Brands don’t just happen. They require careful nurturing and management over a periods of many years, even decades.
The annual Brand Plan is the key tool for managing the brand
I Review of Last Year
- How did we do against our targets?
- KPIs (equity, share)
- Brand P&L – long term trend and vs budget
- What were our unexpected success and failures?
- What did we learn from our tests/pilots?
- What did the competition do that we can learn from?
- Summary: What new insights did we have?
II Situation Analysis
- What overall market are we competing in?
- What is the size and growth?
- What are the competitor market shares?
- What is the available market for us? [Available market]
- What are the main routes-to-market?
- Who are our customers?
- How are they using products? [U&A survey]
- What is the needs-based segmentation?
- Where are our customers on their journey to loving our brand? [Customer funnel]
- What are the main customer trends?
- Who are our competition?
- What actions have they taken in the last 12 months?
- How are they positioned relative to us?
- What is the pricing and share history?
- Where do we compare in Share of Voice?
- Where do we make money?
- What is the strength of our strategic position in the marketplace?
- Where do we make money?
- How have our financials changed over time?
- What alternative growth paths are possible for us?
- Which are the most attractive?
- Summary: What are the key issues for the brand to address in its strategy?
III Brand Strategy
- What is our goal?
- What is our medium term profit target?
- What are our sub-goals? (e.g. share, revenue, brand equity metrics)
- What is our long term Mt Everest goal?
- Who is our target customer segment?
- What is the customer “job” that our product/service is doing for them?
- What is the “whole product” needed to do this job?
- What is our value proposition to them?
- What is our brand promise? What is our differentiated value proposition vs competing products?
- What is our brand essence?
- What is our brand personality?
- What are our brand proof points?
- What is our desired brand experience? [Tool: process mapping from customer perspective]
- What is our whole product? What do we bundle together, what are optional extras what are delivered by us vs partners? What are the key brand touchpoints?
- Summary: What is our Brand Strategy?
IV Marketing Mix
- What is our product range?
- What are our product/market goals?
- What is our range architecture?
- What service is bundled with our products? Pre-sales service? Post-sales service?
- What is our future product/service development roadmap? Is there a portfolio of short term incremental features and new longer term growth platforms?
- What is our desired price point and perception?
- What is our Route-to-Market? How do we reach our target customers? Where do they shop? What are the economics of these channels? How is our brand enhanced in these channels? How do our partners add value?
- How are we communicating our offer to our target customers?
- What are our customer objectives?
- What activities will we do next year to achieve these objectives?
- What should our mix of paid and free media?
- What tests/pilots are we going to do? What new media are we testing? What do we expect to learn from these?
- How are we enhancing the value of our offer through tactical incentives?
- What is our mix of channel partner vs end customer incentives?
- What are our customer or channel objectives of these incentives?
- How do we encourage trial? How do we drive frequency and loyalty?
- Summary: What is our Marketing Mix?
IV Annual Plan
- What are our key initiatives?
- For each initiative, what is the goal, approach, responsibilities,the key implementation milestones?
- How will we measure performance? What are our KPIs?
- Are we delivering the brand experience at our touchpoints? [Tool: Customer experience/satisfaction surveys]
- Are our marketing communications and incentives delivering on their customer objectives?
- What are our distribution objectives and how are we going to achieve them?
- What is next year’s budget?
- What is our detailed brand P&L
- What is our calendar of activity?
- Summary: What are our top initiatives for next year?