Your brand encompasses the entire customer experience – everything from your logo, website, and social media presence to how your staff answer the phone and interact with customers. A great brand doesn't just happen: it is well thought out, documented in a style guide, and driven by a strategic plan.
Strategic Branding is a complex, sophisticated process by which real and perceived attributes of an organization’s products or services are positioned for long-term competitive advantage.
Marketing your products to consumers or business-to-business requires agility, flexibility and creativity. Even the most successful brands must constantly adapt to keep pace with shifts in their target market preferences.
Owning a powerful Strategic Brand not only enables you to capture and retain customer loyalty, it provides the leverage to expand your brand into new markets and categories.
It’s important to distinguish the factors involved in consumer decisions and how they affect aspects of a brand’s identity. You must first make the distinction between brand valuation and brand equity. Brand valuation represents the total financial value of the brand, as measured by transparency, validity, reliability, sufficiency, objectivity, and financial, behavioural, and legal parameters. Brand equity, on the other hand, is like equity in a home. It reflects appreciation – all the good things and positive associations that accrue because the brand has delivered on its stated promises.
There is no question that employees are a company’s most valued resource. The challenge for management is to offer a work culture in which individuals are empowered and have the opportunity to develop and advance. When it comes to your customers, it is essential to continually meet their expectations regarding the quality and value of the products and services offered. This is key to a company’s competitive edge.
Given the enormity of what’s at stake, it is mindboggling that most companies, both small and large, do not conduct employee and customer focus groups on a regular basis.
The main purpose of focus group research is to draw upon the attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions of respondents in a way that would not be feasible using other methods such as observation, one-to-one interviewing or questionnaire surveys. These attitudes, feelings and beliefs may be partially independent of a group or its social setting, but are more likely to be revealed via the social gathering and the interaction that being part of a focus group entails.
Moderating a focus group is a skill set unto itself. It is important to use a professional and experienced facilitator who can foster an open honest dialogue and maximize the research outcome.
At KEA, we’ve been facilitating focus groups for over two decades. Here are a few case studies demonstrating the value and insight that focus group research can provide.
The answer is YES, it can. A tagline can provide context, communicate uniqueness, and elevate the brand to a new level of recognition.
“Just do it” and “I'm lovin’ it” are classic examples. These taglines are instantly recognizable. So familiar that most people are able to name the brand, what they offer and what they stand for without seeing any other brand elements.
A compelling tagline also gives your customers the language to use, allowing you to control how they introduce new folks to your company.
Keep in mind a tagline should be short, memorable and relevant. It’s incredibly difficult to be succinct, and it’s especially difficult to express a complex emotional concept in just a couple of words -- which is exactly what a great tagline does.
Over the years, we’ve come up with many taglines that have helped a wide variety of organizations better position themselves in the marketplace. Here are a few examples:
City of Miami
The City of Miami hired us to develop a strategic branding and marketing campaign for the Virginia Key Beach Park, which had been the premier beach for African Americans during the Civil Rights era. After conducting focus groups with city officials, the general public, seniors, school children of all ages, parents, business leaders, as well as past, present and future visitors to the Beach, we were able to develop a very effective tagline ‘Paradise Renewed’ that was the strategic driving force behind the marketing campaign.