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Developing a branding strategy...

Strategic Reflections by HILMY CADER

We live in a very noisy world, where consumers are bombarded with different marketing messages. As a result, the probability that your brand will be remembered is very low. 

Therefore, how does one stand out from the crowd? 

Firstly, it is important to figure out what you really want the world to remember about your brand. In other words, what is the DNA of your brand?

You may find the answer by decoding the brand DNA. MTI follows an eight-step decoding process, that has helped firms figure out the DNA of their brands.

1. Brand mission: What consumer need does the brand (product) satisfy and what product/service category is the brand in?

2. Brand target: Determine your target market in terms of usage, demographic, psychographic etc.

3. Brand insights: Figure out the attributes of the brand. These attributes should be in line with the brand mission as well as the brand target.

4. Brand positioning: What is the positioning (selected platform) of your brand?

5. Brand Truths: What are the brand’s benefits and how does this link to the life of the consumer?

6. Brand soul: Steve Jobs once said branding at the end of the day is all about values. In this spirit it is crucial to ascertain the brand’s beliefs. This could stem from a background story of the company.

7. Brand promise: What is the most compelling reason to buy/use the brand?

8. Brand personality: How should the brand be ‘dressed up’. In other words what is the brand’s tone of voice? (communication).

Once, the above exercise has been completed a clear and consistent brand ‘DNA’ could be formulated that will guide all the brand communication initiatives.

You may sell a similar product to that of your competitor. However, each brand has a different DNA. For instance Nike, probably one of the world’s greatest branding examples is simply a shoe company. However, when we think of Nike we think of something much more. This is because Nike figured out its core value of honouring great athletes and great athletics.

Thus, if you want to create a lasting impact on the customer’s mind you must begin to decode your DNA. If not your brand will simply get lost in the crowd. 

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