Branding & Go-2-Market Strategies
BRANDING
Brands have been likened to people, they are difficult to describe and get to know, they are constantly trying to discover and clarify why they exist, who they are, what they are and how they are perceived. In retrospect, consumers have a dazzling array of brands to choose from and the only way to win their loyalty and long-term commitment is to give brands stronger appeal than those of the competition, anticipate consumer needs and exceed their expectations.

A “proper brand building process” begins with the uncovering of a consumer insight and then applying them. A consumer insight is a penetrating discovery about consumer motivations, applied to unlocking growth.

In order to properly position the brand, there must be an understanding of current consumer perception of the brand and then improving it through consistent communication of compelling benefits. Brands are the platform on which a company’s business is built and on which their future growth depends. A company needs to understand their brands before developing them to drive growth:

1. What facts and feelings define our brand in the consumer mind?

2. What is the single-minded expression of the most compelling, distinctive and credible thing the brand can do for the target consumer?

3. Where does the key brand benefit position the brand in the target consumer’s mind relative to his or her needs and to competitor benefits?

By putting the consumer at the heart of the strategic planning process, our strategy will be driven by the consumer’s needs and wants…helping to make the plan that will drive growth while linking the insights, the goals, the initiatives and the measurements. It also enables us to link strategies to tactics, through the selection of those marketplace activities which will deliver consumer goals most effectively. In addition, better focused annual plans on turning today’s goals into tomorrow’s growth will ultimately maximize shareholder value.

It is important to communicate a consistent communication message to the customer and consumer in everything we do. Whether in our sales materials, press kits or training materials, the ability to educate and motivate directly leads to shareholder growth.

GO TO MARKET
If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus coming to the Fairground Saturday,” that’s ADVERTISING. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, then that’s PROMOTION. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s garden, then that’s PUBLICITY. And, if you get the mayor to laugh about it, then that’s PUBLIC RELATIONS. If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot of money at the circus, that’s SALES.

Before a successful “go to market” strategy can be implemented, the following questions must be asked and the answers need to be agreed upon. First, we must clearly identify where we want to compete and clearly define how we wish to compete. Then, the strategic plan should be grounded in the reality of the marketplace and how it is evolving and growing. A deepening understanding of consumer behavior should drive the decision of where and how to compete:

Who are they and who is our target consumer?
What do they want or need?
Where do they go to fulfill their “need states?”
What propositions should we offer them and at what price?
How do we motivate them to purchase?
Is the product a destination, routine, convenience or specialty item? Is the category? Is the customer?
The key strategic foundations for a company’s growth are to understand consumer needs in order to satisfy them. In addition, focus communications within channels that meet primary target consumer and increased brand image, superior quality attributes and leverage brand for strategic product initiatives. Use strategic product promotions to drive awareness, trial/sampling and new usage occasions while expanding distribution.
Go-To-Market is a deepening understanding of consumer behavior that drives the decisions of where to compete and how to compete. It also provides a profile of the consumer motivations determining who they are, what they want, what they need and where they go to satisfy these wants and needs.

Go To Market is also a process of EDUCATING the consumer, making the products readily AVAILABLE and then MOTIVATING them to buy.