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Difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy

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Many businesses often get confused about the difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy. And it is understandable because they are not mutually exclusive strategic concepts, but heavily intertwined. They are very interdependent, so much so that they define and inform the extent to which the other could go. Brand Strategy defines what the business stands for and how will it be relevant to its Customers. It takes care of Customer expectations and Brand Promise made to them. It also informs how the brand will communicate - its Tone of Voice. Marketing Strategy, on the other hand, defines how the Promise will be communicated and what mediums will the Brand use. It also determines how to make the business profitable by increasing Brand Awareness and Customer Conversions.

Brand Strategy pivots around Emotions of Customers. It defines softer attributes - like Brand Values that are fundamentally imperative to business success. Marketing Strategy is more tangible, quantifiable and measurable.

Brand Strategy is manifested for both - internal and external stakeholders. It helps Customers to create an Emotional Bond with the Brand while also giving employees a purpose and clear goal to work towards. It helps the business understand who they truly are, and adds sense of purpose within the organisation. Marketing Strategy is targeted for external audience, specifically to garner more Customers.

Conclusion:

So what is the difference between Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy?

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Brand Strategy is the key to effective Marketing Strategy. They have always been, and will always be interdependent strategic concepts. They both go hand-in-hand. One cannot replace the other. Each strategy needs to be developed with utmost care and focus. There is no either / or between the two. But, a friendly shake-hand that multiplies the strength of your Brand.

Write to us and we'll be glad to help you with these specialised disciplines.

The 5 Golden Rules of Packaging Design

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Packaging Design, also known as Package Design is very important element in your Brand Identity. A good Packaging can easily inspire trust and enable you to command premium for your products. Whether you're looking at creating a new Packaging Design or refreshing an existing one, here are 5 Golden Rules you should take into consideration.

 

Rule No. 1: Your Packaging Design should be true reflection of your brand/product

Neither over-promise, nor under-deliver. Packaging should be mirror image of your Brand/Product. It is quite human to form expectations looking at the package. Your Brand should not disappoint customers, or trick them into something they don't expect. Use the Front of Pack (customer facing side) to clearly express what the Brand stands for. Use both Visual + Verbal methods to do so.

 

Rule No. 2: Your Packaging Design should be consistent

Your product may have multiple variants, Packaging formats, or may be sold in varied sizes. It is important to have all of them look consistent. Own a Visual and Verbal style and know that your customers will recognise you with it. Consistency always inspires trust.

 

Rule No. 3: Your Packaging Design should be clear and precise

Use your Packaging as vehicle of your Advertisement. You can communicate a lot on your Packaging if you use the Real Estate smartly. Include the reasons to believe in your Brand.

 

Rule No. 4: Your Packaging Design should be different and own-able

A unique Packaging pops out on the shelf. Differentiate your Packaging by means of format, shape or Colour Palette. Today, we have great ease in recognising Tide with orange colour, or Cadbury Dairy Milk with purple. We instantly know it, without even reading Brand names. Pringles box and coke bottle does the same magic. That's the power of differentiation.

 

Rule No. 5: Your Packaging Design should be functional

Think about the environmental footprint of your Packaging. In international transits, cost of transportation is by cubic metres of space occupied, so keep the package moderately small. Deliberate over Packaging materials and shelf life of your products. Make it recyclable, if possible. And of course, adhere to all legal compliances.

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Bonus:

Try to raise the bar. Break at least one norm in the category you operate in. And delight your customers.

Brand Architecture

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Brand Architecture is an important strategic process in Brand Development. Brand Architecture, simply put, is the relationship between various Brands in an Organisation. It defines how should two Brands be related or be completely unrelated. Brand Architecture informs how should each Brand behave, how should they talk, what should they believe in and how do they Visually Express themselves. It maximises Visibility of every Brand in the Portfolio.

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Whether you are establishing your first Brand, or you’re big enough to Merge/Acquire another company or have grown to be Multi-Million Dollar Business with several Brands, Brand Architecture is important to you.

Scenario 1: You are starting your first business

Consider you are a budding Entrepreneur and have plans to start a new fine-dine Restaurant in the coming months. Subsequently, you also have plans to start a Sports Bar and a Themed Cafe.

