When implementing marketing plans, the core brand values are emphasized and it is important to be consistent in the ideas portrayed by the company, whether it is through internal or external branding. Understanding how your brand compares to the competition is also important. Profitability is one way brand managers measure the effectiveness of campaigns, but it could take decades to build and manage a brand.
If I had to choose only one area of research to focus my efforts on, it would be to identify first who the target audience is and second, what their needs and desires are. This information should be as comprehensive and exact as possible. Applicable factors such as; age, gender, income, and shopping habits (online and off) are good places to start. Of course if your target audience is another business, your research will involve different factors.
Once the brand’s core values have been identified, the road towards effective brand proposition development begins. To ensure a successful outcome, comprehensive and objective research involving at the minimum, the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, the target audience, and the competition will be conducted. If the resources are available, research should also involve extensive observation into the brand’s industry, its history, the current market picture, and potential growth and direction.
An important aspect of brand development is to create a positive emotional attachment to the brand which creates a response in its audience without the audience seeing the product or directly experiencing the service. From Bedbury’s book; “think Godiva chocolates for a moment: the very name, perhaps even the logo, conjures up an image of sinful indulgence. Yes, it represents chocolate or ice cream, but it is the feeling and the anticipation of that feeling that the brand conveys most compellingly.”
From the research, development of the brand statement, often referred to as a brand proposition, commences. The brand statement is a promise. It states that if you use our services / products, we promise that this or that will occur, whether it is the satisfaction from wearing well designed clothing, to the comfort of choosing the services of particular financial planner.
The brand proposition must be clearly understood, engaging, presented in the right context for relevancy, and offer a solution to the target audience’s current wants and needs.
The development of a branding strategy must begin with identifying the brand’s (the business’) core values. These are qualities which an organization deems most important. For instance, an organization or business may identify its core values to include: honesty, integrity, excellent communication, and client satisfaction.
Of course all of these promises are just that, promises. If the company’s products, services, and customer support didn’t support these promises, the initial surge of new customers would quickly come to a screeching halt and the brand would fade into obscurity along with the company.