I. Discovery & Analysis
Core Strength Marketing’s signature brand strategy discovery process includes an an efficient yet thorough review of the three spheres of business that impact brand strategy and positioning.
CSM DISCOVERY & ANALYSIS
A vital aspect of the CSM discovery process and what differentiates us from a more typical marketing communications firm is how closely we look within your business: business and sales goals, sales history, past and current marketing activity, company culture, organizational structure, processes and information flow, product and service offerings, pricing, and performance metrics. We examine all the internal factors that define who you are, how you perform, what you offer and how you measure results. A critical part of brand strategy is the company’s ability to consistently deliver on the brand promise. This can only be ascertained by a close look at the company’s culture and operations.
Competition & the Marketplace
The discovery process also includes an examination of your direct and indirect competition. Through an examination of their marketing communications, we observe their positioning and brand strategies. Understanding competitive positioning and brand strategies is vital to formulating a strategy that differentiates our clients and is built on a platform they can own. Utilizing available secondary research or by conducting primary research as needed, gathering market intelligence regarding direct competitor performance, market share, and perceptions within the marketplace. This phase of discovery also includes an examination of overall marketplace trends-social and economic- that have a bearing on company performance, target market receptivity and positioning and brand strategy.
Customers and Prospects
Discovery also includes a close examination of your customers and your prospects. Demographic and psychographic attributes are taken into consideration. Who buys from you? Who doesn’t? How are they alike? How are they different? What is the purchase decision-making process? Why do prospects not award the business to you? Who are they choosing? Why? Understanding your prospects and customers, how they perceive and position our clients and the competition, what motivates and influences their purchase decision, are all critical to understanding what brand strategy will be appealing and compelling.
II. Optimum Positioning Opportunity (OPO)TM
The discovery and analysis of those 3 spheres of influence, your business, your competition and the marketplace, your customers and prospects, leads to an area of overlap. That overlap is the identification of a promise
- that your business can deliver on and that you can own,
- that your competitors either can’t own or can but don’t,
- that the market, your customers and your prospects will value.
That is your Optimum Positioning Opportunity, the foundation of your brand platform.
Once we have identified the company OPO. , CSM refines it and finds the most impactful and precise language to communicate the brand and its positioning. The brand platform incorporates both the denotative and the connotative aspects of brand positioning strategy. Such considerations as tone of voice and personality are important components that will greatly influence an integrated marketing communication campaign. The brand platform will tie directly into the company mission, vision and culture, and will be expressed in the tagline, graphic imagery and all internal and external communications.
Every associate, every employee, every communication either enhances or detracts from a company’s brand. That is why we believe that the brand strategy affects every job description, every operational process, and every communication. At CSM, when needed, we write or revise our clients’ operations manuals, associate handbooks, customer care guidebooks, and of course, ads, press releases, brochures, web sites, etc-all centered around the client’s brand platform. The brand becomes the aggregate experience a customer has interacting with a company. That customer’s expectations are set by the communicated brand promise. Every employee should understand the company brand promise and their role in delivering on that promise.