Imagine, for a moment, that you own the recipe to a delicious soft drink that you are manufacturing and selling circa the late 1890’s. People love your soft drink, but the only way they have experienced it is by having it served from soda fountains in diners and restaurants. Your latest idea has been to bottle your beverage, brand it, and sell it for consumers to be able to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes. One problem – you have a massive list of imitators who are attempting to copy your serum and sell it in their own bottles, pulling from your profits by capitalizing on your success. What do you do?
Well, if your beverage in this scenario is Coca-Cola, you'd lay the groundwork for one of the most influential brand strategies to ever impact the marketing world. Coca-Cola designed patented contour bottles with specifically designed labels and colors to cement the idea of who and what Coca-Cola was to their customers in order to eliminate any confusion. These were the beginning steps that turned Coca-Cola into a brand that is recognized in every country on every continent in the world. In doing so, the company also set the standard blueprints of successful brand strategy that countless businesses would attempt to replicate for years to come.
Brand strategy is essential for businesses that want to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It turns a brand into an experience, not just a supplier of products and service. People become dedicated to brands that speak to them and provide something their competitors cannot – an emotional connection. People line up around blocks for their favorite brand’s products on release days. They follow them on social media, buy their shirts, stock up on their products in supermarkets, and advocate for them to friends and family. A brand morphs into an entity, a part of life, to loyalists who become a brand's biggest promoters. Brand strategy provides value in marketing and advertising that is truly immeasurable.
Many people think of branding as the colors, logos, taglines, and advertisements distributed by a company. These elements aren’t branding in itself but are the ingredients to the concoction that makes a unique and compelling brand strategy. Brand strategy is the cumulation of these elements, how they are experienced by the consumer, and the connection that is established as a result. Branding is the reason why consumers will choose one product over another and argue vehemently on its behalf.
Brand strategy is a consumer-based strategy process. It considers how the consumer reacts to marketing and advertising stimuli, as well as what the consumer values as an individual. Core values, traits, and desires are all incorporated into brand strategies to turn a company into a living, breathing identity that consumers can engage with. Branding speaks to consumers in specific tones and words, provides a positive experience, and connects to them in ways that are deeper than their pocketbooks. In fact, brand loyalists are willing to pay more for their favorite brands over cheaper competitors.
It's why no one buys Bubba Cola.
A brand strategy is a serious strategic investment for the company that offers a unique product that is brand new and unobtainable anywhere else, or a product similar to their competitors with a need to stress their differentiation. Brand strategy is the ladder to higher ground and dominance over a competitive market. Utilizing cohesive brand strategy gives your brand the upper hand and establishes your uniqueness to the most important people, your consumers.
To learn how Sun Graphics Media provides strategic research and compelling brand strategy, head over to our related blog that goes through the process we take to differentiate your brand from your competition and create an emotional connection to your target audience.
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