Managing and Positioning Brands in the new world

If left to their own, most Brands would lose significance and relevance. This could also mean these Brands would lose their touch and connect with the audience. And in the longer run, chances are these Brands will be wiped out from our brain cells and our memories. There are so many examples of Brands that busted in front of us, take the case of Blackberry, Kodak, and what they all have in common is that they all have but one story, which is the death of the brand!

Managing and positioning Brands is therefore especially important for Brands to not only connect with heir audiences but to also create their distinctive value over others. And Brands must do this all the time, right from the time they have been conceptualized to their go-to-market timeline and then the way they are positioned in different markets because the dynamics keep changing remember, because what works in one market with one audience type does not work in other geographies with changing demographics.  it is something that never stops. Marketing teams are therefore tasked with this upending task of continually spinning magic and keeping competitors on their toes. And to do that effectively they have to continually stay relevant, mystic, and live up to the style quotients as well.

A typical Brand positioning model in the early years of the millennium would look like figure 1 – and surprisingly, this continued in the 2010’s as well. Companies adopted a top-down departmental approach – wherein individual departments functioned as custodians of brands and people within these departments were tasked for roles as support activities. Strategy was driven at a boardroom level and the departmental levels had a limited view of the larger Brand strategy and the mission, vision, or Brand goals. There was truly little focus on market research, buyer personas, buyer needs or buyer perceptions and while the larger brands could carry this through adverts the smaller brands simply had no means to connect wider and deeper, relevance apart.

Brand Positioning Strategy
Brand Vision and Mission
Business Strategy
Cust Relationship Strategy
Marketing Strategy
Figure 1

Changing customer expectations, market dynamics, digital proliferation, the evolution of new Martech tools and buyer personas / audience types / customer segments streteched this notional model and turned it around into something more deep, relevant, and gigantic.

Here is the twist that is needed for Brands to compete in the new world order where the dynamics keep shifting every single day and new competitors and new products keep Brands on the edge of the crucible. One wrong step and you are erased from Wall Street, and the likes.

Figure 2

Positioning plays a vital role in keeping a Brand on track towards its destination. It pinpoints what makes the Brand motivating, different and true for target customers. Its particularly important for Brands to know their human side and the job they are expected to do. The different elements of positioning (essence, values, personality, promise, benefits, brand truths, customer insight, market definition, target customers) need to come together as a coherent whole.

When managing Brands, the external or internal conditions may change and call for some changes in the execution of strategy, but the underlying principles of value positioning should not change unless the market dynamics have changed. At the heart of every Brand is the promise the Brand makes to its customers. Companies keep their promise by understanding their brands and acting on that understanding in every endeavor and at all levels.

Central to modern marketing management is the concept of ‘integrated marketing communications; the planning and execution of all types of communication to meet a common set of objectives for the brand. The aim is to support a single positioning through advertising, PR, or co-branding. A holistic view of the brand should be pursued. This is not to say that there must be one rigid, omnipotent message, it suggests that the messages conveyed by different media need to interconnect. They all need to tell broadly the same story. There is nothing to be gained from promising one thing in your advertising and not being able to deliver at the point of sale. In fact, there is nothing worse for a brand than empty promises.