“How can I take my brand to the next level?”
This question no doubt appears on every marketers mind at some point during their year, when considering how to grow their business, or more specifically, revenue. But why would a marketer ask about the brand? How does a brand strategy offer business growth, when surely it’s really about total products sold or services successfully delivered? Surely it should then be a marketing strategy, or a sales strategy, and not a brand strategy?
The thing is: Brand strategy is marketing strategy. Investing time in growing a brand can unlock new profitable market segments, increasing sought-after market share; or serve to reinforce an existing strong market share position. The benefit of investing in growing your brand? Your profits can only stabilize, or increase.
What is brand growth strategy?
As explained by the UCT Brand Management course Module 8 notes, a brand growth strategy could include “launching a new brand; using an extension strategy; using multi-brand strategies; or looking at endorsement strategies”.
This piece will try and illustrate how a brand growth strategy can be deployed through pitching an idea for a brand growth strategy for Woolworths Food, for this winter.
CONSIDERING POTENTIAL GROWTH STRATEGIES
When considering potential growth strategies Woolworths food has a few options:
- Introduce an existing product to an existing market (penetration strategy)
- Introduce an existing product to a new market (market development)
- Introduce a new product to an existing market (product development)
- Introduce a new product to a new market (diversification strategy)
Source: Market Expansion Grid
If we were to translate these strategies into the opportunities they present for Woolworths Food, that would mean Woolworths Food must investigate deploying one of the following:
- Extend a line
- Extend a brand
- New brands
The tough question to answer is: which one would be most useful to Woolworths Food?
The answer lies in understanding which opportunity would offer the Woolworths brand the most opportunity for growth, and the most accessible area for growth. Considering this strategy is for winter, the brand needs to act fast. This also influences the strategy they need to pick, as time is a factor.
The objective behind any business setting a growth strategy is to increase market share, and build further brand equity, by adding value to both new and existing profitable customer segments. If Woolworths Food were to consider the above strategies, here’s what they could conclude:
Introducing a new brand to a new or existing market would not be useful: Woolworths Food predominantly runs on its own private label Woolworths Food brand. And as a result, it would make sense for any brand growth to hold the same brand.
(Side note: it’s interesting how Woolworths Food has already adopted a brand growth strategy, extending into a rebrand of their Woolworths Cafe brand with the ready-meals cafe Now Now recently introduced – a clear diversification strategy).
For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to look at a brand growth opportunity at a product level, introducing a new product to their existing market (a product development strategy).
A Product Development Strategy for Woolworths Food
The Woolworths Food brand already has the association of being convenient, fresh, and distinguishable by its packaging. How could Woolworths Food lean on those pre-existing brand associations to further grow their brand?
My suggestion is to introduce a new product called “add-ons” this winter: small packages of different food ingredients to add into soup to make soup a more substantial, and interesting meal.
This is based on a consumer insight (as should all growth strategies be): that, in Winter people buy more soup. However, soup is sometimes not satisfying as it may not feel like a complete enough meal. This means people tend to buy bread to dip into soup. However there is a consumer trend playing out at the moment: the removal of bread from the diet. “Add-ons” are other options for soup lovers to replace bread with (i.e. small roasted button mushrooms) to give soup more substance.
The future benefits
The first risk I’d identify is that, this product could be seasonally influenced. But in fact, this product can offer future benefits. After winter, a new positioning would have to be considered, for example, as an “add-on” for salads.
Why is this option the most feasible for growing the Woolworths Food brand
- Woolworths Food already has access to the product (it’s a case of repackaging certain food items, rather than develop a new product from scratch). The cost would therefore be predominantly on packaging. This also means a faster turnaround time to execute before winter.
- It has seasonal applications – making it something marketable all year round
- It’s centered on a consumer health trend and insight that has relevance, and adds value to their existing market.
Woolworths Food as a brand has many opportunities for growth. The important thing is picking the right opportunity, based on resources and time available, and a strong consumer insight. This will always be the growth strategy that will have the biggest ROI.