- September 5, 2019
Over the last few blogs we have covered various elements in formulating your brand strategy. It is now time to bring it all together. We started the process by identifying the four key questions that you must answer:
- Who you are
- What you do
- How you are different
- What problems you solve for the customer or why you are better than the competition
Once you get the answers to these questions, you can begin the process of developing your brand strategy. Your customer should ALWAYS be at the center of your brand strategy.
The first step in the process is called segmentation. This involves putting people into groups based on demographics (age, race, income, education), geographics (where they live, where they work, where they shop), psychographics (attitudes, interests, lifestyles) and behaviors (heavy, medium, light users of the product).
We use the following questions to get at the center of the issue:
Who is your customer? (Male/female, old/young, ethnic/white, blue collar/college educated, Millennials/Gen Z
What do they buy/consume? (Craft, seasonal, established brands, can/bottle/draught)
When do they buy/consume? (Morning/night, weekday/weekend, special events, seasonal)
Where do they buy/consumer? (On-premise, off-premise, at home, at an event)
Why do they buy? (Thirst, to try something new, to be social. to take to a party)
How do they buy/consume? (can, glass, bottle, mug, alone, with friends)
Once you segment the market, you need to identify your “Target Market”. Who is the primary group of people that you’re going to market to? Current heavy users or a group with more future potential?
This will help you with your marketing communications. Finally, you need to position your brand in the minds of your customers. When consumers hear about your brand what do they think?
We then discussed your core brand values, message and personality.
What is brand personality?
It is the tone and attitude that begins to immediately separate your company from the competition.
Everyone knows Cheer’s from TV and if you’re from Philadelphia and know who Joe Conklin is, you’ve heard of Chip Snapper’s Taproom. If not, think of the local corner bar in the neighborhood you grew up in.
If you were going out for a beer, would you rather go to Chip Snapper’s Taproom or Cheers? Both serve beer and other beverages, but they provide different atmospheres. You would expect a corner bar to have the same group of people there all the time. And while Cheers had regulars, you also saw many other people frequent that establishment.
Finally, we discussed Brand icons.
Icons relate to our sensual side. Sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. We crave certain things as consumers. And our senses help guide us in certain directions. You can also define an icon as something that is unique to your brand and brings up an image in the customers mind.
Visual – Beer bottle with a sliced lime at the top (Corona)
Sound – The sound a beer bottle or can makes when opened, the pour
Touch – The feeling of an iced beer mug or cold bottle/can in your hand and on your lips
Smell - The difference between a corner bar and bar/restaurant that serves food
Taste - Domestic beer vs. craft
Next we discussed the power of people and characters.
A great example of this is the comparison between Jim Koch from Boston Beer and the spokesman for Dos Equis, “The most interesting man in the world”. Both brands are very successful and use iconic figures very differently in their marketing. A few years ago, Dos Equis replaced the older character with a younger one. This was an obvious indication that they were going after a younger target market. The older actor resurfaced as a spokesman for Astral Tequila and played off of the advertising copy saying, “I told you I don’t always drink beer, I prefer Astral Tequila”.
All of these together help form your brand roadmap. They help guide all your decisions as it relates to YOUR brand.
In the next blog, we will discuss Marketing planning.
Marketing is a race with no finish line!
George Latella teaches Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Food Marketing which is the largest major at Saint Joseph’s University recently celebrated its 57th anniversary. George is also a partner in Beacon Marketing group which provides Marketing planning, research, and e-commerce/direct marketing communications for food and beverage companies. George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-660-2254.