When I was a kid, I always wondered which superpower would be the best to have. To be able to fly? To be invisible? To read minds? Nowadays, I sometimes wonder the same thing about brands and their marketing teams. If you could wave a magic wand, which superpower would you choose? Clear focus and prioritization? Better return on investment (ROI) and efficiency across channels? An empowered team? Giving your customers the clearest reason to choose your brand and only your brand?
The thing is, there’s no superhuman ability required to have all that for your organization — and more. All it takes — and I get that this is no small task — is a solid brand strategy. In a highly competitive and polarized environment, a strong brand strategy is not only valuable, it’s essential. Unfortunately, most companies find it difficult to stand out from the competition. According to a Gartner survey, only one in four respondents can see a difference between brands in a given competitive set.
If you find it difficult to make the case for investing in brand strategy, consider exploring and communicating how and why it can take your organization to new heights.
By Julia Reeves
6 reasons brand strategy is important for your organization
No. 1: Focus and prioritization
When your organization and marketing team is aligned around a brand strategy, it provides clarity on where to allocate resources. “Is this building the brand?” should be a common question when evaluating new opportunities. If a good case can’t be made or a better brand opportunity is available, the resource choice is easy to make.
No. 2: ROI and efficiency across channels
A strong brand strategy enables you to focus messaging on a few key strategic points. As a result, your messaging across channels builds on one another. This fosters efficiency and ROI gains, because messages work together to support a larger takeaway and thus build impact as they go.
No. 3: Team empowerment
A brand strategy is a North Star. With one, much less time is spent aligning priorities and execution. For example, Southwest Airlines staff gives customers a consistent brand experience that is uniquely Southwest, but in a nonscripted and genuine way. Customers deeply understand the brand and what makes it special. Because of this, employees have a license to bring the brand to life in every customer interaction.
No. 4: Loyal customers
Marketing conversations tend to revolve around which customers to “go after.” Ideally though, customers would seek you out because it’s abundantly clear that your brand is the best and only choice. A strong brand strategy is based on deep customer understanding, which drives your target audience to your brand.
No. 5: A clear innovation roadmap
With a clear brand strategy, you know what customers want — now and in the future. It provides insights on how innovations will be perceived in the market amid competitive forces. This focus and understanding gives you an objective way to prioritize and deprioritize ideas and projects.
No. 6: Better partnerships
A well-baked and executed brand strategy fosters stronger partnerships, whether it be with an agency, channel or another brand. It gives your partners a clear understanding of what you stand for and where you are going, so they can suggest appropriate collaborations more quickly. In turn, you can look objectively at future collaborations to ensure they properly support your brand growth.
Julie Reeves is Senior Director Analyst at Gartner who helps clients to better position their brands for success through strategic use of consumer insights and executional considerations.
This story was originally published on the Gartner Blog Network.