A. You decide that all these 3 businesses should run as ONE Brand. They should all be built on same Values, have same Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Great. You will save on Marketing Expenditure and can leverage the Equity of already existing Brand Name. But, if you deliberate a little more, you’ll realise that all the three businesses will cater to different set of customers.

B. Hence, you may want to consider option B, where you’ll give each business its own unique Identity, unique Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Well, there are demerits of doing so as well. You’ll have to establish each of the Brands from the beginning. Investing so much of time and money may not be worth it. Here is where a Branding Agency comes in. By systematically analysing multiple parameters, you’ll be recommended if all or none of the future businesses should carry existing legacy.

 

Scenario 2: Your existing business is successful. Now, time for a new business. Or perhaps, a merger or an acquisition.

In such situations, Brand Architecture Strategy can help you in three ways:

1. Avoids Cannibalisation:

BMW 3 series doesn’t cannibalise sales of 5 Series because they are meant for different Customer Profiles. If you’re sporty and young, you’d go for the 3; and if you’re more of an Executive Class who is mostly chauffeured around, you know the 5 Series is your choice. This takes us to our second point.

2. Clarifies offerings:

Brand Architecture bring order and clarity to the portfolio. It can help Customers differentiate between two products of the same company (House of Brands) or it can help them identify two Brands of the same company (Branded House). This also helps Customers choose what they want. It is easier to decide between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as compared to two windows computers from HP.

3. Optimises expenses:

A clear and easy to understand Brand Portfolio helps Brand Owners to optimise Marketing spends on each Brand and control Management expenses that otherwise would have been out of proportions.

 

About The Brand Meridian Model:

The Brand Meridian Model is our Proprietary Tool that solves most complex Portfolio issues to help maximise business resources. It irons our any anomalies in the Portfolio whilst also optimising and leveraging Brand Equity. You can learn more about The Brand Meridian Model by writing to us.

Brand Expansion - How to make a local brand global?

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If you're reading this, our best guess is that your brand is doing well. Congratulations! And probably you're ready to grow outside the Geographical Limits - moving to another city, state, country or continent. This goes without saying that before finalising your next business location, you should have enough Customer and Market Understanding. And once you've finalised the location, you should be taking the following steps to make your brand a success in new markets.

 

1. Standardisation and Consistency

When you're expanding to new geographies, the most important thing is standardisation of Brand Experience. It doesn't matter whether you're a Retail Champion, a Restauranteur, a Fashion Label Owner, or a Service Provider. You stand for something today and you've spent time and energy in getting there. When you expand to new location, your Brand should continue to stand for the same Promise. Have the same taste in your Restaurant, same fragrance, lighting and ambience in your retail store, and same Business Values, Ethics and Principles. This is critically important and hence it is Numero Uno on our list.

 

2. Localisation Strategy

While expanding, staying consistent and bringing in Brand's own legacy is important. But, Brands should also adapt themselves to the local markets. This is best implemented in the Food Industry. Mc Donalds remodels and alters its menu for each country. Starbucks couldn't sell lot of coffee in China (because it is a tea-loving country). This led them to create a menu specific for that country - with loads of tea on offer. This applies to you too - no matter what your business.

This may appear dichotomous. Hire a Branding Expert to strike the right balance between "what to continue" and "what to change". In India, "Bata" - the Footwear Retail Brand is perceived so Indian, that now we have hard time believing it is an international brand, that too from Europe. Hyper-Localisation can ruin the Brand Imagery. And so does Franchise Model without strict Guidelines. Here, an outsider's POV is paramount. Branding agencies have best understanding of market and customers. Write to us if you're looking at entering Asian markets.

 

3. Distribution and Reach

Distribution is important for Product Brands. For a Product Brand to be successful, it needs to have significant reach in the new Geography. Customers should be aware of the Brand, what it offers and how it is different. So, in addition to the robust Supply Chain Management, you should also have good Communication Budget to announce your entry into the Market. You could do this with extensive Social Media Engagements also.

 

4. Research and Penetration

Once you're in the new market, you should continue to Research on the Trends, Beliefs, Aspirations of the new Market. The impulses & triggers to purchase a Product or buy into a Brand differs every 250 miles. When you introduce a Product specifically for new Markets, the Consumers are pleased. We often see this in car Market when country-specific Models are launched. They are very often successful, and are based on their Research and understanding of the Market needs. But, you could do it in any Category. Leverage your Brand, capitalise on your strengths and live upto your Brand Promise.