In today’s world, we are constantly being bombarded by brand messaging. Whether it’s an ad in our social feeds, a pop-up on our favourite news site, or a billboard we pass by on our daily commute; the battle of the brands is everywhere. So how does one brand stand out in a sea of competitors? How does one company distinguish itself from the rest, making their products and services sustainable in today’s market?

A strong brand management strategy is essential to surviving in the world of consumer-focusedproducts. It’s no longer strictly about hardcore branding. It’s about knowing your target audience intimately, developing a relationship with this audience through creative messaging, and constructing a positive perception about your brand within the marketplace.

To help you cut through the noise, here are some of our key survival tactics and principles that will ensure you outlast the competition.

You Do YOU

In order to stick out from the rest, your brand needs to offer something unique to consumers. It’s an essential part of the brand management process to define what it is that makes you different. In marketing terms, this is often referred to as a brands’ Unique Selling Proposition or USP. Maybe your USP is that your product costs less or that it lasts longer than the competition. Perhaps your product is more attractive, or the service that you offer is more innovative. Whatever makes you different, define it, and own it.

Once your USP is identified, create an enticing and engaging message that really captures the essence of your brand and how you want it to be portrayed. Use this key messaging across all marketing platforms to consistently communicate your USP to consumers.

Hey, I Know You!

Knowing your customers and their needs are essential when establishing an effective brand management strategy. Identifying your audience, their media habits, where they engage, and what makes them tick is necessary in order to figure out how and where to promote your brand. Once you’ve identified your target group, every marketing initiative you choose should push brand awareness; your key message, your logo, your product. Your strategy should include a consistent and creative approach that reaches your customers through the right means. If you are an innovative new technology company, your focus should be on content marketing. If you are in luxury car sales, chances are your customers are in a higher than average income bracket, and more likely to indulge in lavish activities, such as fine dining, traveling and high-end sporting events. Whomever your audience may be, know them well and establish a brand management strategy that hits them creatively, regularly, and in all the right places.

Sharing is Caring

You have your sexy brand message, killer logo, and are armed and ready to share your brand with the world! But before you do, make sure you have buy-in internally from staff and stakeholders. If your own brand ambassadors don’t believe in the narrative you are selling, then chances are, your customers won’t either. Collaborating within and gathering insights from third parties will bring fresh ideas and a different perspective that may have been overlooked.

Measure Twice and Cut Once

Knowing your target audience will determine which forms of marketing outreach will be the most effective approach for your brand strategy…logically speaking. You believe you know your customer; you’ve identified their characteristics and how they engage but, do you really know them? Look at the analytics behind a marketing campaign. It’s imperative to determine if the brand is truly hitting the audience, if the audience is clicking and reading the ads, and if they are connecting and engaging with the brand. On paper, the message is perfect, and the marketing method makes sense but, is it working? Make sure you are observing the data from your promotional campaign once you’ve launched and re-adjust accordingly. Looking at the numbers and pivoting where necessary, is key to brand success.

Following these key principles when developing your brand management strategy will help clearly define your brand, identify what makes it unique, leverage connectivity with the target audience, and ultimately, propel your brand ahead of the opposition. Finding the right message that resonates with your customer consistently, and through effective marketing tactics, will result in brand success and no doubt outwit, outlast, and outplay the competition.

Dana Telfer

Director of Brand and Marketing