Brand Implementation: Your Brand Strategy in Action
Launching a brand is a complex step that can make or break your business. Increase your chances of success by learning the ropes of brand implementation.
Written by RamotionOct 27, 202210 min read
Last updated: Nov 3, 2023
Defining Brand Implementation
After grueling months of research, planning, and drafting your branding strategy, the time has finally come to take action and reveal it to the world. However, it can be a daunting experience for many businesses that put even those best equipped in a vulnerable position.
Anything can happen during a new brand launch or a rebranding implementation. Results may not meet your expectations, consumers may change their minds on what they want, and the competition can also turn too fierce to your liking.
One way to avoid the rut and ensure a positive turnout in your brand rollout is to prepare and have a successful brand implementation strategy. But first—what is it, and how can it help you?
What is a Brand Implementation Strategy?
A brand implementation strategy is a well-thought game plan for a successful brand rollout while minimizing risks. The brand implementation process can often become more complex than simply updating your website or announcing changes to your corporate identity on social media.
Thus, businesses are eager to optimize results and gain a significant ROI or return on investment. The branding process often demands too much from a business that some seek help from a huge or startup brand agency.
Moreover, it can also take a couple of months or so to complete, especially if it is an end-to-end rebranding implementation plan. A brand implementation example you can learn from is Dollar Shave Club.
With male grooming brands often showcasing fit men, the brand went the opposite route and created a unique brand identity that resonates with regular men. In its brand implementation strategy, the company wanted to be different. Dollar Shave Club championed men in different shapes—including those with dad bods—and are pretty straightforward in their communication efforts. The brand implementation strategy was so successful that it went toe-to-toe with Gillette—a giant in the male grooming industry.
Is this something you would like to achieve, too? Well, to truly understand what brand implementation entails, brand experts and business leaders need to arm themselves with the tools, skills, and a deep well of branding knowledge, starting with the brand implementation process.
The Brand Implementation Process
To make sense of the complexity of brand implementation, we can break it down into three phases:
- Assessment of results
1. The Brand Implementation Planning Phase
The planning phase of the brand implementation process involves dissecting your key strategy into smaller plans for every brand effort. For instance, you should separate your online plans per platform for easier performance tracking and management.
During the planning phase, the goal is to address the following concerns: On which channels should you establish your presence? Who are you targeting for each branding effort? Does your brand design align with your brand image? When is the best time to run your branding and marketing efforts, including upcoming events and campaigns?
The answers to the above questions rely on your data.
Data gathering, a crucial step in your planning phase, has the power to unearth essential details and information that will lay the foundation for implementing brand strategy. And as research has shown, data-backed strategies have always yielded positive results. It’s no wonder why companies, big and small, are beefing up their workforce by hiring data professionals and integrating advanced analytics tools.
Another way to fortify your brand or rebrand implementation plan is to test every campaign before the launch. You can run your email campaigns on testing tools integrated into email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Sender, Moosend, etc. Such tools allow you to preview how your email would look on your recipients’ screen—mobile, desktop, iPad—and if there are any email bounces.
Your planning stage enables you to identify and work out the kinks as early as possible for a more seamless implementation. And when everything's set, it’s time for the wheels to start rolling.
2. The Launch Phase
Probably the most challenging part of brand implementation is the launching phase. They say even the best strategies are not foolproof. Hence, having contingency plans in place increases your chances of launching successfully.
So what are the crucial elements for a successful launch? These would be your team and having enough resources—financial, time, and other forms of support—to mobilize them.
Your team is the people on the ground, breathing life into your brand strategy. Thus, it is highly advisable to keep them abreast with the branding strategy and instill a deep understanding of the bigger picture or your brand's long-term vision. Explain the hows and whys of every branding effort so they can grasp where they can fit in the grand scheme. It also allows them to anticipate problems and offer solutions with business constraints in mind as they arise.
But that’s just half the battle. Equipping your team with the right resources can empower them to perform well in their roles.
Why not integrate reskilling or upskilling opportunities for them to level up their proficiencies? Having the latest and most relevant tools and technology to aid them in their jobs could also help speed things up and increase work accuracy. In effect, you are less likely to run the risk of failure.
3. The Results Assessment Phase
Effective branding is not achieved overnight and it can be tricky to determine whether everything is going according to plan. Nevertheless, staying consistent in tracking your brand’s progress is essential in developing your business further. You can break this down by measuring quantitative and qualitative results.
