In this article, I’d like you to step into the Brand Growth Factory. It is here you will find the core catalysts of brand growth and discover what it takes to grow your brand: brand availability, favorability & sustainability.
In h2\agency’s recently published Brand Growth Manifesto, we provided a structured overview of what determines brand growth, and distilled it into a simple Brand Growth Framework, as shown here:
h2\agency’s Brand Growth Framework
As we explain at length, there are three phases during which brand growth can be stimulated:
- the category entrance phase: this refers to the moment the consumer enters the category
- the active evaluation / moment of choice phase: this refers to the trade-off that operates prior to the final decision, regardless of the length, nature, or importance of this trade-off.
- the post-purchase phase: this refers to the active management of all available customer feedback and data following purchase
The Brand Growth Factory
With this in mind, we put forth the concept of a Brand Growth Factory. The factory is powered by three core brand growth “propellers”, each reflecting one essential phase of our brand growth framework:
We present them as “propellers”, because this illustrates their core function of “fanning” brand growth. In other words, they are brand growth catalysts.
We have discussed all three of these propellers at length throughout our Brand Growth Manifesto. Here is a quick recap of each one:
1. The brand availability propeller: this propeller operates during the category entrance phase. Its strength depends on the brand’s ability to be mentally and physically available (as put forth by Byron Sharp and Jenni Romaniuk at the Ehrenberg Bass Institute) to a wide set of consumers during a wide range of purchasing occasions.
- Mentally available: the brand needs to be present for a wide range of consumers across multiple category entry points.
- Physically available: the brand needs to be easily identifiable, recognizable, and easy to purchase across any channel the customer wishes to purchase.
2. The brand favorability propeller: this propeller operates during the active evaluation / moment of choice phase. Its strength depends on the brand’s ability to put forth a favorable trade-off equation. As we have seen, this trade-off can crystallize in several ways:
- Functional: “this product has such and such a feature that this other product does not”)
- Emotional / intangible: “I really like what this brand stands for”, or “I like the way this brand portrays women”
- Pricing: “this brand offers a stripped-down version of this product that fits my needs”, or “this brand allows me to rent this product instead of having to purchase it.”
The overall strength of the favorability propeller depends on the constant renewal of the brand’s value proposition through a wide array of innovation efforts that have direct functional, emotional, and pricing repercussions.
3. The brand sustainability propeller: this propeller operates during the post-purchase phase. Its strength depends on the firm’s ability to make the growing consumer voice in today’s data-driven world work for the brand. This boils down to the creation of a brand that feeds on itself and does not rely only on push-marketing to succeed. Indeed, the brand-building journey is not linear, but circular in nature.
This involves the use of Marketing Data Management Platforms that track, collect, centralize, and make sense of multi-source data in real-time. More specifically, this requires an MDMP that is specifically designed using a brand growth logic. It involves putting brand growth at the heart of a firm’s digital transformation. This allows all business unites (marketing, comms, HR, etc.) to consistently monitor, evaluate, and analyze relevant consumer data in order to take synchronized action in real-time.
There is an inherent hierarchy to these three propellers of brand growth. First off, the brand needs to be available to a wide array of consumers across a wide range of purchasing occasions (see our complete discussion on the importance of brand penetration for growth in our Manifesto). Without availability, the favorability and sustainability propellers do not rotate. Indeed, if the brand is not mentally available for a consumer, it will not feature during the consumer’s active evaluation. Similarly, if the brand is not available for a wide range of consumers, there is not much to be sustained by its clients.
Furthermore, the sustainability propeller does not rotate without the favorability one. Indeed, it is the favorability propeller that provides the content for the sustainability propeller.
The figure below shows a selection of reviews by Amazon customers having recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy S8 in the UK. It illustrates the sustainability propeller at work around a core piece of favorability content: great value for price.
h2\agency’s Brand Growth Pyramid
“Where do I find this?”, you ask? Right this way: