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Feb 25, 201409:49 AMThe Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

Why brand strategy development is key to creating a successful campaign

(page 1 of 2)

Since starting my career in the marketing field 20 years ago, I have never personally been part of a campaign that has received as much employee and customer support as Associated Bank’s new “A good fit” brand campaign featuring the Green Chair. It was an unconventional move to ask our customers to take such a large role in our campaign, but we know better than anyone that banking is personal, and we were humbled to find customers willing to speak on our behalf about why our bank is “a good fit” for them.

It is a known fact that the best brand campaigns have the power to set a company apart from its competitors, increase internal and external loyalty, and accelerate profits. However, what those planning a new brand strategy often forget is that it takes time. Overwhelmed by the excitement of the opportunity and motivated by managers and others wanting to “get going,” sometimes companies bypass some of the most vital elements to developing a successful campaign.

It’s important to realize that a company’s brand is part of its culture and must be real to those who are your most visible brand ambassadors: your employees. But in order to achieve this brand image, it’s essential that all steps in the strategy development process are completed and all delivery vehicles are explored before launching into a new campaign.

Steps of strategy development for a successful brand campaign

  1. Research: qualitative and quantitative
  2. Developing the framework, strategy, and messages
  3. Plan best delivery channels
  4. Launch campaign

Before developing your strategy, qualitative and quantitative research must be completed to understand what the current state of your brand is and how this image compares to your competition. How is your company perceived by others? A large part of this research must include talking with employees, customers, and potential clients to see how close your existing image compares to the image you would like to portray. Additionally, this will allow you to identify what aspect of your business is most valuable — the golden nugget that is, or will become, your point of differentiation.

Once you do this, you will be able to start developing the framework of your strategy, starting with the formation of your core brand positioning statement. This statement is meant to be kept internal but will allow you to identify attributes and personality traits that directly relate to your brand. By doing so, employees will be able to much more easily absorb the message you want to get across. All employees should be able to succinctly share the same message to ensure brand consistency throughout the company or organization. After this is done, you will be able to build out your key messages and plan which channels you want to deliver your messages across.

(Continued)

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