Quantitative results are metrics that can be expressed in numbers, like the number of sales, how many have completed their customer journey, and engagement rate on social media. While qualitative results are feedback that you receive from your customers, user-generated content, and the like.
Once data are gathered and analyzed, you now have everything you need to iterate your branding strategy that fit new customer demands and industry trends. You can even make a more accurate forecast for long-term brand planning.
In effect, you are more likely to have a well-established brand that can go head-to-head with its competitors and weather the test of time.
5 Steps to Creating a Successful Brand Implementation
Flex your fingers and crack your knuckles. It’s time to get down to business. While brand strategies differ from brand to brand, here are five fundamental steps that you should include in and tick from your brand implementation checklist.
1. Identify and Prioritize Your Goals
The best way to structure your brand implementation strategy is to set short-term and long-term goals. By doing so, you can streamline your brand process within your team and position your business better in the long run.
For example, your short-term goals are milestones that can be attained in 12 months or less. This can pertain to increasing traffic and engagement to your social media by 20 percent, achieving an 80 percent turnout to your offline events, or increasing the number of appointments and walk-in visits to your brick ‘n mortar. On the other hand, your long-term goals could be to expand your brand reach to other markets or to rank first among the most trusted brands in your category.
Setting brand goals is a team effort and not dictated by business leaders alone, hence, collaboration is key. Make sure that they are specific, measurable, attainable, and timely (SMART), too. With a clear overview of your goals, you can then set actionable strategies and implement them on various channels simultaneously.
2. Audit Your Brand Assets
Brand assets are every element—visual and non-visual—attributed to your business that makes it highly recognizable from others. Examples of visual brand assets include everything related to a brand's corporate identity—brand logo, brand colours, brand tagline, typography, or a distinct visual style guide. Non-visual assets include business name, brand voice, brand experience, brand story, and brand vision.
As your brand grows, these assets or elements will change over time and it’s easy to lose track of them. That said, it is essential to have control over them right off the bat through brand asset management. It allows you to streamline assets and create a central hub for digital and offline elements that can be accessed by your team.
With effective management, you can monitor and iterate brand elements accordingly during your brand implementation stage. Done right, you can expect an increase in brand awareness and establish a solid brand identity.
3. Build an On-Brand Team
One of the key elements of your brand implementation plan is your team or your workforce. After all, they are the ones that carry out the branding plans and strategies on the ground. Hence, an on-brand team of professionals who align with your core values and brand image is crucial to raising your chances of success.
But how do you create an on-brand team?
It’s not enough to hire technically sound employees. That said, building an on-brand team demands all hands on deck including the HR team, department heads, and business leaders. From hiring to talent development, having a concerted effort across all departments ingrains brand loyalty and an overall healthy work relationship among employees.
Data shows that brands that foster a happy workplace increase productivity by 12 percent and lower turnover rates. Employees who have their own following on social media are also more likely to advocate for the brand.
4. Track and Measure Results
After executing your brand strategy, the next step is to assess if your set goals are achieved. Put simply, is your branding strategy worth it?
You can start the process by collecting high-quality data that are current, accurate, and reliable. Nowadays, brands use a combination of business applications that integrate machine learning and big data, and social analytics tools. With such tools, you can track and measure a brand’s profitability rate, conversion rate, email subscriptions, and social mentions, among others.
But aside from quantitative data, you also need to consider qualitative metrics, like customer satisfaction, brand knowledge, and brand equity. This is where social listening come in handy when you deep dive into what consumers are saying about their brand experience.
Pinning your results help in determining whether your branding and marketing efforts are bringing positive results. It also gives you an overview of your brand health or if your brand is still able to deliver on its promise and meet the expectations of your consumers.
5. Optimize Your Branding Implementation Strategy
Your branding strategy does not end after implementation. In fact, it is a never-ending process that requires you to develop your brand implementation strategy periodically.
Why is this the case?
Well, new brands are always popping up, the market can change in a snap, and other unique challenges may arise. To get ahead of the game, be on your toes, and get your team fully on board as you optimize your brand.
Let Your Brand Take Flight
Whether you’re launching a new brand, rebranding, or planning for a brand consolidation after a merger, a well-planned brand implementation can do wonders for your business. Equipped with the right team, tools, and resources, it can lessen the risks for your business, diversify and fortify your branding efforts, yield optimum results, and eventually create a sustainable brand.
Or better yet, you can worry less when you tap branding agency Ramotion to manage your brand implementation.