Brand strategy is built on the strong foundation of brand vision and brand promise,
something that cannot be outsourced to creative or outside agencies.

Brand Strategy is Built On The Foundation of Brand Vision and Brand Promise, Something That Cannot Be Outsourced To An Agency

First and foremost, brands must live and breathe within the organization where it originates.  This is why organizational ethos is fundamental to attracting and sustaining the best talent.  Every organizational employee is a touchpoint with your brand - so select carefully the talent that you want to best embody and exude that brand.  Outwardly, customers can reinforce or weaken your brand equity through every conscious and subconscious brand touchpoint.    

 

It is vital that organizations know where their target audience is in that brand funnel relationship.  Employees are a significant brand touchpoint to customers, so keeping a pulse on that employee relationship is smart.  Whether your brand is at the start with brand awareness or ultimately at brand loyalty, understanding, tracking and following through on that brand promise is crucial to a healthy, successful brand. 

Segmentations are a vital undertaking of smart brand strategy.
 

If done correctly, segmentations can significantly elevate a brand and entrench your target population by helping organizations focus on key segments and synergize touchpoints overtime.  The reality is that the majority of segmentations fail because they are not actionable, underleveraged and weak in design and rigor.  The most valuable segmentations are the ones that are living and breathing in your organization and part of all conscious and subconscious touchpoints with your brand.  They fuse and synergize campaigns and marketing initiatives to strengthen your brand overtime.  The best segmentations know how to fuse methodologies, blending art and science fluidly, to produce living personas.  Segmentations require commitment and advocacy from c-suite level on downwards to be successful.  Their strategic implications can be profound for an organization, when fully leveraged with action planning workshops and branding strategists.

Health and Beauty Segmentation Case Study

An international line of facial products is faced with increasing competition in the local market.  Though it may have been first-to-market, younger, more aggressive entrants are beginning to eat at its previously sound market share.  Its marketing campaigns lacked synergy and holistic direction, diluting its efforts to cement the brand to core customers.  Furthermore, the characteristics of core customers generated vague, inconsistent descriptions across various parts of the business.  In its efforts to communicate across the entire spectrum of customers, the brand was becoming less differentiated in an increasingly crowded marketplace.  A segmentation strategy was custom-designed to identify the target audience.  This is a crucial point in segmentation often overlooked and underestimated in the design process.  Preliminary research and creative collaboration are necessary to determine study design and who exactly should be included in the segmentation study. Exclusions of key participants will result in a segmentation that predefines essential customer segments.

 

The first stage consists of shopping exercises to help clients empathize with the customer experience.  Thereafter, clients observed conversations with current and potential customers regarding how products are utilized and what pathways are taken in the decision-making process.  These can also consist of home visits where clients can observe the family dynamics and structure that influences product usage.  These empathy-centric research approaches feed directly into the empirical research approaches for more rigorous, analytical and representative segmentation.  Ultimately, the final number of segments is analytical stable and mathematically optimal, as well as functional and utilitarian.  The infusion of customer-centric perceptions with clustering techniques ensures that the final segments thrive in the organization and over a longer period of time.  Algorithms can also be developed so that current and potential customers can be confidently bucketed into one of several segments for targeting in future marketing initiatives. Brand strategy workshops explore how specific product lines and sub-brands can be best targeted and marketed to specific customer segments.

 

Recommended Readings

 

Rediscovering Market Segmentation - HBR

 

Article Highlights for Successful Segmentations:

 

Successful Segmentations must...

  • Reflect organization’s strategy 

  • Indicate where the revenue or profit will be in each segment

  • Identify target population’s values, attitudes and beliefs as they relate specifically to product or service offerings 

  • Focus on actual target population's behavior:  Where are they spending in similar categories now and in the future?

  • Makes sense to and has advocacy among top executives and relevant department heads  

 

 

 

 

© 2011 by LP