As a digital strategist or brand manager, you recognize the benefits of a strong brand strategy. It’s not easy to define your brand’s purpose so successfully that your target audience recognizes it at a glance, but such a brand strategy is essential. Otherwise, your brand will be lost in the crowded digital media landscape.
Read up on these branding theories and models for the ones that best suit your business needs.
A memorable brand strategy means your creative team can make quicker decisions because it’s either on brand or not. Here are five brand strategies you’ll recognize. Which works for your business?
If a brand name stands in for an entire category, that’s an example of mind-share branding. Think “Kleenex” for tissue or Chapstick for lip balm.
Red Bull, Harley-Davidson, Mini-Coopers, these consumer brands conjure up images of a shared culture among their devotees. It’s more than a status symbol, it’s a lifestyle.
Closely related to cultural branding, emotional branding aims to inspire its consumers to feel good about buying the product. Apple, Tesla, and Starbucks are examples of brands where people identify with the brand values. For example, Apple is the “think different” computer company.
Word of mouth is the best marketing tool, and for this reason, many organizations want to “go viral”. It requires high audience engagement and a simple message that provokes emotions.
Visa offers a distinctive tinkle to indicate a completed purchase. In South Korea, Dunkin’ Donuts played their jingle on city buses accompanied by an atomizer that wafted the scent of coffee in the air. Shops have long relied on appealing to the senses with certain fragrances, music types, and lighting.
Marketing and business courses are full of examples of successful branding models. Each one hinges on key types of branding. Let’s take a look:
The McKinsey 7-S Model
Used for 50 years and counting, this framework applies to the ways organizations are structured and coordinated. Everything from your team's skill set to the systems they use to share digital assets falls under this umbrella.
The 4 Ps
A staple of every marketing textbook, Place (or Positioning), Price, Product, and Promotion. Getting these right is fundamental to a product’s success.
The AIDA model
Another textbook staple and long used by copywriters everywhere is AIDA which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
The Ansoff Matrix
This brand theory focuses on growth opportunities. The model inventories what’s working and where additional opportunities are in market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification. It’s also sometimes called the product-market matrix.
The BCG matrix
Another brand theory focused on market share and growth. When you look at low growth and high share opportunities, you consider what has the highest margins and ways to sell more. The brand model also looks at combinations of
High Growth, High Share
High Growth, Low Share
Low Share, Low Growth
Now that you’ve reviewed these branding models and theories, which ones stand out to you?
Who’s your target audience? What stage is your business in? A startup ecommerce brand will take a different approach to a legacy brand. For example, if you’re a DTC brand leaning on Emotional Branding, which branding model makes sense for your growth stage and resources?
For many early-stage companies, emotional branding paired with the AIDA approach for marketing campaigns works well. More established companies might choose to look at cultural branding or combine it with sensory campaigns for a great customer experience. Established companies also work well with the McKinsey 7S Framework.
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