100 Managers Toolbox: Brand Development

A 100 managers tool for brand management. Analyse and plan brand perception and develop a strong relationship with the target market.

100 Managers Toolbox: Brand Development
100 Managers Toolbox: Brand Development

When to use
: When developing your company’s brand as part of a marketing strategy.
What you get: A framework around which the brand can be developed.
Time: To develop the framework will take about half a day, the research and actions that result will take substantially longer.
The number of people: Ideally, 9 – 20 people, including a wide cross-section of customers, suppliers and across the business to provide a balanced perspective.
Equipment: Somewhere to capture the output.

  • Identify all of the groups of people who are touched by the branding. Tool 80: Stakeholder Analysis or Tool 4: Brainstorming, would help here. Group the stakeholders into like mindsets..
  • Consider what image you want these people to have about the company or product. These include tangible and intangible elements. For example, quality, feel good, environmentally friendly, safe, value. Group the factors into manageable sets.
  • Carry out some research in each of the stakeholder groups to understand where the brand currently rates on each of the issues.
  • Plot the findings against the ideal brand image that you are looking for from stage 2. Tool 69: Radar chart is good for this.
  • Complete the diagram on the page opposite, considering carefully what each of the groups of stakeholders would need to experience to believe that brand you are aiming for. For example, questions like: ‘As a customer, what would prove to me that the company is….?’
  • Create an action plan to move the brand towards the desired brand image. (This may require further exploration into what would change the brand image in this area for these people.) Questions to aid the development of an action plan: ‘Who and what is it that projects the brand of the business?’ Who needs to be responsible for changing it?’ ‘is it feasible to move the brand or would it be more beneficial to start up a new business branded differently?’ ‘Is the brand in line with the business strategy?’

Exercise: Develop a brand development strategy for a new high-quality airline.
Key Points: Brand is made up of a number of different elements and is tied intrinsically to the individual or group perception.
The brand image you are aiming for will affect where you advertise, market and sell the product or service. It will also impact how you price and package it. The brand needs to be readily identifiable. E.g. Rolls-Royce, Microsoft, or Virgin.
You can use more than four groups of stakeholders for a more focused approach.
Additional Comments: Building a brand is often harder than destroying it. Take for example the leader of a health company; all it would take would be one cigarette to undermine the brand.
Branding issue often follows acquisitions, i.e. Should rebrand the acquired company’s products or services or should we continue to use its name. Using a large number of trading names within a group will weaken the branding.