How we applied STRAP™ to a beverage brand in South Africa
A brand plan is a document that should summarize “where we are now,” “where we want to play” and “how we can win.” This includes a description of the marketing initiatives planned to achieve the business goals, and some of the tactical details (e.g., product, price, channel strategy, calendarized promotional activities, etc.) for each initiative and the associated budget, as well as KPI metrics to track success. A good brand plan must be sufficiently simple to generate buy-in from senior management; yet it also needs to provide sufficient details to generate consensus and address questions from multiple stakeholders, such as finance, commercial, operations, and creative.
A beverage brand in South Africa faced declining sales and a complex set of portfolio and marketing activities required to achieve its ambition. Their team asked us to help facilitate the brand-planning process by connecting consumer strategy to commercial initiatives in a multi-day workshop.
When consumer choice moves so quickly, how do you accelerate your brand planning process while ensuring that it integrates your consumers’ insights, aligns with your commercial strategy, and reflects your business priorities?
- We use the STRAP™ approach to answer four basic questions:
- Do your initiatives reflect your Strategic Targets: the consumers, the occasions, the drivers and barriers that you want to address?
- What Risks have you not accounted for and need to be addressed? Consider consumer backlash, legal barriers, cannibalization, poorly tested communications, supply chain constraints, etc.
- Are your initiatives Adequately resourced in terms of budget, manpower, and time?
- Do you have a clear sense of Priorities among your initiatives based on their expected impact and your business goals? This should include some sort of quantification of expected ROI, to varying degrees of sophistication based on what’s feasible.
- Performing a STRAP™ diagnostic requires a multidisciplinary approach. It is more holistic than a marketing mix modeling (but can make more strategic use of MMM) and includes other statistical and data mining techniques as well as qualitative mechanisms designed to collect key information from various stakeholders.
- Ensure you have clearly quantified the growth pillars for your brand that are going to bridge the gap between your current situation and your business goals. These pillars vary by industry, and might include consumer targets, needs to address, key occasions to win, or innovation.
- Gather all your stakeholders in one room, go through your initiatives, and rate them against their potential to deliver on each one of the growth pillars and your level of confidence for each.
EXAMPLES OF FINDINGS AND CLIENT'S IMPACT
- Overall there was a good fit of brand plans with strategic plans, but opportunity to shift the focus from a pure frequency strategy into a more balanced mix of frequency and recruitment, especially in key demographics. This also required a renewed focus on occasions and motivations that had previously been ignored.
- A new sponsorship opportunity was identified to deliver one of the newly prioritized growth corridors.Total initiatives collectively were unlikely to meet the annual growth target, pointing to a net decline instead. This would be driven by a continued decline of one of the brands in the portfolio, not sufficiently offset by other existing brands and by innovation.
- This realization drove a renewed effort to accelerate growth in other categories to still meet overall company plans.