Building Brand Value

With the proliferation of brands in all industries, including business and consumer markets, brand managers face a host of challenges, among others dilution of brand equity, declining differences between brands, maturing markets, and increasing costs of product introduction and support.

Brands are essentially a company’s strategic asset and for them to compete and survive in the ever evolving consumer environment they need to innovate, prove their relevance, add value and personalise. In essence it all comes down to positioning, differentiation and communication. These are the touch points that will enable brands to create a competitive advantage and, in turn, a stronger and more effective market presence. When pieced together they help enrich relationships between a brand and its target audience.

One effective methodology that utilises each of these touch points but is often neglected within a strategic marketing framework or not used to its full potential is ‘strategic alliances’.

Often referred to when two or more enterprises choose to form a partnership and work co-operatively to achieve their mutually beneficial objectives, strategic alliances can help organisations achieve real results in a cut-throat business environment.

While there are a number of advantages to forming a strategic alliance there are three definitive benefits that can be emphasised – credibility, the ability to expand communication reach to wider stakeholder groups, and financial. Ultimately, the synergies a strategic alliance can bring include further enhancement to the brand building process and increased probability of market share.

But how does one determine whether a strategic alliance is right for their brand and organisation; whether they are aligning with the right partners to optimise key marketing opportunities?

When assessing the benefits of a strategic alliance opportunity there are few considerations to bear in mind:

  • Whether the identified and targeted organisation is valued by its clients, communities and partners; therefore has the power to influence specific target groups.
  • Does the strategic alliance demonstrate a logical link to the business?
  • Is the partnership in line with the brand identity and core values?
  • What types of marketing and communication platforms does the targeted alliance have in place in order to support or maximised multi-channel promotion?

Further to this, one must define the duration of the strategic alliance, which can be short or long term. The alliance may be part of a specific initiative or form part of a holistic communication campaign.

At the end of the day it is about building cost effective, creative, comprehensive and mutually-beneficial relationships that positively build brand capital, drive sales and impact bottom lines.

With the right approach, customer insight and team integration, strategic alliances enable organisations to do more with less, be more prudent with their marketing budgets and deliver profitable business growth.