Brand and marketing planning
What is it and why is it important?
In brand planning, your goal is to build brand equity and brand value. It is long-term, usually 3-5 years.
Brand equity refers to the premium customers are prepared to pay above the commodity or generic product. It is the sum of all perceptions and experiences people associate with your brand. Brand equity is measured by:
- Awareness: how many people are aware of your brand
- Image & Quality associations: key brand attributes, quality perception, user, occasion, product and experience imagery associated with your brand
- Salience: how well people recall your brand when they have an occasion, benefit or need (referred to as “category entry points” by Ehrenberg-Bass Institute)
- Loyalty: number of existing customers with your brand as part of their repertoire/ heavy, medium, light users; brand warmth and engagement
Brand value is the amount of good will that is registered on the balance sheet associated with the brand, that an investor would be prepared to pay for the business above its tangible assets. Brand value relates to brand equity but isn’t a direct translation. There are many ways of measuring this. We use Brand Finance.
Your brand plan is then your means to build brand equity and brand value, by ensuring your brand:
- Builds awareness
- Builds salience in key category entry points you want to own
- Reflects your desired positioning across everything you say and do, consistently delivering against your promise to customers
- Remains relevant in the market to existing and new customers
This will include:
- Horizon planning of touch-points across the brand experience
- Consistent use of identity to establish mnemonics for people to recognise your brand
- Establishing performance measures and process to ensure positioning is being represented and remains relevant
- Future-facing research and development to sustain relevance into the future
- Evolution/revolution of tactics, strategies and objectives
Marketing planning is often referred to as your “go-to-market” plan. It is shorter-term, usually 12 months.
The marketing plan determines the investment against the key strategies and activities across the purchasing funnel and 4-7Ps to achieve annual growth objectives. This will usually be sales volume/value and market share, translated to customer goals – how many customers you need to attract and the source of that business (within / outside of category, other brands, what they’re currently doing and buying).
Within the “promotion” strategy, it will look more closely at the investment for brand-building activities versus sales activation activities to recommended ratios of 60:40 for B2C brands and 50:50 for B2B brands (Source: Binet & Field research).
How we go about it
This assumes brand positioning, market and customer understanding exists, brand/marketing strategy and customer strategy – customer segmentation and journey mapping including decision-making process, purchasing funnel and touch-points – have been defined.
Both brand planning and marketing planning need a combination of ideation, number crunching and joining the dots, so we’d often do them in three chunks:
- Focus session in collaboration with project owner to establish objectives and timeframe; Tailor planning framework to your brand: brand experience touch-points, 4-7Ps, purchasing funnel, identity, R&D etc against key objectives and timeframe
- Workshop with cross-functional team to ideate potential strategies and activities.
- Focus session in collaboration with project owner to complete the plan, such that the strategies and activities “add up” to deliver the objectives.
Our experience in this area
Our Managing Director, Rachel Bevans, spent her first nine years in client brand roles, both in Australia and global from the UK, for Unilever, News Limited, Glenfiddich, Westpac and Hovis. She was also heavily involved in brand planning across the EU region when leading the Mars Sugar account, and for CPW and MasterCard in Australia.
Since starting The Healthy Brand Company, we have developed brand planning frameworks and plans for TAFE NSW Riverina, SUMO Salad, Bunnings, Citygreen, Larktale, Transport for NSW Cyber Security Advisory, Mineler and two tech start-ups.
How can we help you?
Please contact us to discuss further what we can do for you.