It is difficult to imagine a successful business without a brand strategy. No matter what is your company’s history in the market, you certainly remember the time spent to determine the key parameters, indicators and optimum tactics for attracting customers. However, only a few self-employed people know that this “recipe for business” should be regularly revisited and updated, adapting the strategy to the changing market reality.
Why do I need such a strategy?
In a nutshell, a marketing strategy is designed to get you to your goal, which is usually to promote your product or service and secure a competitive advantage over your competitors, thus increasing sales and profitability. In order to create a relevant marketing strategy, you must analyze the situation of your company, its needs and the market environment.
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For starters, you should:
- establish the mission and goals of your company,
- determine the target group,
- investigate the competitive environment,
- determine demand as precisely as possible, i.e. how many buyers are willing to accept your proposed prices,
- establish your operational tactics,
- select distribution channels,
- plan promotional activities while establishing their efficacy measures,
- describe the resources needed, staff competencies and other factors necessary to achieve the goal.
Learn from those who achieved success
Have you obtained all the answers? The real fun starts now.
– In order to create an effective brand strategy, apart from having an open mind, you also need a significant amount of time to study good practices, similar strategies and analyze market data. It is recommended – although not necessary – to involve people who know your target market segment or at least have experience in managing business on a similar scale – advises Anna Ledwoń-Blacha, creative owner at More Bananas.
It is a good idea to divide creating your strategy into several stages, spaced out at appropriate intervals for each of the creators to distance themselves from the topic. This approach is necessary, since it enables them to gain a wider perspective on what they are doing.
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Pioneer or surfer: what’s your strategy?
Academic teachers would certainly accuse you of oversimplification, pointing out such factors as time, the company’s market share, impact on buyers and many others. However, for the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you already have all the most necessary things and at this stage you should determine, if your selected operating methodology is based on:
– specialization, i.e. focus on a single market segment,
– diversification, i.e. activity in several segments,
– operating in a niche, i.e. focus on smaller market segments,
– pioneer strategy (according to the “create a category and you will be it’s leader” principle),
– “surfing” – short-term strategies following fashions and trends, more and more popular among the creators of start-ups and often evolving into one of the above models.
Have you made a choice? Now it’s time for product strategies. The available models include:
– limited assortment of products (to offer products for a particular market segment),
– comprehensive product assortment (offering the widest possible selection of products and services),
– expanding the portfolio,
– clearing the product line (i.e. remove products with less or no demand at all).
The output of all strategic considerations should be a marketing plan with a detailed timeline and a marketing budget that includes marketing activities.
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