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Developing and Strengthening the Brand

Course Outline

Introduction and Course Objectives

To begin the course, the attendees will identify the major challenges facing them so that the instructor can focus part of the discussion on the particular issues that are most relevant and valuable.

Overview: The Importance of the Brand

While brands have existed for thousands of years, they are taking on increasing importance as companies find it harder to differentiate based on products.  This section will discuss trends in the role of the brand in customers' lives and provide the context for the material that follows.

  • Benefits of the brand to the brand-holder and the customer
  • Trends in the relationship between customers and brands

The Role of Brand Management

This section examines the traditional roles of the brand manager in the organization and how it is evolving.

  • The traditional roles and responsibilities of brand management
  • The general manager for the brand versus the brand's marketing manager
  • How the function fits into the company
  • The key organizational interfaces

       Action Learning Exercise:  Understanding the job of the brand manager

Brand Architecture and the Brand Portfolio

Most companies use several brands to address the market.  As the diversity of the product mix grows, it is increasingly difficult for a single brand to be clearly positioned in the customers mind.  Also, different market segments often have conflicting requirements and therefore require separate brands.  In this section, we address the various approaches to expanding the number of brands that a company uses, and the pros and cons of each:

  • The house of brands versus the branded house
  • Sub-brands, endorsed brands, flanker brands and more
  • The brand portfolio

             Action Learning Exercise:  Brand Hierarchy and Brand Portfolio

The Introduction to Brand Identity

The brand identity is the entirety of the brand that serves as the basis of the relationship with the customer.  This section introduces the components and their relationship to each other; the following sections discuss each of the components in further detail.

  • The components of the brand identity and the contribution of each to the total
  • Why brand identity is much more than the visible elements such as name and logo

The Components of Brand Identity

Each component has a section dedicated to providing a more in-depth look into what it is, why it is important, how it can be measured and what can be done to improve it.

  • Core Values: the foundation upon which the other components are built

                 Action Learning Exercise:  The core of your brand

  • Brand Personality: the set of human characteristics associated with a given brand

                   Action Learning Exercise:  Brand Personality

  • Brand Attributes: objective and subjective (emotional) associations assigned to a brand by customers, prospects and other stakeholders
  • Brand Elements: the sensory cues that help identify and differentiate a brand (e.g., name, logo, color)

Positioning the Brand

A brand should occupy a clear, distinct and desirable position in the minds of the customers and prospects.  In this section, we will cover:

  • Key considerations in establishing/reinforcing the brand and product positioning
  • Thirteen ways of positioning a brand

             Action Learning Exercise:  Brand Positioning

The Brand Promise

A key benefit of the brand - to both the customer and the brand holder - is the set of promises it conveys.

  • Key considerations in establishing/reinforcing the brand and product positioning
  • Thirteen ways of positioning a brand
  • Achieving alignment between the promise of the brand and the delivery of its products

            Action Learning Exercise:  Aligning the brand promise and product delivery

Leveraging the Marketing Mix

In this section, we will discuss how to use the marketing "P's" to strengthen the brand and reinforce brand positioning.

  • The marketing Ps and how each influences the brand/customer relationship
  • Customer touch points and the customer journey
  • Enhancing the customer experience
  • Integrated Marketing Communications 

Measuring Brand Equity

The ultimate goal of the strategic brand manager is to optimize brand equity and, ultimately, maximize brand value.  This section examines:

  • Methods of measuring brand equity
  • The relationship between the customer mindset, brand equity and brand value
  • How to optimize brand equity and brand value

Developing and Maintaining the Brand

The brand must be developed and maintained in order to stay vibrant in the face of changing market trends and competitive assaults.  In this section, we will cover:

  • The various activities involved in brand development and maintenance
  • When things go astray: Brand repair, revitalization and disposal
  • What are the considerations in disposing of a brand?

General Questions and Deferred Discussion

While most questions are addressed during the workshop itself, which is highly interactive, some lengthier issues may get deferred until this point in the course.  In addition, as time allows, we can explore other topics of particular interest to the delegates. 

Developing an Implementation Plan

Finally, we will provide the delegates an opportunity to translate the material from the workshop into a concrete action plan for their use upon returning from the workshop. 

  • Methods of obtaining organizational support for your actions
  • Proven ways of effecting change
  • The specific steps you can take, upon your return, to achieve greater success

             Action Learning Exercise: Developing Your Personal Implementation Plan

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Marketing, Product and Product Lifecycle Management
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