Brand Strategy

The macro lens that drives everything micro you do with the brand

“The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity,” goes a famous quote of Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing. We couldn’t agree more. And yet we observe that most of the businesses are not very serious about brand building. They are more focused on selling their products and services, and they view these individual tasks as a whole rather than as a part of a bigger whole, which is brand strategy. Not having a strategic view for your brand is counterproductive which will prevent your company from growing beyond a certain point.

What's your brand core?

Most of the business leaders have an innate understanding of the core of their brand but they rarely take the pain to crystallize those thoughts into an effective description, because it appears so obvious to them. But until they get down to actually drafting it, they don’t realize that it’s not that straightforward. The core of your brand has three elements: Brand Purpose, Brand Vision, and Brand Values. Purpose is about ‘why’ your brand exists. Just to be absolutely clear, ‘making money’ or ‘making profit’ is not the answer to this question, it’s a result. Vision is about ‘what’ your brand is here to do. ‘Values’ are the guiding principles that answer the ‘how’ your brand will do, whatever it is here to do.

What's your brand positioning?

You position your brand for someone. That someone is your target audience. Do you really understand your TG? Do you know their challenges, their feelings, their desires and their goals sufficiently well to be able to address their implicit or explicit needs? Do you know your direct or indirect competitors? What is their brand positioning and communication? How are you unique? A good brand stands for something, not everything under the sun, and your brand positioning makes your target audience aware of that something. Having decided what you stand for, you need to identify how you will make your TG aware of it. These are customer touch points across media platforms like traditional print or outdoor media to digital platforms like website and social media.

What's your brand persona?

If your brand were a person what would its personality be? Would it be an explorer or a sage, a hero or a creator, a magician or a ruler? Imagining your brand personality helps you look at it from a different lens and hence understand it better. If your brand could speak, what would be the tone of that brand voice? Would it be humorous or formal, respectful or enthusiastic? When you finalize the tone of your brand voice, you are all set for cracking the brand tagline, the phrase your TG identifies your brand with. Sometimes brands give a topical and tactical spin to their persona for creating a multi-channel campaign, like what we did for Kalpana Incense sticks.

Strategic Advertising at HCF

At HCF, we take a step back, quite a few steps back actually, in order to think brand strategy, when a client approaches us for any creative deliverable. For instance, our proposed brand communication strategy and packaging design for Fortune’s Alife soap were so well aligned with their brand strategy that we won the entire creative communication mandate for Alife soap. Our proposed brand positioning, ‘Khoobsurati har din’, passed the test of market research with flying colours and the soap was launched in smaller towns of select states in India. Delighted with our creative capability, Adani Wilmar extended our creative mandate to Alife Sanitizer and Alife Handwash.