Monday, December 24, 2012

Keys to Making the Most of Brand Portfolios

The first key to creating an effective brand portfolio strategy is in understanding exactly what is a brand. Is it a logo? No. Well then, a symbol, a name or a spokesperson? Not exactly. OK, then is it a catchy jingle, a clever slogan, a well-designed ad or a popular product? Well, yes and no. While it can be all of these things, for our intents and purposes we must think of it as a valuable asset. By strategically creating, implementing and managing brand assets, they can be so powerful as to push growth at the top and from the bottom at the same time.  But the portfolio of brands must be carefully maintained. Or to borrow an idea from Babe Ruth, "You may have the greatest bunch of individual brands in the world, but if they aren't well managed, the portfolio won't be worth a dime."

Business Strategy
A brand strategy should effectively support the company's business strategy in order to have an impact on profitability. Each brand should contribute to the overall portfolio. The scope of each brand and how each one works with the rest of the "team" is of utmost importance. A cohesive and well defined brand portfolio is as reassuring to the clients as it is to the company's employees, as it shows a strong and clear strategic focus that is a mirror image of the business strategy. No confusion.

New Growth Versus Branded Energizers
Use the portfolio to enter new markets, offer new products or rise into higher arenas of business, but at all costs you should resist the urge to add unnecessary brands. If a brand is getting worn and tired, think about the addition of branded energizers to get it going again. These could be through special promotions, sponsorships, symbols or jingles.

Keep it Trim and Fit
Remember that brand portfolio strategy is about the family, not about one individual. Each player in the portfolio should work together to deliver one clear message through synergy, relevance and energy. Use the process of reviewing and refining to define a brand's relevance. In this way you can reduce the portfolio's size when necessary and stay on track to reach your stated goal.