Strategic Brand Design – A Key to unlock your Brands potential

In a cut-throat world where every business person is trying to get a bigger customer pie, brands have had to go through an evolved journey. Especially in the last 15 years, brands are no longer famous only due to their TVCs or print campaigns.

In today’s times, a parent company that has multiple children brands needs to carefully think strategically as to how to position each one of them as a wrong approach to brand positioning could facilitate brands eating out each other within the same parent group.

This is called as Market Cannibalism. The company that best showcases this process is Coca-Cola, when it started developing a wider catalog of drink brands such as Coca-Cola Light, Zero, Vanilla, Cherry and many more. As the market share of the original Coke went down, the marketing of these new drinks increased the company’s soda market share.

By doing this, the company’s intention is to harm their competition even more than they harm themselves in order to gain global market share.

However, to do this, before introducing a new product brand in the market, the parent brand has to decide whether to create this new brand within this umbrella or a completely separate brand with no connection to the parent umbrella. An Indian brand that best illustrates this is Fast track. For the first 2 years, no one realized that Fast track is a watch brand from the house of Tata that also sells Titan. As Titan had a different matured audience, Tata wanted to create a watch brand only for the youth or for those who want to feel youthful. There comes Fast track with super-fast millennial brand design and brand positioning – “ Move on”.One thing to notice is that Tata created a complete differentiated brand architecture here. I shall explore architecture more in my next article.

Hence, to achieve a relevant brand design positioning, one must first create a sequence to the brand strategy. This will vary for already created brands and for brands that are about to be created from scratch. In branding and marketing terminology, they are called Brand Rejuvenation and Brand Creation respectively.

For Brand Creation, the steps involved usually are as below:

1. Semiotics Study of the Product/service – Cultural evolution and its acceptance of the product/service

2. Semiotics study of the TG – Understanding the culture of the personas of your TG

3. Brand Immersion – A dipstick survey in the TG market. A face to face interview with the internal stakeholders of the brand owners w.r.t their perceived brand vision and understanding

4. Brand Audit – Competition Analysis and cross-category audit

5.Identifying the Brand Core – The actual functional offering

6. Identifying the Brand Personality – Where does the brand fit in the archetypes

7. Identifying the Brand Essence – The DNA that differentiates the brand from the competition

8. Final  Brand Positioning – Compiling together  steps 5,6 and 7

9. Strategic Brand Identity – Brand Design of the Identity based on the defined positioning

10. Brand Messaging – Creating messaging buckets out of the carved Brand Strategy for Integrated Marketing Communication

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