The Two Pillars of Efficient Brand Strategy
Welcome to Addison Whitney Capabilities Month! Throughout the month of March, we will be designating one week where we will be highlighting one of Addison Whitney’s capabilities – visual branding, verbal branding, market research and brand strategy – via brand salsa and our social media channels.
This week, we are focusing on Brand Strategy, which encompasses the strategic and planning aspects of your branding portfolio. Make sure to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #AWCapabilitiesMonth.
Managing a brand efficiently has both time and monetary implications. Both are valuable, but often limited resources that are essential to developing and maintaining successful brands.
This is especially important for organizations working to establish meaning and purpose for multiple brands in their portfolio. However, this is not always the case, and when brands don’t have a well-defined meaning or purpose, organizations run the risk of missing an opportunity to capitalize on the value of their resources. But there also must be an efficient use of time and resources from the parent company in order to ensure success across their portfolio.
There are two main pillars that address these components, and that strongly impact the ability to commit time and financial support to brand strategies – Prioritization and Organization.
The key word associated with prioritizing a brand portfolio is “opportunity.” Prioritizing can be made up of a number of actions, including identifying and evaluating the opportunity, then looking at whether a brand is poised to capitalize on the opportunity.
The importance of prioritizing and working through these actions can contribute to taking advantage of these opportunities and providing target audiences with what they need.
Prioritization takes an integrated approach, a holistic strategy, and dedicated investment to build a brand. If you choose to spread resources equally across all the brands in the portfolio, often times your company won’t hit critical mass for any of your brands.
Organization of brands can also be seen as a “definition” of the portfolio. In order to successfully organize, there needs to be a definition of around the brand strategy, such as defining who the brand’s audience is and defining the brand’s positioning.
Taking a look at the brand portfolio as a whole, and define where it stands and what the strongest brand position is that maximizes their impact. If there are multiple strong brands, the main goal will be to organize where they fit within the portfolio.
The order in which these pillars can be acted upon depends on the organization, its business vision and long-term goals. One of the valuable characteristics of the pillars is their ability to be tailored and to fit within the organization’s needs.
For instance, if a brand has a portfolio with unknown brand strength, where there isn’t a clear-cut “hero” brand, it may be most efficient for them to begin with Prioritization. Performing a brand assessment will help find the opportunities within the portfolio and identify which brand is the strongest. Then, the company can prioritize the rest of its portfolio and use this information to assess where to be allocate resources for the brands going down the list.
On the other hand, if an organization has gone through a recent merger or acquisition and finds itself with brand overlap, where multiple brands fit within similar industries or lines of business, Organization might be a strategic first step. Organizing the portfolio will allow for more efficient recognition ofthe brand that will represent the company moving forward, and will also make more clear the identification of next steps for the other members of the portfolio.
The outcome for all of these actions, as it is with the majority of strong brand strategy, is to find the best use of time and resources for the sake of strong business results. When managing a number of brands, having a well-defined and focused strategic awareness and acting within the strategy allow for the organization to achieve the goal of an efficient brand portfolio.
Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands.
Want to get exposed to real projects and attain real-life knowledge and skills vital for success in brand strategy? Click here for information about interning with the Addison Whitney brand strategy team!