In today’s ever increasingly competitive world it is crucial for businesses to continually review and assess their brand, it’s positioning and how they convey their proposition to their target audiences.
This is where your brand strategy comes in. A brand strategy brings a business strategy to life and with it defines and articulates its market positioning. Focussing on the messages the business uses to engages its audience(s), a brand strategy defines on how the business establishes differentiation and distinction from its competition and informs all marketing, sales and internal communication.
But how should you approach and brand strategy and positioning project?
Here we explore a few pointers to get your project off on the right foot.
To change or not to change?
Before any work begins you need to understand why you are embarking on the exercise. There can be many reasons for undertaking a rebranding exercise depending on the life-stage of the business; a change of business strategy, responding to shift in the market, a desire to make your brand more relevant to the changing needs of your customers or to support the development of a new product category.
Before going full steam ahead you need take a step back and assess the implications both for and against a rebrand; will it affect the equity we have established in the brand to date, will customers react negatively to a change, will employees react negatively, do we have the budget to deliver the implementation the change will need?
Once you understand the implications both for and against it becomes easier to decide whether a refresh is the right approach and whether now is the right time.
Research is key.
Understanding the perceptions of your business before embarking on a rebrand is essential. Only with this understanding do you know what to celebrate and retain and what needs to be done to change or overcome any negative perceptions.
Many people misunderstand this process and presume it means having to do a time consuming and costly research programme. This isn’t always the case. By asking the right questions to the right people and being able to listen and interpret the information you gather, themes emerge that can be taken forward to inform and inspire the strategy and what needs to be done.
It’s not always easy to this part yourself and to get the most out of the research it might be best to partner with a specialist – this would also mean you get more honest, unbiassed feedback too which is crucial.
Bring people on the journey.
You know what they say… ‘people don’t like change’. This means that often, the hardest part of a rebranding exercise can be selling the new direction in to both internal and external stakeholders. Our advice is always to bring them on the journey with you as much as possible. Explain the reasoning behind the exercise, how the process will work and ensure you present the outcome in a way that they understand and can action in their own way. By doing so, it will mean any significant change will come as less of a shock and will be taken too much quicker than if you didn’t manage their expectations.
While there is a great deal to think about as you approach a rebranding project, hopefully these pointers give you a place to get started. For more information or to ask further questions about any of the above, please get in touch with us.