Why data, why now?
We have technologically developed a world where we are capable of using data in shaping brand strategy, so we should at least try it out.
It’s factual, it’s proven, and it usually doesn’t fail us when we need it.
Consumer preferences are constantly evolving and it’s become more crucial than ever.
So, let’s get into it.
The Foundation: Understanding Brand Strategy
Your strategy should be something easy for your business to stick to.
And using data in shaping brand strategy just makes it that extra bit polished.
It is the driving force behind how the company positions itself in the market and connects with audiences.
What is it?
It’s a set of deliberate actions and decisions that establish and differentiate a brand in the market.
- Articulation of Brand Purpose: This involves defining the reason for the brand’s existence beyond profit-making, outlining its broader societal impact or the void it wants to fill in the market.
- Establishment of Core Values: A brand’s core values serve as its guiding principles, reflecting the beliefs and convictions that shape its actions. It builds authenticity and creates trust and connection with the target audience.
- Formulation of Brand Promise: A well-defined brand promise sets expectations, builds credibility, and plays a pivotal role in customer loyalty.
- Development of a Unique Brand Identity: A brand’s visual and verbal elements collectively form its identity. This includes logos, colour schemes, taglines, and other brand assets.
The Key Factors that Influence it
- Market Trends: Staying attuned to prevailing market trends is imperative for a brand’s relevance and competitiveness. Analyse industry shifts, emerging technologies, and changing consumer preferences to adapt and align strategies.
- Consumer Behaviour: Understanding how and why consumers make choices, their preferences, and the psychological factors influencing their decisions allows brands to personalise their messaging.
- Internal Culture: A cohesive internal culture that reflects shared values and beliefs can show externally, influencing how employees and customers perceive the brand.
- Organisational Values: Examining how these align with societal expectations and ethical considerations is crucial for building a brand that resonates with customers.
The Data Revolution
The fact that we can view large sums of data about pretty much anything we can find is a major game changer.
Data in shaping brand strategy has been the way forward for a couple decades now, but the types of data we’re focusing on is constantly changing.
Let’s take a look at how it’s become the root of successful brand strategies:
Big Data’s Influence on Decision-Making Processes:
Informed Decision-Making: Decisions are no longer reliant solely on intuition. Instead, businesses now use expansive datasets to inform and guide any decision-making processes.
Predictive Analytics: Big data facilitates the utilisation of predictive analytics, enabling organisations to forecast trends, anticipate market shifts, and make proactive decisions that position them ahead of the curve.
Data-Driven Insights in Brand Strategies:
Personalisation and Targeting: With access to extensive customer data, brands can craft personalised experiences, tailoring products and marketing strategies to individual preferences.
Agility in Strategy Formulation: Big data empowers brands to adapt their strategies agilely. By constantly analysing real-time data, organisations can swiftly respond to changes in the market, ensuring their strategies remain relevant and effective.
Impact of Data on Consumer Behaviour:
Understanding Consumer Preferences: The wealth of available data allows brands to understand consumer behaviour deeply. This includes analysing purchasing patterns, preferences, and the factors influencing buying decisions.
Improving Customer Experience: From personalised recommendations to streamlined user interfaces, data-driven insights contribute to creating memorable and satisfying interactions.
Strategic Decision-Makers and Data:
Empowering Decisions: Strategic decision-makers increasingly rely on data-driven insights. This helps them make decisions that are not just reactive but grounded in understanding the market dynamics.
Risk Mitigation: By relying on data for decision-making, brands can identify potential risks and challenges before they escalate.
Creating a Foolproof Brand Strategy with Data
Getting data in shaping brand strategy down can take some hard work, but it’s always made easier with a little help.
You can either turn to the professionals who will take the difficult parts out of your hands, or fly solo and figure out how data comes into all this.
1. Define Clear Objectives:
Begin by establishing clear and measurable objectives for your brand strategy.
What do you aim to achieve?
Whether it’s increasing market share, enhancing customer loyalty, or entering new markets, defining specific goals sets the tone for data-driven decision-making.
2. Conduct In-Depth Market Research:
Use data as much as you can for factually-proven market research.
Look into different industry trends, competitor strategies, and consumer behaviour in your particular niche: Don’t start with the whole city, go for a block at a time.
With enough research put in over time, you’ll be able to identify market gaps, potential opportunities, and areas to make your brand stand out.
3. Customer Data for Insights:
Tap into your customer data to gain look into their preferences, behaviours, and most common types of feedback.
Studying this data means obtaining the knowledge to customise brand strategies to better suit the needs of your target audience.
4. Benchmark Against Competitors:
Quantitative data is easily comparable, as long as you have something to compare it with.
A comparative analysis of market share, customer satisfaction, and performance provides enough insights to alter your strat.
The key is to look for areas where you can outperform and differentiate your brand.
5. Personalisation Strategies:
People enjoy personalised messages, ads, and more: The more relatable, the more approachable.
Change your marketing to be more down-to-earth for whatever planet your target audience are from.
Personalisation makes people feel like you’ve gone that extra mile, just because you can, and it should make them want to stick around longer or become a loyal customer.
6. Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Establish relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligned with your brand objectives.
Regularly monitor and analyse these KPIs using data analytics tools to measure how your brand strategy works in practice.
Slightly change them based on performance metrics to make sure you have continuous improvement.
7. Use Predictive Analytics:
Look into the thousands of historical data reports and forecast market shifts to work out predictions in trends and successful strategies.
If you have at least the faintest idea of what’s to come into popularity, it can help you plan ahead and reap the rewards before your competitors.
8. Adopt an Agile Approach:
Data allows for real-time feedback and quick adaptations to changing market dynamics.
Make sure your brand stays responsive and ready to face any challenges that may happen along the way.
9. Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration:
Work collaboratively between departments within your business.
Through marketing, sales, and customer service teams and their business perspectives, you can learn a lot about the decisions that are best to make, moving forward.
10. Iterate and Refine:
Creating a brand strategy isn’t something that you leave alone after putting it live.
Like most things, it needs revisiting and updating based on expected trends or what’s been working well.
It’s a continuous cycle of: Research, Consumers, Improvement.
Challenges and Ethics: Data in Shaping Brand Strategy
While data in shaping brand strategy brings undeniable benefits, it also introduces challenges and ethical considerations.
- Data Privacy Concerns: People are increasingly wary of how businesses collect, store, and use their personal information, so data privacy regulations are crucial, requiring transparency and robust security measures.
- Personalisation and Consumer Privacy: Finding the right balance is so important to make sure you avoid breaching privacy regulations, whilst still having customised materials.
- Transparency in Data Usage: Prioritising transparent communication about data collection purpose, scope, and security measures is essential if you want to keep a good reputation.
- Accuracy and Bias in Data: Include data quality control measures and regularly audit datasets for fairness and accuracy.
- Security Risks and Cyber Threats: Invest in cybersecurity measures to protect against unauthorised access and potential breaches.
- Consent and User Empowerment: Providing clear opt-in/opt-out mechanisms and communicating the benefits of data-driven personalisation are key in creating an ethical strategy.
- Compliance with Regulatory Standards: Adherence to data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA is non-negotiable. Businesses must stay updated on regulations and adapt practices accordingly.
Data is pretty handy, especially when it comes to making design choices.
Brand strategies aren’t always easy to nail down, so it could be worth not only looking to data for some help, but also the pros.
Here at Toast, we pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our clients to create branding that even our colourblind pets would enjoy.