- February 19, 2019
In the last blog, we began the discussion of formulating your brand strategy with a discussion of YOUR customer. Your brand and how your best customers perceive you is your biggest asset and a major strength.
Sears was once the “place where America shopped”. It is a great example of a once powerful company/brand that lost sight of what problems they solved for customers. Toys R Us is another great example of a powerful retail brand that lost as well.
If you are an off-premise retailer, you sell brands. If you an on-premise retailer you may sell brands or create your own brands. Either way, YOU are a Brand. To understand how your customers perceive you, answer the 5 Ws and H.
Who, What, When, Where, How and Why consumers buy and use beer on or off-premise.
Once you identify your target customer, you need to understand how they view your Brand.
We begin with the “core values” of your brand.
What is your company’s DNA or culture?
What are the values that shape and form your organization?
The first step of branding is articulating these values so that your stakeholders (customers, suppliers, communities, owners etc.) fully understand and decide if they will buy in.
You can’t be all things to all people. There are no longer markets for products/brands that some people like a little. But, there will always be room for brands that some people like a lot.
Your core values speak louder than any message.
Some potential core values are:
- Community, Innovation, Diversity, Trust, Irreverence, Teamwork, Competitiveness
- Connection. Commitment, Fun, Simplicity, The Golden Rule, Sense of Urgency
- Safety, Integrity, Quality, Fairness, Honesty, Growth, Creativity, Nurturing
- Value, Family, Entertainment, Authenticity
- Performance, Comfort, Health, Education, People, Precision, Affordability
- Knowledge, Technology, Customer Focus, Security, Reliability, Pragmatism
- Accountability, Responsiveness
This is not an exhaustive list. You should talk with your customer and listen to what they think your core values are.
Then try and get to 3 or 4 core values by asking and answering the following questions.
Which values are so important in your company that if they disappeared, your company would cease to exist as it is?
Which values does your company consistently adhere to in the face of all obstacles?
Does the word “passionate” come to mind when you look at a value and apply it to your company?
Would your customers understand why you selected these core values?
Are these the values that you believe your company can adhere to under stress and in the face of all obstacles?
Then ask yourself if your business is product or people-focused.
You also need to answer HOW you feel these values apply to your business.
This will help guide how you position your brand and communicate this position with the target market you are trying to attract.
If Sears and Toy “R” Us had paid attention to these questions, I’m sure they would be in a different place today.
In the next blog, we will continue this discussion and dive deeper into your brand personality.
Marketing is a race with no finish line!
George Latella teaches Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Food Marketing, which is the largest major at Saint Joseph’s University, recently celebrated its 55th anniversary. George is also a partner in Beacon Marketing group, which provides marketing planning, research, and e-commerce/direct marketing communications for food and beverage companies. George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-660-2254.