Marketers rely too much on intuition. The key to building brands more scientifically is to combine a forward-looking market segmentation with a better understanding of customers and a brand’s identity.
November 2003 | byNora A. Aufreiter, David Elzinga, and Jonathan W. Gordon
The article goes into detail on determining the right customer segments to focus the brand effort. Once you define the set of customer segments to target -- which is beautifully summarized in the article—there is a simple and powerful 2X2 that defines what is really important.
Building strong brands isn’t getting any easier. An explosion in the number of brands—as well as a proliferation of ways to communicate them, from hundreds of cable channels to the Internet, product placement in movies, and even mobile-phone display screens—has made it tougher to get messages through. In addition, converging product-performance and service levels in many industries have made it more difficult to sustain existing brands.......Rising above the clutter without breaking the bank will require companies to get smarter about branding.......Today, cost-effective brand building depends on knowing precisely what consumers care about and tailoring the brand accordingly......Defining a brand involves emphasizing its key benefits and attributes for consumers. To do so, marketers must recognize that a brand consists of more than a bundle of tangible, functional attributes; its intangible, emotional benefits, along with its "identity," frequently serve as the basis for long-term competitive differentiation and sustained loyalty.......Marketers could promote many tangible and intangible brand attributes, but the goal is to uncover the relevance of each to consumers and the degree to which it helps distinguish the brand from those of competitors.