Pity the CEO who has the misfortune of trying to build a corporate brand in the modern era.
You see, way back in ancient times, when slow connection speeds had more to do with your supply ship being robbed by pirates; and broadcast advertisements were limited by the decibel levels of the hawker’s voice, branding was quite simple. A couple of strokes with a paintbrush or the sizzle of a hot iron was all that was needed to denote the origin of the goods.
And, if the wheel moved the wagon, or the wine was drinkable – the consumer would simply wait for the next ship, and buy more. Easy, right?
Today, a happy consumer is not necessarily a guarantee of more business – instead, it’s more of a momentary indicator that your brand pushed the right buttons, this time around. With 72 percent of consumers willing to shop around each time they procure a consumable, it’s clear that product selection is just a tiny fraction of the overall branding paradigm.
Building a successful consumer brand – one that can execute, time and again, in this shopper-fickle environment – is almost entirely about what happens before the consumer zips open the package. Doing so requires a committed and deliberate approach – much more marathon, than sprint.
Along the value chain from product idea to execution, today’s CEO will have to focus on an organized marketing strategy that is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, we’ve got your back. The blogs that follow will take you through five very strategic, and very integral, steps to brand-building triumph. Though we will cover the steps individually in more detail, here’s an overview:
- Positioning your brand for a consumer connection: This is where we inhabit the consumer’s mind, and try to discern what they are thinking and feeling about our brand and our product. Achieve success at this stage, and you’ll have an emotional connection with your buyer or prospect.
- Asking the right questions to drive growth and profit: Now, we consider the strategic choices, and lock in our understanding of our brand’s benefits, to help us to scale our business. Is the team rallied around these benefits? Does our mission and product communicate this with clarity? Have we priced it correctly? Have we stress-tested the supply chain?
- The effective communication of your brand’s story: Now is when we tell the consumer why our brand is a leader – the best choice among all of the others. We’ll employ inbound and outbound prospecting techniques, supported by great marketing automation tools and actionable data, to ensure we are achieving traction? If we don't talk to them, they won’t find us.
- The great race – staying ahead of consumers and competitors through product innovation: Here is how we consider staying relevant as our consumers’ tastes, habits and needs change, sometimes overnight. If something that a technology company does today mandates a change to our product or its delivery method tomorrow, are we ready?
- Delivering on your brand’s promise through lifestyle and culture: What does our holistic brand experience look like – at this point, we should be able to lock down what makes our brand unique and desirable, both outside in the consumer space and in house. Do we know what’s driving sales? What is truly forging the connections that will create brand loyalty? Are we confident our consumers will keep coming back and more importantly, advocate for us?
Are you ready to power your winning brand?
Simon Waldron is a Los Angeles, CA-based CMO with Chief Outsiders, specializing in Brand and Product Development, Manufacturing Integration, and Retail Strategy. Contact Simon at SWaldron@ChiefOutsiders.com.