Establishing your brand identity is not the end of the road but the beginning of a new and endless one – your journey of brand growth. Any branding agency will tell you there are three routes you can take –
The logistics of your growth strategy would depend upon the route you choose but there are some generic brand growth strategies that you might find helpful.
Make a Difference
If you want to grow vertically, you must outdo your competitors. This is possible through innovations in package design, service, repositioning, communications strategy, and delivery route to name a few. If you want to evade commoditization, your “new” must be unique and different from that of your competitors – remember they will also be trying to grow. It must also add value for the customer so that he is tempted to jump ship and switch to your product.
Distribution impacts brand loyalty in two ways –
Both these factors contribute to conversion but if you have that rare commodity called an “exclusive brand” the reverse will hold true for you.
The point here is it is important to determine the ease of access you want for your brand on a spectrum ranging from too available to not available, and this is determined by your product and other market factors.
Differentiate between Visibility and Access
As the saying goes out of sight is out of mind. Consumers have a short memory and if they do not see your product they will simply move on to your competitor. Even when you choose to be not available it is important to still be visible. Your product may not be available but your target consumer must be able to see it and recognize it. Moreover, he should have easy access when he does choose to buy.
Broadcast Your USP
It is not enough to simply add value to your product; your consumer must be aware of the additional value he gets from your. To ensure this, your marketing efforts must highlight your brand’s differentiating factors. Your USP may be anything from a lower price to emotional value. For instance, OYO is about app-based low-cost boarding while Cadbury which says Kuch Acha Ho Jaye.
All your marketing efforts and consumer touch-points must highlight your USP and generate anticipation and desire.
This might not qualify as a brand growth strategy but it is important nonetheless. If the perceived value of your product is not met by your product, it won’t sell. Your branding efforts might generate desire but if even one customer perceives dissatisfaction he will walk away and take at least two with him. Do the math – the two will soon turn to ten, a thousand and a million. When you highlight your USP, ensure that it justifies the price tag and fulfills your brand promise.
Build upon your Brand Assets
It is important to invest wisely in your brand assets with a clear objective of brand growth in mind. Leveraging your brand assets wisely allows your customer to visualize consistency and trust in your brand when engaging and interacting with consumers. For instance, you may use your logo as your cover photo of your Facebook page and use a similar color scheme to create an image for your Instagram or Twitter handle. Leveraging your assets in this manner will generate awareness, trigger recognition, desire, and eventually a conversion.
Given that digital marketing and e-commerce are on the rise, it is not enough to make your brand visible. It must be visible above all other brands – particularly your competitors – that is to say, being conspicuous or salient should be an important part of your growth strategy. Make sure that your SOV (Share of Voice) is at least as high – if not higher than – your SOM (Share of Market). This does not mean that you shout from the rooftop; rather you should create enough of a buzz that people not only think of your brand in context but also recommend it.
Recognition at POP
Only about half your sales come from repeat customers who are likely looking for your brand. The rest may or may not know of your brand. Your brand growth strategy must address this gap by making your brand highly visible on the one hand and using Point of Purchase (POP) triggers on the other. When a random consumer sees a tempting offer on a brand he recognizes, he is more likely toselect it.
Brand growth strategies are not just about targeting new consumers randomly. The process involves creating a carefully thought out plan and implementing it carefully. No matter which strategy you adopt, it is important to be consistent and true to your product, brand, and value proposition.
Litmus Branding is a branding agency in India that offers all types of branding and growth services to both large and small organizations.