5 Essential Strategies For Brand Growth
As the business landscape continues to evolve, strategies regarding how one should go about branding their business begin to change as well. According to strategist John Hagel, the middle market is dying as growing sectors continue to expand their influence, and smaller ones scramble to compete for a percent of the already limited market. As a result, most brands are left with five viable growth strategies to follow. (Di Somma, 1)
This strategy focuses on attaining a worldwide brand presence. It has been pointed out by blogger Mark Di Somma how Heineken aimed to be a world player from the very start. Up until that point, beer was widely considered to be a localized product for the most part. Heineken’s strategy in accomplishing their international popularity has been to associate themselves with international campaigns and events to heighten their connections around the world.
National or Local
While global brands capitalize on popular brand recognition, statistics show that local brands are currently growing twice as fast as global brands in many parts of the world. Moreover, local brands account for a wide majority of purchase decisions by shoppers across all regions of the globe, especially Asia. In stark contrast to the strategies taken by global brands, local or national brands use their close relation to their target market in order to engage consumers and build brand loyalty on a much more personal level. Their accessibility and attentiveness to local requirements and locally-targeted campaigns play in their favor to accomplish rapid growth.
The ‘challenger’ strategy is designated to brands that aim to break out of the middle market, especially niche and cult brands. These businesses seek to challenge concepts commonly held when it comes to business, especially when it comes to restrictions confining how sectors normally behave. Built on personality and purpose, this strategy can be highly successful if the right market is targeted.
As consumers become more and more interested in authentic and consciously produced products, opportunities are arising for brands to show their particular attention to detail and showcase how their practices are different from the majority. These brands pridefully self-limit their scope in order to do one or few things very well, and are all about expertise and recognition. This limited scope can, however, be a major handicap in some cases.
This strategy is employed by brands that specifically choose to operate below the radar, and are usually discovered rather than marketed. The aesthetic of a brand that is truly “underground” and set apart from the mainstream creates a sense of exclusivity in not only the consumer, but the product. This results in an extremely passionate fan base that drives brand awareness primarily through word of mouth. For example, Siracha Hot Chili sauce has no Facebook or Twitter profile, and hosts a website that hasn’t been updated in 13 years. Despite this, their sales are booming and their brand has been referenced throughout popular culture in shows like The Simpsons and is even used by astronauts on the International Space Station.
After all is said and done, the constant evolution of the business landscape is inevitable. These strategies to build brands are exactly that– strategies. Ultimately, understanding your brand goals and identity will be your key to competition in this landscape, no matter what strategy you use. Whichever way you take your brand, it is important to keep eight key things in mind along the way:
- Why you compete
- Where and in what manner you wish to compete
- Who you want to bring along for the ride
- Where the opportunities for engagement exist
- The nature of the relationship that results in profits
- Your brand’s stories
- The enemy (even if it’s you at times)
- Knowing why, when, and how the brand will proactively change