Brand Strategy

What is a Brand?

A brand is the sum total of associations, feelings, attitudes and perceptions related to a company, product or service. It is a relationship with the customer and a promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services.

Why Invest in Brand Building?

A brand is one of the few things a company can own forever. Without patents, technological insulation or barriers to entry, a company’s brand is one of the few assets it can rely on to extract value and enhance margin over time.


The strongest, most enduring brands result from the disciplined alignment of brand strategies and plans with customer requirements.

Developing is an effective brand strategy involves three key brand strategy components:

  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Architecture
  • Brand Extension
Key Components Brand Positioning Brand Architecture Brand Extension
What is it? A brand positioning is the conceptual place you want to own in the target’s mind – the benefits you want them to think of when they think of your brand Brand architecture is the logical, strategic and relational structure for all brands in the portfolio Brand extension involves stretching the brand into attractive categories, by creating “equity bridges” for customers to cross
How It is used? Positioning is used as an internal statement of strategy to guide external implementation Brand architecture is used to ensure clarity, synergy and leverage across the portfolio Brand extension is used to stretch the brand into new categories to drive new business growth


Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning Examples:

“Performance” – BMW

“Comfort” – Lexus

“Luxury” – Mercedes-Benz

“Smart Choice” – Acura

Brand Positioning Statement:

To (target audience), (Product X) is the only (Frame of reference) that (benefits delivered) because (reasons to believe)

Four Strategic choices underline positioning development

  • Definition of Targets: Who is the brand being built for?
  • Frame-of-Reference: What is the competitive context?
  • Benefits Delivered: What benefits should the brand stand for?
  • Proof Points: What are the reasons-to-believe the positioning?

Brand Architecture


Customers relate to brands at several levels

  • Master brand → Product brands → Product descriptors

This allows an organization to create a brand portfolio that appeals to distinct segments or need states

  • Acura vs. Honda vs. Honda Accord
  • Apple vs. Mac vs. iPod vs. iPhone vs. iPad vs. iPad5

The master brands conveying rational benefits and target-specific relevance


Key objectives include improved clarity, synergy and brand leverage













Product Brands require investment and management and represent value greater than the functionality of the offering alone.


Product Names are simple descriptors that serve to identify the tangible value the customer receives.

Brand Extension

Brand extension is a process that allows companies to define new and attractive business opportunities for existing brands, with two basic approaches:

  • Deductive: Customers follow trademark to logical places
  • Inductive: Marketers determine attractive categories and create equity bridges for customers to cross

Benefits {Advantages of brand extension (vs. new brand creation)}:

  • Further strengthen and build the brand franchise
  • Enhance the chance of new business success
  • Reduce the cost of new business development

Brand Development Process: Balances internal and external assessment, focused ideation, concept development and execution in delivering on customer requirements

Step 1: Perform brand assessment and confirm issues

Step 2: Conduct brand strategy visioning session

Step 3: Conduct ideation & develop brand strategy concepts

Step 4: Optimize brand strategy concepts internally and with target customers

Step 5: Prepare brand strategy recommendations and action plan

Key Issues:

What do we know about the 3 C’s?

What alternatives exist for establishing the brand strategy?

What are optimal concepts, from the eyes of the customer?

What is the recommended strategy and action plan?



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