How do you develop your br and strategy and vision? Do you just take last year’s document and revise it? Do you build your plan based upon the sales and profit increases imposed by management? Or do you start from your target customers’ perspective?
You know me well enough to have guessed that as a customer centric champion, I am going to say that the third answer is the correct one. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take neither last year’s plan nor management’s targets into account. Rather I’m suggesting that as you are selling to your customers, they should be top of mind.
If you believe that your own br and planning process could do with an update, then read on; I have gathered together some of the latest ideas and best practices to inspire you to make a few improvements.
One of my favourite quotes on planning comes from Alan Lakein, an American businessman and author:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” (>><<)
Another from A. A. Milne the English author and playwright says:
“Planning is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” (>><<)
So let’s start planning so we don’t mess things up!
Where you are – the situation analysis
The first step of the process is to run a situation analysis. This phase can include, but not be limited to, a review of market shares and trends, your current customer persona, your br and’s current image and changes, as well as the full details about your offer – price, packaging etc. Here we’re not speaking about the industry definitions, but the consumers’ perspective, or course. You will also need to do the same for your major competitors, but more about that below.
Who are your customers?
anding” width=”349″ height=”197″ /> The 4 Ws of targetingThis should be a no-brainer and yet I am constantly surprised just how many clients are unable to answer this question in detail. They may succeed in being relatively specific on demographics, as the above example mentioned, but not much more.
A recent and-underst and-your-customers/” target=”_blank”>post on this topic will definitely help you get better and more precise at describing to whom you are selling your product or service, so do check it out.
Only be completing a detailed profile, or persona as many like to call it these days, will ensure you are starting from the best possible position.
What is your current image?
A br and image and equity review is essential for both new and existing br ands. What category are you in? Is that an industry definition or a customer one? I remember working with a client who thought they were competing in the carbonated soft drinks market. In discussing with consumers we found they were competing in a mush wider arena including carbonated soft drinks AND fruit juices, because their drink contained real fruit juice.
The segment in which you compete is vital to underst and, as you will then review how your image compares to those of your major competitors. Continue Reading