Creating a brand strategy plan with my team was an invaluable experience that made me realize how much research and thoughtful planning is needed. When you think about a brand there is much more to consider than just the brand elements such as name, logo, symbols, and package design. To develop an effective brand strategy, you have to really dive deep to understand how to separate your company from the competition.
From this experience, my key takeaway was the importance of consistency. Even when you have a unique and well-recognized brand, if you try to do too much you may start to dilute your brand and stray from your initial mission and vision. I can see how small businesses can get caught up in their rapid success and then expand too quickly to where your customers may lose sight of the purpose of your company. For instance, with Funky Buddha, their main product is beer however, they have expanded into so many new categories that if they continue on that path, they may lose focus on what made them so successful in the first place.
Furthermore, it was also interesting to see how our brand strategy evolved from the initial stages to the final project. When we first began, our team had several ideas for how we can improve Funky Buddha’s brand image and marketing communications. The challenge became trying to prioritize what would be most important to focus on. As with any business, it’s not feasible to change everything at once. The more we began to explore the brand, their products, pricing, distribution channels, target audience, and marketing strategy, the more difficult it became to agree on what needs the most improvement. Also, to stay relevant we had to consider the impact of a global pandemic on the business operation. Taking all of those factors into consideration, we then had to really think about what makes our brand unique. What are our points of parity and points of difference that we can leverage to increase our market share and brand awareness? Keeping that in mind throughout the creation of our brand strategy helped us to focus on how to stay true to the brand mission and vision while also making feasible recommendations for sustainable and long-term growth.
If I were to do a brand strategy plan for my current employer, I would start by collecting as much data about our history, competitors, and current industry trends. I would also want use an actual budget instead of a estimate so that we have a realistic perspective on how much the company is willing to invest in their marketing efforts. Moreover, I would also consider conducting actual market research with our current customers in addition to our potential customers who meet our target audience criteria. This would help us gauge our brand image and overall performance, which based on the results, could have a major impact on how we move forward with our brand strategy.
Overall, this project was insightful and made me realize how important it is to tie everything back to your brand mission. When everything is synchronized it tells a consistent story that is helpful with generating long-term interest in your brand. Even with a great brand strategy plan, I also came to realize that no plan will ever be perfect. As the times change, people, interests, needs and technology change as well. It is therefore up to the company to continuously invest in research and improvements so that their brand can stay relevant, competitive, and innovative for years to come.