Changes are rapidly occurring in the strategies in branding. No longer is a name the primary value in a brand. It is also the tools, services, shared resources and customer bases that drive the value of being affiliated with a brand. It is often also a part of creating value for a business. While brand change is still hidden in clouds of smoke, it is a great time to really look at brand strategies and consider options for your brand.
Economics are forcing our business structures to leverage branding, marketing, operations, resources and customers to gain the maximum revenue and impact to the bottom line. No longer can most businesses remain simple. The exception would be those in a niche market or product offering.
While there are many options to consider, let’s take a brief look at strategies that can be utilized to make each dollar spent work harder. We will explore more detailed information in future blog posts and whitepapers. If you are looking for more indepth information or specifics for your company, please contact us.
Enterprise Strategy – In essence a collection of businesses under an ownership umbrella. Economic benefit is gained when these are either aligned businesses sharing a customer base or products and services that can be bought and sold by internal and external customers.
Vertical Strategy – Utilizes resources to capture diversified customers within a specific business segregated by factors such as economics, product choice, specialty, and demographics. Often the product or service levels are named to give the customer a way of not only distinguishing differences, but also as a marketing tool to drive demand for higher level and often more expensive and profitable products and services.
Horizontal Strategy – Leverages the customer base to sell multiple products and services that may or may not be related to a shared customer base. Not every customer buys every product but there is a higher liklihood that they will buy more than one product or service. In some cases it is one point of sale offering multiple products, in others it is constructed more as a network.
Brand Extension Strategy – Utilizes a name or concept to brand multiple products and services with the concept that, if the consumer likes and trusts the brand they will buy more items with that label. Works best for retail on the shelf or Internet product sales, but does not always work well when applied to services or intangible products.
Multi-Branded Strategy – This strategy has become increasingly popular, especially where product choice drives consumers more than the brand providing the service. This strategy recognizes that the pool of customers is finite and seeks multiple ways to “capture” the customer. In the real estate business, there's the ability to search properties on the Internet with the data shared fairly evenly among all companies no matter what size and where all brands share each others data. In the automotive industry, dealerships are often multi branded as the consumer is more likely to be drawn to choice and convienience. The good news/bad news of multi branded strategies is that it does serve the customer well and can be operationally and cost efficient, but it also generally reduces the number of companies working in any business.
While we do not know what specific brand changes are on the horizon, there is no better time to really take a hard look at your companies strategy and design the direction of your future.