The role of branding in the product development process is crucial to beating the competition and winning a place in the mind of the consumer. Mind share is now just as important as market share! But before you bolt to brief the ad agency, take a breather. Good ideas come to fruition from insightful planning.
The brand’s role in the realm of marketing has changed dramatically in the past decade. In the past, we “branded” existing products or companies to make them more attractive to consumers. In contrast, brand development and implementation today is used as a way to deliver a benefit to consumers.
It follows then, that the consumer should always play centre-stage in the planning process. If you ask them questions and listen closely to what they have to say, your target audience will tell you most of what you need to know to deliver a winning brand, and how to communicate its proposition to them effectively.
Interestingly, it is this planning process that often takes the client and the agency team into unexpected areas, such as new product development or a customer service strategy – both of which are critical areas that affect the long-term future of the brand.
When you have a brand that successfully connects with people they tell others about it and word-of-mouth advertising will follow — and journalists and bloggers may also want to write about the brand. Once that type of differentiation is established in the market’s mind, other marketing activities can help maintain and shape the brand.
Good planning gives management the ‘ideas’ and focus for interpreting the voice of the market into action. This, in turn, will then drive all marketing communication – whatever form that may take.