How Brand Strategy Can Drive Growth
If growth is at the top of your 2024 wish list, your brand has to be ready to support it. Otherwise, it could actually get in the way.
Roman philosopher Seneca is attributed with saying, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Having a brand strategy aligned to your growth strategy is a vital part of creating your own luck.
Want to get growing? Brand strategy can help in these areas.
The first step is to determine your growth strategy. It can range from increasing customer willingness to pay (and raising prices) to having a larger sales and marketing presence or acquiring a related or competitive company.
Organic growth strategies are typically defined in four basic categories:
- Market penetration—finding and keeping more customers with your existing product or service lineup.
- Product development—enhancing products or services that give existing customers new reasons to purchase from you, or addressing the needs of clients you could not serve currently with your product mix.
- Market expansion—finding new people to sell to, especially by entering into new geographic areas.
- Diversification—creating new products that allow you to attract new buyers.
1. Market Penetration
If you’re looking to drive market penetration, a brand refresh built around evolving customer needs will help you gain traction. Focus on your promotional strategy and distribution networks, and consider new approaches to mitigate pricing pressures.
2. Product Development
Perhaps you have a slate of new product introductions for the coming year, or you may need to retire parts of your existing portfolio. Your brand strategy has to evolve to incorporate these changes and tell the story of a company that’s on the move. Brand campaigns can add emotion to product announcements and provide a halo effect to your go-to-market strategy.
3. Market Expansion
For those pursuing market expansion, understanding the nuances of new target customers is a critical step. That calls for a close look at brand positioning relative to the new competitive context and customer requirements. If you’re looking at expanding into new markets, now’s the time to take a fresh look at audience personas and customer journey maps to support effective entry into these markets.
If you’re diversifying your product or service offerings, it will be crucial to prepare your brand. You’ll have to find the core of your brand promise across your entire set of offerings, and you’ll need to reimagine how you deliver that promise with new products or services—all without alienating clients who might otherwise feel abandoned as you venture into new territory.
Growing through acquisition
Or maybe organic growth is just too slow to meet your objectives. To rationalize new acquisitions, you may need to revisit your brand architecture, determine a new naming strategy, and assess the equity in the acquired products or companies. Your brand strategy will need to evolve to help your customers make sense of these changes and see the new brand in a cohesive way.
However you plan on growing in 2023, be sure your brand doesn’t stand in the way. If given the care it deserves, smart brand strategy can be one of the best tools you have to ensure your success.