A multi that’s essential in every marketer’s diet
With new brands and products popping up almost every day, we all know that it is increasingly challenging to ensure your product or brand ‘sticks’ to have a fighting chance at survival. Competition is indeed everywhere.
But what if this means competition also lies within your own company? This is becoming a burning question for marketers as companies acquire and launch new products or sub-brands at a breathless rate.
This is where multi brand strategies should come into the picture.
Multi brand strategies help companies juggle the myriad of competing needs and demands of products within their portfolio – to create true complementary brands not ones that compete head-to-head.
Undoubtedly implementing multi brand strategies are an arduous process for many large organisations, however the rewards can be enormous:
- Creates operational synergies – puts all your ducks in a row so to speak
- Maximises marketing spends through smart and efficient consolidation
- Reduces costs and exploits synergies from a new and more focussed media plan
- Common sourcing of assets across different brands to serve common goals
- Smaller brands can benefit from bigger, established brands or products
- Clear purpose and visibility for each product
All of this in turn allows us to not just look at short term objectives but be in a better position to address long term ones. Agencies are no longer bogged down with short-sighted, small quick-fire briefs but can start to bring more consolidated and considered approaches to the table as they get more visibility of the bigger picture. Resulting in media dollars that work harder to the benefit of all brands, big and small.
In essence it is about being forward-thinking and less reactive. And freeing up time and resources to focus on the pro-active innovative solutions that will really count.
So is it all too “blue-sky”?
- How do we know which brands to support and when?
- How do we balance competing needs from separate departments or divisions?
- And how do we ensure we are not inadvertently cannibalizing our own products?
To answer these common questions, here are 3 things to remember and get you on your way to an effective multi brand strategy:
It’s essential to dissect all your brands and see how they differ or overlap from both rational and emotional attributes. Is it based on price-value or are brands pulled apart by their personalities and tone of voice? Get to know your brands all over again and understand what makes each of them special.
But it is equally important to ensure that all of your brands can live up to the overarching company promise. Each brand is a unique soldier that can help win the battle for market share; however everyone still needs to be fighting for the same team and the same cause as a collective.
Be ready to PRIORITISE
In this instance size can become a valuable factor when it comes to assessing which brands in the portfolio to support and are most likely to give the best ROI.
Research from Millward Brown has shown that established brands within an organization with more than 10% market share are better positioned to gain market share than smaller brands. Large brands drive market share growth through strong brand equity over the years so understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Look beyond and get a read of what’s occurring in the wider eco-system that could also affect your brands. Are there particular categories in growth or decline? Are there changing social trends or demographic changes? Forthcoming innovations? Competitor threats? Pricing changes? All of this will help when it comes to deciding which brands to support and when.
This is arguably the biggest hurdle for organisations particularly ones filled with numerous divisions and/or departments.
We also know that the typical marketer will only stay in their current role for a couple of years on average. Unfortunately they will not necessarily feel the warm glow of long term success when they are faced with the constant pressures in the here-and-now to perform.
A re-evaluation of what success looks like is required – from KPIs on a product-by-product basis to an incentivised system that directly rewards marketers for the success of the company as a whole.
In this way, multi brand strategy can be seen as a giant moving puzzle where there is a place for different brands to not only happily co-exist, but also thrive on each other’s strengths.