputable Company Service or delivery difference

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Positioning Examples
For women concerned about perspiration wetness, Secret is the one brand of antiperspirant that is strong enough for a man but gentle enough for a woman. For adults concerned about oral hygiene, Listerine is the one brand of mouthwash that not only stops bad breath but also helps prevent gum disease. For adult cold suffers, Nyquil is the one brand of cold remedy that effectively prevents cold symptoms at night so one can sleep.

For financially constrained college intenders, PNC is the only university in NW IN that provides both a prestigious, marketable degree and a more authentic, real college experience.
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Brand Personality
The purpose of brand personality is to ensure a brand behaves in a way that is consistent with its values in order to increase its appeal and create greater affinity with its target. Brand personality can also help to differentiate a brands imagery relative to competitors.

What Brand is:

What Brand is NOT:

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Brand Execution

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Brand Elements
Brand Name Brand Logos and Icons
Colors Symbols Music/Earcons

Celebrities or Personalities Advertising slogans and jingles Brand Alliances/Secondary Associations

Co-branding Licensing Sponsorship Event Marketing Celebrity Endorsement Third-party Endorsements

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Integrated Communications Strategy

The purpose of a communications strategy is to ensure all communications are unified around a compelling brand idea in order maximize the consistency and efficiency of brand building communications.

Current Beliefs


Desired Belief

Current Actions

Desired Actions

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IMC Strategy Example

Target: Moms with kids 8-17 who purchase sports drinks at supermarkets Current Beliefs All sport drinks are the same Message Gatorade is the only sports drink that is backed by years of research

Desired Belief Gatorade is better than other sports drinks

Current Actions Buy whichever sport drink is on sale

Desired Actions Buy Gatorade even when other brands are on sale

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Brand Experience
The purpose of the Brand Experience Touchpoint Cycle is to map the points of interaction that influence customer behavior and brand perceptions through the customer lifecycle in order to identify and optimize high-impact customer touchpoints. Brand Experience and Touch Point Cycle
Pre-Purchase Experience

Post Usage

Brand-Customer Relationship

Usage Experience

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Community Building

The smartest marketers have realized that it is possible for communities to be formed around brands and are helping nurture the process.
A whole new way to sell things that is beyond both mass marketing or narrowcast, one-to-one strategies. Requires supporting, nurturing, listening and validating the group that is participating in your brand.

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For more information, contact:

Carol Phillips BrandAmplitude, LLC 269-429-6526

BrandAmplitude, LLC All Rights Reserved 2007