The Importance of Brand Strategy
The onboard food sector is an incredibly fast-paced market, with a multitude of products and services being proposed and developed and competition, as you’d expect, is fierce.
The difference isn’t always based simply on the quality of a product but often on the strength of their overall brand strategy.
As an agile global business which also prides itself on its creative approach, a coherent and tight brand or branding strategy is a critical part of our product development process.
But what exactly is brand strategy?
Put simply, it is the integrated planning process that ensures the product and business need to complement each other. For me, long term and well-executed development of brands are vital to achieving our business’s goals. It affects all aspects of the organisation’s offering and is directly linked to our end customers’ needs, emotions and desires.
Planning a brand strategy for a product begins with understanding its goals and objectives. It starts with developing a roadmap that provides a solutions-based approach by understanding the end-user, solving any problems and adding new value to a product offering.
Brand strategy, onboard products, and passengers
In our business, we create products that passengers love. The food and packaging we develop are very much inspired by what is current and forward-thinking from the retail industry. It is also critical that our products have a well-considered branding story. One of the many examples is our Alfonso’s range which brings together the history of tapas, by bringing the famous King to life through story-telling.
While going through the brand development process, we need to establish the brand’s objective; understand our customer’s target market and ultimately have strong insights into their passenger’s consumer behaviour when they are and are not travelling. We can then define the long-term success of the product; and establish how to demonstrate its value. We can realise this through the product itself, whether it’s the packaging functionality, material, colour, logo, etc.
How can consistency aid brand recognition with passengers?
As with all of these things, consistency is key. All messaging must be cohesive because consistency contributes to future brand recognition, which in turn fuels consumer loyalty. So too does establishing a connection with customers on a deeper, more emotional level. This can be done through emotional triggers such as storytelling, colour, photography and design, combined with the right marketing strategy. It is also important for us to create products with branding that reflect and emphasise our customer’s values and market strategy.
Managing long-term brand strategy
It’s important to keep our eyes on the long-term prize, especially when you consider how easy it is to get caught up in short term activities. Brands aren’t built and gain loyal following overnight so the focus should be on long term goals and a healthy return on investment when it comes to branded products.
Of course, that doesn’t mean a long-term brand strategy is set in stone. Good brands stick to their values and roadmap, but they also allow room for flexibility as the market, consumers and competitors may change. That’s why we work closely with our customers and make sure that we know and can advise when to re-fresh our brands or start creating new ones that reflect the future needs of passengers.
What to consider when developing a new brand for passengers within our industry
When looking to develop a new brand within the onboard market, my here are the 4 questions you need to ask when establishing the brand and its strategy:
Goal or purpose?
What is your brand meant to achieve, who is it targeting, why do we need this brand? Is it retail-trend inspired, or is it catering to a specific demographic?
Is it consistent?
A successful brand has a clear message, and the marketing of the brand should be too. Consistency is the difference between a clear brand message and a forgettable one.
Which emotions are you trying to engage with?
For your passengers, it’s all about how they connect with the brand. Will it motivate an experience, or is it designed to surprise and delight?
Will the brand be fit for the long-term?
Trends are important in branding, but it’s important you consider the shelf-life of trends when it comes to branding. Make sure your branding is fit for the long-term, or you could find that those fast-moving trends will date your brand sooner than you hoped.
Want to find out more about our brands or branding capabilities? Get in touch with our team today!