Creating Your Branding Game Plan

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What is your branding game plan?

Not the branding media schedule – that is just part of it – but rather, your overarching strategic decision-making game plan on all of your branding initiatives? Most advertising managers have a page or two media plan that an agency has produced that shows how their advertising dollars will be spent. The game plan I am referring to is the overall philosophy and management tool that keeps every aspect of their branding on track.

The game plan acts as a compendium of sorts – a concise, yet comprehensive strategy of how the brand is executed in the marketplace. It covers all touch points of the brand and the “rules” for its implementation. Rather than leave this to chance, your game plan crafts a branding decision-tree that allows the manager to ensure that every branding decision is accretive to the overall brand experience, not detracting.

The game plan is a document that should be created to assist in communicating the advertising and media plan. It serves as a guide for the internal teams at the organization including the company managers and franchisees as well as providing crystal-clear direction to the agency. The compendium provides further explanation of the overall process for how the advertising plan is created in addition to how it will be managed. These strategic decisions should be reviewed on an annual basis to determine the entire branding program.

Below are the key elements to include in your branding game plan:

Market Research & Demographics: Based on the market research conducted at your company, the targeted audience of your brand communications should be reached based on demographics, program selection and scheduling guidelines. Demographics should cut across the following attributes and all brand activities should be vetted against these targets:

  • Age Range
  • Male/Female Ratio
  • Total Annual Income
  • Employment Ratio
  • Marital Status
  • Ethnicity

Program selection refers to the review of a programs content to ensure that it’s consistent with the advertiser’s desired brand image and its demographics. Scheduling guidelines assist on steering the programming placement, frequency and delivery of media.

Flights, Weights And Spots: Next, determine the game plan for when and how to communicate your brand. Flighting refers to scheduling periods of activity and inactivity on a TV 品牌宣傳 and/or radio schedule. A period of activity is called a flight and a period of inactivity is called a hiatus. Flighting is typically used to cover a long period of time, such as a year, within a limited advertising budget that does not allow advertising for 52 weeks. TV weight refers to the number of target rating points (TRP’s) scheduled in a flight. TRP’s are the standard unit of TV measure. Quantitatively, a TRP is equal to one percent of the target universe. Radio is a better medium than TV for building frequency. However, the fragmented nature of the radio market and the consumers’ listening patterns limit the cumulative reach that radio can deliver as a medium. Unit length refers to the duration of a commercial spot/radio broadcast.

Day Parts: Based on the demographics of the targeted audience, the brand manager needs to determine the optimal day parts of the messaging. Day parts deliver different audience compositions (e.g. daytime delivers a high percentage of women). There is also a correlation between a spots audience delivery and its relative cost. Primetime delivers a large, broad audience and is, therefore, the most expensive day part.

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