What do you stand for?

A recent CMO survey by Gartner has found that brand strategy is the most vital marketing capability. It’s easy to see why. We’re already seeing businesses with strong brands and strengthened digital offers increase their brand awareness scores and market share.

Brand relevance, during this turbulent year and the years ahead will create opportunities for reinvention, innovation and growth.

Here are our top 5 things to consider:

Awareness - A good place to start is your current brand awareness, which can be analysed through surveys, search volumes, web traffic and mentions using social listening. Carrying out an audit using these techniques will provide valuable insights on where your brand is positioned, in the eyes of the customer.

Customer - Understanding your customer is key and don't be afraid to segment audience groups or combine if they have similar challenges that need to be solved. Your brand should reflect your customer and not alienate them, so it's essential that this is embedded in every facet. One of the best ways to learn from your customers are concise surveys or questionnaires that can be used to test your proposition and see where you can improve.

The Market - Current market analysis and future trends in the space will help you future proof your proposition and positioning. Competitors usually pull towards key strengths, so it's important for you to understand and communicate yours. Although no one has a crystal ball, understanding the marketplace will help you plan ahead more successfully and see how you compare.

Defining your value - Understanding why your brand exists can seem a bit of a silly question especially around the boardroom, but it's always surprising how a purpose can be articulated in many ways. Even going through the process of updating your purpose and value proposition to be more relevant can help, especially in today's fluctuating world. Having clear USPs are essential even for large multi-proposition brands. One thing we hear a lot is 'we're actually the same as our competitors', but there are usually good reasons why customers come to you. These may be about the service or product, but they can be about positioning too and how you're perceived.

Story tell what you do - Once you've identified what gives you an edge with your target customer, you need to articulate this into a short story they can understand and see the value your brand brings. It needs to be easily communicated to a variety of stakeholders and mean something to them. This is where testing can come in handy to ensure it's more than just a creative whim. It's amazing what insights can shape positioning and validate your understanding of your customer.