Branding and positioning
What is it?
Deciding what (if any) branding and brand positioning is appropriate for the intervention.
The best brands create a special relationship with customers, based on intangible qualities that evoke strong emotional responses. These might consist of a logo, a general look and feel, a tone of voice and the way a company interacts with its customers – but the whole should be much greater than the sum of the parts. More >
Why do this?
For social marketers branding can serve a number of purposes. A well designed brand can:
- Provide a recognisable symbol to consumers which can create coherence within an intervention and across a range of interventions.
- Create associations in the minds of consumers, for example, for reliability, expertise, helpfulness (brand attributes).
- Create a personality for the intervention to encourage customers to develop relationships and become brand loyal.
- Convey the positioning and image of the organisation or intervention.
- Make it easier to introduce new products/services under the same brand name as customers become familiar with it.
- Save money when introducing new products/services as customers already know what the brand represents.
- Therefore there is less need to devote resources to communication for brand building
How might you do this?
If branding is going to be involved, it requires buy in from stakeholder groups and a clear assessment of the functions which the brand aims to fulfil. Above all, the target audience’s perceptions of the brand name or logo must be ascertained. More >
Remember that branding is not just about a logo or identity. It is about people’s perceptions, real or otherwise, of their experience of your offering. So for instance, the experience people receive from frontline staff can have a significant impact, positive or negative, on the brand.
Also, creating a new brand identity and positive associations can be expensive and time consuming.
Do some research to check the opportunities to link with or piggy back on existing brands which have established brand traction (Change4Life, Smokefree and so on). This is particularly important to avoid wasting money on unnecessary duplication. See the Department of Health’s report on the National Chlamydia Screening Programme which highlighted unnecessary duplication.
It is vital that the attributes that are built into the brand are the most relevant to the target audience. More >
Remember that a particular brand may have negative associations and consequences on consumer perceptions. More >
A branding report/document (if appropriate). More >
A decision about an appropriate branding strategy if one is required.
Awareness of any additional consumer insight required prior to final decision.
Awareness of additional activities required to support the branding strategy, for example communications, training, location decisions and so on.