The latest research from Gartner shows an increased interest in brand strategy among CMOs in 2020 and 2021. This finding reflects brand marketers’ recognition of the importance of tracking changes in their customer segments and identifying new customers and new competitive landscapes. Armed with the right benchmarks, a strong foundation, and fresh positioning, CMOs are looking to come out strong in 2021. 

Here are some brand strategies to consider to set a strong foundation for marketing in 2021. 

  1. System 1 Marketing: Define your category and answer the question ‘why you.’ Become the intuitive choice for your customers by leveraging System 1 Marketing in your brand messaging and creative.
  2. Adapt to the Psychology of your Customer: The pandemic has changed consumer behavior in drastic ways. It’s important for brands to reevaluate their customer profiles to understand their customer needs at a deeper level beyond traditional demographic and media consumption. Psychological research helps to unlock customer motivations, self-concepts, and beliefs. Related to this, COVID fatigue is at an all-time high with consumers. Brands should take note and introduce new content to stay relevant and engaged. 
  3. Connect Emotionally, Not Just Rationally: Emotions contribute to the majority of decisions that we make. It’s more beneficial to leave your audience feeling good about your product (and wanting more), than it is to overwhelm them with multiple messages or calls to action. Set a single goal for each communication. A study from the University of Alberta shows a 3% drop in awareness for each additional message embedded in an advertisement. And the drop in memory and retention for that message is even bigger. 
  4. Balance Your Brand with Sales Promotions: CMOs are facing increased pressure to prioritize short-term sales growth over long-term brand awareness. Marketers should balance sales with brand awareness to maintain their market share and fuel long-term growth. The balance between brand awareness and sales differs by category, but the fundamental work of Peter Field and Les Binet recommends 60% brand awareness and 40% activation as the benchmark. 
  5. Use Trigger Points in Media Planning: When it comes to reaching the right customers at the right time, you need to make sure you have a strong targeting plan embedded within your brand strategy. Your creative messaging and media planning should be designed with the customer in mind, and you need to map out their journey from initial awareness to purchase across ‘trigger points’, i.e. touchpoints.

Looking for help turning brand strategy and psychological insights into great creative for 2021? Contact us to discuss. 

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