By Mark Dresdner
Welcome guest blogger and Friend of Bauman (FOB), Mark Dresdner of Stratapult Advisors. This article is the first in a five-part series on developing a successful branding strategy.
Having your brand standout in a crowd involves a conscious and serious brand strategy; this investment is a cornerstone to success. Think about brands such as BMW, Rolex, and IBM and the role brand plays in a buyer’s mind and how these brands were created.
A brand defines a company’s personality and helps customers determine which products or services are right for them. A company’s brand defines how it differentiates itself from the competition by focusing on delivering and communicating a select number of areas of value that are of primary importance to the target customer segment. Furthermore, a brand is a personality that permeates the company’s strategy, processes, and people. It is not just a logo and tagline—it must a part of a company’s DNA.
Often a shotgun approach is applied to branding—trying a variety of messages and definitions of value to see what works. This creates a confused group of potential customers who don’t have a compelling reason to try the product or service.
Branding success requires a disciplined approach toward understanding one’s target customers and then having marketing and operations work in harmony to deliver clear, compelling reasons for the target customers to become brand loyalists. Done correctly, one’s brand can unleash superior profitability—just think of Nike, Starbucks, and Apple.
Masterminding a successful branding strategy that maximizes a company’s financial performance involves a number of sequential steps:
- Segment the market and identify target customers
- Position the brand
- Create and deliver the value proposition
- Make the value proposition real in customers’ minds
- Transition the brand from being functional to aspirational
Check back as, over the next few weeks, I’ll explore each of the steps above in greater detail.