Today as the commodity segment progressively gets branded, the reverse is also true of the branded segment getting increasingly commoditized. Statistics in the more mature western markets reveal a success rate of 1 in every 10 or 12 brands that are launched. While no clear data is available for emerging brand markets in the BRIC nations, it would be fair to say that the number of brand survivors would be significantly lower.
The mortality rate of new brands is due to the contribution of many factors. So often, brands get lost in the maze of the retail jungle because they do not understand the competitive environment and market dynamics, did not do the appropriate homework to position themselves properly, nor understand consumer needs and aspirations, with inadequate resources and funds to support it, an inexperienced talent pool, a complex retail and commercial environment, and an absence of creative talent. And brands fail most often in the market place for another reason: the brand owner’s own inexperience and want of strategic thought where his brand is concerned.
At Scion we follow a linear strategic solutions based approach to brand development — with full-spectrum services that span the entire lifecycle of the brand — from defining business goals and understanding the internal environment, to consumer and retail research right through to identity creation to position brands for rapid growth.
From start-ups and early stage companies to those in merger mode or companies looking to refresh an existing brand, we aim to create a meaningful, lasting relationship between your brand and its consumers.
Our approach to brand incubation
We see the brand as the chief architect and facilitator for business growth. Our strategic methodology is designed to enhance your business through brand performance to deliver defined outcomes.
We work with clients in every phase of the lifecycle – from concept, product and packaging innovation, market identification to addressing sales and marketing challenges.
Our 6 step brand development process
1 Internal evaluation
Our first step is to put ourselves into your shoes. An intimate understanding of how your business functions; the market dynamics of your industry; your passion, inspiration, your people, your products and facilities, and your ability (or inability) to navigate the complex channels-to-market that you will need to depend on.
To realize the full potential of your brand and sustain that momentum into the future, you need to tailor-make your brand plans and goals, with an understanding of the strengths and/or lack of financial resources, people, mindsets, capabilities and infrastructure.
It always helps to get an unbiased ‘outsider’ perspective of your company legacy, expertise, Product knowledge and Corporate reputation which will have a deep impact on how your brand will be perceived, positioned and dealt with in the market.
2 Brand origins
The reasons companies get into the branded business are intricate and at times inexplicable. Brands can be a business necessity for growth or profits. They can also be triggered by competitive activity. Or an idea that was inspired on a trip abroad. Sometimes they result deep within personal egos, competitive streak or the desire for fame. Exploring the truth and understanding what drives the desire and passion for creating and nurturing brands is perhaps the most important part of the personal side of brands.
3 Brand fingerprint
Your brand however unique and different you think it is, does not live on a pedestal in isolation. It has to co-exist and jostle for place amongst the hundreds that are wooing the customer. When it does, you need to define with clarity the framework that it will operate in. The key proposition, its sweet spot, its resonance with its consumers, the rational advantage, the emotional connect, and the tangible or intangible aspiration. Insights of market research and consumer perceptions honed over the years (even plain common sense, because we are consumers as well!) helps us mine and excavate the gems which will be your unique brand story.
4 Brand creation
A good branding exercise depends on the identification of a single or set of compelling propositions for your Brand. Since people are wired to notice differences, ‘creating identity separation’ that is relevant and in sync with the core proposition is critical to the success of your brand. Design, language, attitude and behaviour are extremely important. They are the tools that give brands a unique face and a distinct voice. In the absence of this the brand will sail past the consumer— like a ship at night.
5 Brand culture
To create a brand culture is as important as creating an identity for the brand.
How does your Brand’s personality translate into various facets of your organization? Does the philosophy extend to your marketing and distribution channels, your R& D, sales force, and external interactions? Is the culture of the organization in accordance with the company’s vision and stated goals? Does the culture walk the talk?
Increasingly in the market place, brands are ephemeral. With the consumer shifting from the glitz and glamour of one to the new kid on the bloc. Building a brand organisation that is innovative, inventive and adventurous – yet in keeping with the core values and persona of the brand is a pre-requisite to long-term survival.
6 Brand review
The brand is an evolving entity. Once created, periodic monitoring, checks and course corrections need to be done constantly to assess brand performance in the marketplace: it is where the tyre meets the road.
Are you on track to meet the goals/ objectives – as charted out at the outset? If not, why not? How do your customers see your brand? How do you build audiences and lasting and meaningful relationships among them? Have you provided the right tools to your sales and marketing teams? Has their knowledge kept pace? Have any ‘moves’ by the competition forced you to sit up and take notice? Or have you missed it? How do the latest trends affect your brand’s performance tomorrow?
You can learn from listening to your sales team, standing at the counters of your retailers, going into