Strategic Planning in Branding

Branding a product or firm distinguishes it from others in today's cluttered marketplace of goods from numerous businesses and builds its worth in consumers' perceptions. By utilizing the concepts of branding, all kinds of businesses and organizations want to capture a portion of the minds of their target audiences. Such branding, though, cannot be accomplished in a single day. Establishing an influence that is powerful and credible enough to be referred to as a brand takes strategic preparation and persistent efforts to carry out that strategy over time.

Strategic Planning in Branding

It has been emphasized throughout this unit that brands set similar items from various firms apart. They give each product its own identity. Only brands make products more than just tangible things, rendering them incomparable. This is only achievable with careful preparation; otherwise, one type of product—shoes—would be difficult to distinguish from another, whether made by Bata or Reebok. Because of the values attached to them, they are not interchangeable. Because consumers and the means of connecting with them are changing quickly, branding strategy has become even more crucial in recent years.

The audiences of today are participative, collaborative, and interactive. These are active users who want to engage with the company before purchasing, not passive consumers. These active users are unstable and have several sources of contact, including social media, FM radio, and conventional newspapers, so they cannot be reached on a single platform. In these situations, branding must be intelligently implemented. It must be carried out with a long-term outlook.

Understanding the Market

The market has always been a significant component in determining a brand's direction. Compared to the conventional market, which was dominated mainly by one super product of a brand, the market now is more dynamic. Brand managers used to instruct people on how to utilize products rather than taking the time to understand their needs when a brand was recognized for its one exceptional product.

The way the market was previously run has also altered as a result of the culture of supermarkets and shopping centers. Now that identical items from different brands are displayed side by side on the shelves in supermarkets and shops in shopping centers, it is pretty simple to compare them in terms of price, weight, etc.

Understanding customer requirements became crucial in light of the mass marketing culture. It is no longer possible to develop a brand using the conventional method, which involves launching a super product associated with the brand and distributing and promoting it. Distributors and retailers now participate equally in the creation of brands. The distributors' brands are a huge issue in the industry today since they provide less expensive alternatives to branded goods.

As an alternative to branded items, Chinese products offer extreme examples of this branding. For instance, individuals may purchase Chinese mobile phones with the same functionality as iPhones at a considerably lower price. Hence, before preparing for branding, it is essential to understand how dynamic the market is nowadays.

Designing Market Driven Branding Strategy

Consumers and the market must both be considered while developing the branding strategy. If a product from a well-known brand is introduced to the market, an effort must be made to ensure that it differs significantly from other products of a like kind; otherwise, branding might suffer. Brands should be developed and managed to be practical tools for retaining customers. If a brand has less expensive competitors on the market, it should nonetheless emphasize how unique and superior to those alternatives it is.

Only then will it be able to fight the threat of distributors' brands? Without the brand, the product may be duplicated by another manufacturer and sold for less money if it lacks intangible attributes like pride, emotions, and trust. Only these elusive characteristics distinguish a branded offering from comparable goods. The following branding strategies might be used depending on the market and according to requirements −

Consumer involvement

All companies want to include customers in the branding process by welcoming them into their families and instilling pride since they are active players in the changing environment. Moreover, by earning points for purchases and allowing customers to redeem them after a set amount of time, they are giving customers financial benefits. Customers feel valued and a part of the brand as a result.

Keeping advertising brief

It is well known that advertising is a crucial part of every product's and brand's marketing strategy. By often appearing in the media, advertising establishes the brand and helps keep its recall value high. The optimal length of a commercial for advertising was formerly 30 seconds. However, there is currently a strategy to shorten this period to 10 seconds so that, for the same money, the brand may not only be presented but repeated twice more, retaining the memory value. This would also be considerably more cost-effective for brand managers in fragmented media.

Community markets

Consumers' purchasing behaviors are also influenced by their social circles, families' routines, peer groups, and ideologies. Those who care about their health and the environment purchase organic goods and dress in natural materials. They may be brand loyal to Khadi or Fabindia and would choose paper envelopes over poly bags. Some feminist organizations want to emphasize their individuality by dressing only in ethnic clothing and accoutrements. For these kinds of community groupings, community marketplaces can be established. For such a communal market, Delhi Haat serves as an example.

Involving the entire marketing supply chain

Due to the dynamic nature of today's market and the active engagement of each component, every link in the supply chain could be addressed. It cannot operate under the business-to-consumer paradigm; instead, brand managers must think about distributors, retailers, and the final customer. Distributors and retailers need also be persuaded of the value of brands and customers.

Building the brand universe

A vision with significant emotional appeal and cultural origins creates brands. They exist as a result of public belief in them. They want to go beyond simply satisfying customers' preferences. By providing the customers with a fantastic experience, they attempt to build their universe. The pinnacle of any brand is this. Examples include Starbucks, Google, and Amazon, all building such universes by giving their customers experiences. They offer more than just goods; they also provide spaces for people to unwind and savor the moment.

Brand Architecture

As a brand expands, it usually does so by introducing new items, expanding the brand, or adding new product lines. However, while doing so, it must remember that even with minor modifications, the goods must be distinctive, meet market demand, avoid duplication, and take advantage of market possibilities. Each of them calls for robust brand architecture. Any brand expansion carried out randomly without good organization and planning will be a fruitless endeavor. Brand architecture defines brands' responsibilities, how brands interact with one another, and the various product-market brand settings. According to this definition of brand architecture, there are two main crucial elements −

  • Roles played by the brands

  • Product-market context roles


Brand management should be studied using an interdisciplinary approach because it falls under marketing management, public relations, and advertising. Because it has a long-lasting effect and may bring in new customers and keep existing ones loyal for a very long time, it has become a vital component of marketing today, and managers rely on careful planning for brand management.