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When clients approach us to help with bringing them customers, we get excited. Ideas run through our heads at breakneck speed but we know that different brands have different approaches so we sit patiently and listen.

We hear them out during brainstorming sessions where we sit in listening to the different departments – sales, marketing, customer service- before chipping in and asking them how to see things differently.

The second line rarely happens in Asia, though. Penny wise, pound foolish is usually the case. This makes us sad as without strategy and purpose, events (part of a full marketing strategy) brave the storm on their own. It literally breaks our hearts when clients expect one event to change the world. If you come close enough to us during these meetings, you can hear our hearts break into little pieces.

Standalone events don’t make people buy from you. What you offer at the event cannot be one-off. You should be linking it to a string of events (offline and online) happening throughout the year. Your social media campaigns, ad campaigns and PR campaigns have to be in sync, working together to keep you relevant to your audience.

So if you’ve been doing ad-hoc events hoping to improve your numbers, please stop. Please mend our hearts by taking a different route. Here are some tips for you:

The right brand gives you the power to build stronger connections with your customers, cultivate loyalty and inspire advocacy. However, brands don’t just happen by themselves.

An incredible brand needs to be shaped, moulded, and cultivated over time, not just in the logos you design and the website you build, but also in the things you do and say. Branding can’t be something that’s done “off-the-cuff”.

Shaping brand strategy: Getting to your goal

Everything starts with a plan. Without a plan, there is no way to measure the results of the different actions that you take getting to your goals.

Coca-Cola is a gigantic company that hires people, runs marketing campaigns, and sells products – but it’s also a brand. Thanks to a solid brand engagement strategy, Coca-Cola knows that if it wants to connect with its audience, it needs to give them an experience they can’t get from another beverage company. So, it doesn’t just promise a drink – it tells you that every bottle of Cola is going to give you a sense of joy. Then, it delivers on that promise with bright colours in its marketing materials, a fun and frivolous tone of voice, and plenty of experience-focused sales campaigns.

Campaigns that create unique experiences for the consumer, gets remembered for years. We still love this one:

As we mentioned above, strong brands like Coca-Cola don’t happen naturally. They’re the result of hard work and careful brand strategy. Without a branding strategy, the reputation and perception of your company would be left completely in the hands of your customers. That means that you’d end up with an inconsistent, confusing image, that’s neither powerful nor memorable.

Your brand differentiation strategy will determine what makes your business unique.

Your brand communication strategy will highlight how you plan to communicate with your community, including your customers, your employees, and shareholders.

Your brand positioning strategy will demonstrate how your brand fits in your industry when compared to competing companies

Your brand awareness strategy will help you to figure out how you’re going to share your vision and ideas with the world.

Whether you’re refreshing your website or launching a new social media campaign, your brand strategy will keep you focused on the goals you’ve set for your organisation, so you never have to worry about venturing off track. It gives you a consistent way to make good on your promises and give your customers a reason to come back time, and time again.

Just look at how Coca-Cola has positioned itself as an “experience” instead of a soft drink. Think about how passionate Apple customers are about getting the latest iPhone.  These are the brands that use strategy to build affinity, loyalty, and sustainability.

Why you need a proper plan

We’re living in a world driven by perception. How often do you check the reviews on Lazada or Bookings.com before you order a new product or book a room, or ask your friends for advice when deciding where to go for dinner? Brands rely on good reputations to thrive and to have a reputation, you need to make connections with your target audience.

A brand strategy is important because it gives your company clarity about its market position, competitive landscape, and the expectations of its customers.

Do you know where you stand in your industry? Regular inter-department brainstorming session (with us being objective moderators) help you to stop assuming things and get real data from the ground. All this information gives you the tools you need to fine-tune your marketing messages, improve your competitiveness, and build a stronger business. The more you understand your brand and how you’re going to bring it to market with a brand promotion strategy, the easier it is to build credibility and trust with the right audience.

Are you doing the same things everyone else is doing as it has less risk? How do you know what works for them, will work for you?

Brand strategy keeps you consistent
The clearer your vision is, the easier it will be to keep yourself on track as you move through the often-complex business world. After all, it’s easy to get side-tracked by trends and begin to lose your brand identity. This can leave your customers confused about who you are and what you stand for. In a world where clients are drawn to companies, they feel an affinity towards, it’s important to make sure that you’re constantly highlighting the same aspects of your business. This will help you appear more transparent, authentic, and credible.

Brand strategy helps you to measure your journey
How do you know if your campaign is successful? Tracking and monitoring individual channels helps to determine what works and doesn’t work for you so you know where to focus your resources.

A branding strategy helps you to keep track of your goals, so you can measure how far you’ve come.

Brand strategy gives you a human side

Customers are drawn to brands that resonate with their personalities. There are many automotive, property developers and jewellery boutiques out there. What makes your customer choose you? Price and features are important but it’s not the only reason people buy. Your sales people and front liners are key in the buying process not because they know their product inside out. We can hire robots for that. Do they represent your brand well? Do they treat your customers as friends rather than prospects?

We’ve been to sales galleries where the sales team don’t even know their colleague’s names or if their bosses are around. We walk into cold rooms full of pretty things and zombies. We just want to run out.

Brand strategy reduces your marketing cost

When your customers are your ambassadors and are referring new clients to your business all the time, you can use their reviews as social proof on all your online channels, you don’t need to work as hard to convince new clients to trust you. There’s nothing quite like word of mouth marketing when it comes to building ROI for your brand.

Summary

Creating a brand strategy doesn’t just help you to figure out who you are. The right brand strategy model will also guide other aspects of your business development, by helping you to figure out which markets you should target, who your biggest competitors are, and what you need to do to nurture the right image.

Do us proud, start working on your brand strategy or call us for help.