2.1.3 Brand Strategy.
The brand strategy plan specifies the direction and scope of the brand over the long term to maintain and build sustainable competitive advantage over the competition (Arnold, 1992:90). Van Gelder argues that brand strategy starts with an accurate understanding of the business strategy to ensure strategic consistency. Corporate strategy and (corporate) brand strategy should be aligned in order to create stakeholder value (Gelder, 2003:16). Brand strategy is based on the brand core, brand values and brand associations using building blocks as brand mission, brand architect, brand positioning, brand value proposition, brand promise and brand personality (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2006:168-169).
Brand strategy itself, is the process whereby a company identifies which brand elements are necessary to create the appropriate and feasible brand proposition to the target group (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2006:67). As a consequence, brand strategy should involve a holistic approach throughout the organization and embraces employee’s roles as being ambassadors of the brand. Within the strategy process brand elements, brand architecture, brand identity and brand positioning fulfil an important function.
Aaker has created a brand leadership model where the brand manager fulfils a strategic and visionary role. Brand strategy needs to be consistent with the business strategy, corporate vision and culture (Aaker, 2000:7). Using four tasks that brand’s should achieve to built and become a strong brand Aaker distinguishes (Aaker, 2000:25): See also figure 9.
- Organizational structure and processes to build an effective and efficient brand organization.
- Brand architecture to guide and develop a strategic brand direction.
- Brand identity and brand position to differentiate the brand(s) within the appropriate markets.
- Brand building programs to plan, create, develop, implement, execute and monitor effective brand building programs.
Figure 9. Brand Leadership Tasks (Aaker, 2000:25).