Bruwer and Johnson (2010) define brand strategy as a long-term blueprint for the creation of an efficacious brand in order to realize explicit goals. When a brand strategy is well-defined and implemented, it often affects all sides of the business and is precisely connected to customer emotions, needs and competitive environments. Marketing communication on the other hand refers to all the coordinated promotional messages and media that a business uses to talk to the market with (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012). It is an important and multifaceted part of the company’s marketing endeavours that include advertising on direct mail, radio and television; branding, direct marketing, public relations activities, sponsorships, printed materials, packaging among others. Brand strategy and marketing communication go hand in hand in their effort at ensuring that the business reaches its goals and objectives. While the brand strategy enables a business to choose how to identify itself through marketing, marketing communication reflects this intended image through the various channels of marketing including promotions, colours, and slogans among others. When the brand strategy and the marketing communications are integrated, they unify the message being sent out about the business and make them memorable (Bruwer & Johnson, 2010).
Strength and Weaknesses
SWOT analysis is an important tool used by businesses to identify factors within and without the enterprise that may affect the business’ future performance. In as much as the SWOT analysis is mostly used in management, it can be a great branding and marketing asset. SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (Robert, 2013). When developing a brand strategy, it is imperative to note the business’ strengths and weaknesses in order to develop marketing communications that alleviate customer fears with regards to the weaknesses and enhance their believe in the strengths that the business possesses.
Some of the strengths of the business include the provision of customer-centric services that are of good quality. Additionally, the business makes use of technology in the provision of the services thus increasing efficiency in service delivery and accuracy in management practises. These strengths set the business apart from the competitors who are providing similar services. However, the major weakness of the business is lack of personnel to handle the ever-growing number of customers. This has resulted in many customers queuing for quite some considerable time before being served. The inadequacy in personnel is occasioned by limited starting capital.
Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
When developing brand strategy and crafting the marketing communication, it is imperative to study the competition and subject the major competitors to a SWOT analysis. This will help in the development of an impactful strategy that is enhanced with targeted communication (Robert, 2013). Competitors in the line of business enjoy the backing of financial resources which ensure that they have all the personnel they need to serve their customers. Additionally, they have the benefit of experience in the line of business and therefore are believed to be far ahead. However, their major drawback is the lack of Information Technology integration in their business operations. Most of their operations are still manual and therefore very inefficient and tedious.
Creating a Brand Image
Brand image is today regarded as the determinant of a business’s future. Regardless of the industry, a rock solid brand will stand out among the competition and attract the attention of the customers. Ajay ( 2005) argues that a multidisciplinary approach that makes use of owned, earned and paid media is the most effective way of creating a brand image. For this business, the brand image will be built through an outstanding logo, environmentally-friendly packaging, social media and corporate social responsibility. In order to develop a strong brand image for this business, there is need to identify the target audience to which the marketing communications will be addressed, clearly define the business goals and the brand persona before developing the key messaging (Stuart, 2001). The target audience include the middle class working mothers and the business’ priority objective is provision of satisfactory services that will generate revenue and build brand loyalty among customers. The business’ brand persona development process will be guided by simplicity and relevance.
Maintaining Brand Image
Once a strong foundation for the brand image is created, there is need to maintain this image in the minds of the target customers. To build a loyal customer following that is able to generate leads, there is need to engage in promotional activities. Public Relations which may include CSR activities and press conference, content and social media are three important tactics that will be used to maintain the brand image (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012).
Public Relations will be used to distribute key company messages to all news outlets and online platforms and establishing the business as a thought leader in the line of business thus improving the brand image and creating awareness among target customers. Empty public relations does not, however, hold the customers long enough as they get bored or realize that they are being played and move on. That is why the business will purpose to develop quality content on the area of business that will not only convince the target customer but also educate them. Social media will be a key tool for engaging customers and assessing the customer response to the various services provided by the business.
Advertising Strategy and Objectives
An advertising strategy refers to a plan that the business intends to use in order to reach and convince the target customer to buy the services being offered. There are five advertising strategies that this business intends to use in order to reach the target audience. The major objectives of these strategies will be to raise brand awareness among the target customers and to realise a rise in revenue from sales (Ajay, 2005).
The first strategy is targeting the audience. This therefore calls for the identification of the target market and the key audience within that market that influences buying decisions. These are the people the advertising strategy should target. Secondly, there is need to measure and track the advertising. This can be achieved by look at the leads and sales generated by each advertising (Bruwer & Johnson, 2010). This strategy will prevent the business from spending on advertising that does not have returns for the business. Thirdly, there is need to know when to advertise. The services being offered by the business targets working mothers. It is therefore prudent to run the advertisement on Television during or after the primetime news since that is the time the target audience has access to the television. The fourth strategy is the need to brand well since this will keep the brand image in the minds of the audience. This can be achieved through standard packaging and an outstanding logo. Lastly, there is need to show up in the right places. Since working mums are the target market for the services, it is important that the advertising is displayed in places where they frequent.
Brand strategy and marketing communication are the backbone of any business. An effective brand strategy that is accompanied with explicit marketing communications will ensure that the business gets to and aptly convinces the target market into using the services offered by the business. This business will heavily rely on the band strategy and the integrated marketing communication in order to reach its sales targets every year.
Ajay, K. (2005). Marketing Led: Sales Driven: How Successful Businesses Use the Power of Marketing Plans and Sales Execution to Win in the Marketplace. Chicago: Trafford Publishing.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing new mymarketinglab with pearson etext access card: An introduction. Place of publication not identified: Prentice Hall.
Bruwer, J., & Johnson, R. (2010). Place-based marketing and regional branding strategy perspectives in the California wine industry. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 27(1), 5-16.
Robert, M. (2013). Marketing to Moviegoers: A Handbook of Strategies and Tactics, Third Edition. FL: SIU Press.
Stuart, C. (2001). Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Techniques: A Handbook for Practitioners. London: Greenwood Publishing Group.