When you’re branding your CPG/Retail business, you need to identify your primary message, the channels in which your message will be delivered, and the ways in which you will measure the effectiveness of your campaign. This can often be a daunting task for small business owners, so we’ve drafted 5 steps to optimize your CPG/Retail branding campaign and keep it on track. Here are the five steps:
- Conduct Competitive Analysis
- Create your Positioning Statement
- Forge your Branding Statement
- Identify your Branding Channels and Marketing Strategies
- Constantly Review your Brand for Innovative Updates
Look to your competition before you begin your branding strategy. You don’t want to employ the same strategy as a close competitor! You want your brand to stand out as unique, and your whole strategy will be dampened if someone else is trying to create the same look. There are multiple ways to conduct competitive analysis, but the most basic element (aside from a SWOT analysis) is to list out your top 10 competitors and categorize them as “Best in Class” or “Close Competitor.”
Compare elements of your brand side-by-side with these businesses – who’s more active on social media? Who has the louder voice? Which website looks better? Who has more fans? Always make at least 2 comparisons with each metric: once with your close competitor, and once with the business that is “best-in-class” for that particular feature.
This sort of analysis is particularly good for product branding. In our post on perspective branding, you have a decision to promote the absolute value of a brand feature (price, quality) or promote the emphasis of an existing strength (quality over quantity, safety comes first, etc).
Create your Positioning Statement
Now that you have a good idea of where you lie within your industry, you will know what aspects of your brand stand out. When compared to your competition side-by-side, your business will come out on top for certain aspects whether it’s quality, price, convenience or uniqueness. Draft your positioning statement with this in mind, keeping your consumers as the core focus. Your statement could look like the following:
“To teenage males age 18-40, we provide the best shaving cream on the market. Unlike the other brands who provide shaving cream in the old style, our new technology allows our users to shave twice as fast with half the amount of cream.”
Forging your Branding Statement
Your positioning statement compares you with your competitors and places your target audience at its core. Now, you will draft your Branding statement which captures your positioning statement with your brand at its focus. Make sure that this statement is applicable both to your product as well as the consumer experience for your branding emphasis. Using the previous positioning statement, some sample branding statements could include:
- “For a faster, more efficient shave”
- “Go Fast”
- “Life is short. Don’t spend it shaving.”
Identify your Branding Channels and Marketing Strategies
You want to be where your customers are. If your target audience is between the ages of 50-70, you want to be in the newspapers. If they’re of ages 18-40, you’ll want to be on social media. Identify your branding channels and push marketing strategies that capture your audience where they frequent the most, using statements that are in line with your Brand. Using the previous branding statement, we could execute a Twitter-based marketing strategy around the idea that our shaving cream is the best choice for shaving on the go.
- Campaign Tagline: Shave on the go
- Campaign creatives: Images normally associated with speed (trains, runners, etc) with the hash tag #ShaveFast or #CloseShave, depending on your branding strategy
Whatever your choices are, you want to make sure that your brand is correctly associated with the feature you’re trying to emphasize. In this case, it’s speed and convenience.
It’s important to monitor your brand from time to time to make sure that your messaging is effective. You can do so through a number of ways. You could conduct a loyalty-based NPS survey to identify your brand strength, or conduct a Brand Association test to see if your message is coming through. You can also look at the growth of your overall marketing metrics – ever since you started using targeted brand statements for your marketing strategy, have you seen a notable difference in sales conversion? How about clickthrough rate for your ads? Are your Facebook posts reporting more efficient cost-per-engagement numbers? Monitor your metrics over time when executing your branding strategy – this is the best way to see if your strategy is working or not!
Want to learn more about branding your CPG/retail business? We’ll be releasing our Green Paper later this month (our Cucumber version of the industry whitepaper) to give you the specifics of how to conduct an NPS loyalty survey, create a brand book, marketing editorial calendar, and more! Contact our marketing agency or subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest info!