The overall idea of brand development is to ‘own’ a market position and a source of competitive advantage and articulate your point of difference to your competitive set through a viable brand positioning. The goal is to ensure you are creating a unique fingerprint that drives association for your customer that is desirable and compelling, and makes your customer want to choose your brand.
Michael Porter (1985) in his book, “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance.” set out generic market positioning strategies so they could be applied to any business model.
Positioning your business in a quadrant will help determine HOW you talk to customers. Porter called the strategies “Cost Leadership” (no frills – think ALDI), “Differentiation” (creating uniquely desirable products and services – think Qantas) and “Focus” (offering a specialized service in a niche market – think Aesop). He then subdivided the Focus strategy into two parts: “Cost Focus” and “Differentiation Focus” to provide further differentiation and others have included an integrated option which sits in the centre. These are shown in the model below.
- Your choice of which generic strategy to pursue underpins every strategic decision you make, so it’s worth spending time to get it right. Particularly important when it comes to understanding how to position your brand in the mindset of your customer.
Your unique fingerprint should be articulated in the form of a brand tool, such as a brand pyramid, brand onion, brand fingerprint, brand DNA or similar. Have a look at the brand pyramid below.
Building your brand tool: Brand Pyramids
Brand pyramids are a simple articulation of your brands attributes, benefits, personality traits and values, all laddering up to the ‘essence’ of your brand. Brand essence is a 2-3 word phrase that sums up the brand (e.g. Disney’s brand essence is Magical Family Fun and Nikes is Authentic Athletic Performance.) There are many versions of brand tools available. Your business may have its own models.
What is Brand Development Research?
- Brand development is about understand the key consumer hooks and emotional connections to your brand. It is designed to bring your brand and your consumer closer together through understanding shared values and principles.
- There are many kinds of brand research from brand health studies, brand tracking and brand positioning studies. That can help us establish your brands position and how it an develop to win in your market
- Brand development research is all about inviting the customer to help us understand how a brand is positioned today, and where it could be positioned tomorrow.Brand development research can help with:
- Effectively launch new products or brand.
- Brand refreshes and relaunches
- Help revive a tired brand or a brand that is losing relevance.
- Clarifying brand architecture by providing new frameworks and pathways to growth.
- We believe that effective brand development research must have consumer insight research at its core – the motivational drivers and tensions (or pain points) that our brand can solve or help customers with.
- Qualitative research in the form of consumer co-creation sessions, focus groups, in depth interviews, and online qualitative research are great ways to get to the emotional core of the consumer-brand relationship. Effective qualitative research uses projective techniques and encourages storytelling narratives that in turn provides deeper insight to help you position your brand uniquely and target your product development pipeline to key needs and pain points.
However, simply asking consumers direct questions about brands will result in rational responses, which is why Ruby has developed a technique called Brand Magic™.
The Ruby Brand Magic™ approach
Sharpening or Refreshing an Existing Brand
As markets change and customer needs evolve, companies often lose their most profitable customers to new competitors. As their offerings become commodities, their brands become diluted. First you need to understand the market drivers and barriers, and dominant and emerging category codes. Then we need to understand consumer hot buttons and emotional connections that you need to get on board with? Brand Magic™ can help with trends analysis, semiotics and consumer co creation help you drive your new brand into the next decade, taking current and new customers with you. We also help you to develop brand-marketing plans that create new tag lines and logos; inform the development of standard guides that ensure universal expression of the brand is communicated to agencies and the C-Suite where required.
How Much Stretch is There in Your Brand?
Brand stretch means that we need to understand the rules of new markets, or new consumers. What we need to do first is to determine whether the existing customer will allow the brand to travel from the existing products to the new products. We use a range of techniques including cultural insight tools, semiotics and behavioural science to help us. Importantly we need to understand and unpack the stretch markets using clever stimulus to help consumers imagine the brand in that market and understand behavioural and cognitive impact.
Creating and Launching a New Brand
Creating and launching a new brand is very expensive and risky, especially if you are not a start-up. We help you understand what life is left in current brands that might be able to stretch, as well as the consumer need for a new brand in market – i.e. what is its reason for being. Will it stand out, is the market too cluttered, what will it bring and how will it change behaviours? We can help you define the business need, the competitive set and then understand how to position and launch the new brand in that market with the help of your target audience.
Brand Architecture and Portfolio Management
Whether you are merging brands or creating Sub Brands, Endorsed Brands, or trying to tame an architecture that has grown wild on the vine, we can help you sort it out. Consumer research is only part of the picture, the Brand Magic™ process includes workshop facilitation to clarify the needs and the questions, consumer co creation to help create a better solution with rationalisation solutions and a strategy session to pull it all together and get you moving toward your key goals.
Managing Brand Equity
Brand health measures help you track and monitor your brand and its key drivers and attributes. We help you to identify and monitor the equity in your brand, or where brands are losing relevance how to turn around the remaining equity in the diminished brand to define the new brand promise.
Interested in learning more about the different ways in which Ruby Cha Cha can help you? Get in touch with our team of experts here.