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strategic planning

Reengineering Your Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic planning process is an integral part of every organization. However, the leadership challenge here is to ensure that strategic planning is considered to be more than just a corporate exercise. Strategic planning facilitates organizations to set priorities, make investment decisions, and identify growth plans. But it does not always give fruitful results due to the inability of insights gathered to be translated into action. Over the past 15 years, Infiniti Research has helped 500+ companies across industries to engage in better planning and decision-making through the right strategic planning methods. Based on our expertise in helping companies in better strategic planning decisions, we reveal some best practices to follow during strategic planning.

The absence of a powerful strategic planning framework could prove to be catastrophic for a company’s business outcomes. Request a free proposal to know how we can help your business reengineer you strategic planning process.

Strategic planning best practices

strategic planningTest the assumptions

Strategic planning mostly involves a hypothesis that certain outcomes would result from a given set of initiatives. These outcomes include increased revenue, improved margins, and higher ROI. But often, rather than including field tests in this assumption, it involves secondary research or educated guesses. Consequently, leaders and decision-makers are unsure whether to move it into actions or commit resources to these strategic plans. In order to avoid this inertia, managers must consider including specific, short-term experiments and its results will communicate what works and what does not.

Avoid unclear language

Strategic plans could often involve empty phrases or misleading language that leave the team unsure as to what needs to be done in order to succeed. To counter this dynamic, it is advisable for managers in the organization to be clear while communicating the strategic plans to team members and avoid the excessive usage of empty phrases and complex business terms while passing on information to subordinates.

Wonder where to begin for strategic planning? Leave it to the experts! Get in touch with us for more insights.

Eliminate the use of rigid templates

Templates act as a standard fixture for strategic planning. They mostly force teams to consider key topics including changes in external markets, competitive analysis, and performance gaps that must be addressed. However, this template tyranny could lead the team to be more focused on corporate requirements rather than actually engaging in strategic planning to improve the business outcomes.  This can result in outdated ideas, repetitive responses, and do not entirely capture the critical issues and opportunities that need to be addressed. This can be avoided by eliminating sections of the planning template that are obsolete or by even making radical changes to the template.

Encourage proactive discussions

Strategic planning framework should ideally be based on intense debates and discussions. Since the process is rigidly structured with dense data and documentation, the chances of dialogue being constrained are more. This can be overcome by asking relevant questions and encourage discussions when the plan is presented which will eventually enrich the team’s thinking and increase everyone’s confidence level for execution of the plan.

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Building a Strong Market Positioning Statement: What Companies Must Do

What is market positioning?

Market positioning outlines what businesses must do to market their products or services to the target customers. It involves the ability to influence consumer perception regarding a brand or its offerings relative to competitors. The primary objective here is to establish the brand identity or image in order to change consumer perception in the desired manner.

Types of market positioning strategy

An effective market positioning strategy encompasses advertising, branding, promotion, pricing, product development, and sales and distribution. Some of the common types of market positioning include:

Customer needs

This type of market positioning strategy involves identifying the company’s target customers and how they intend to satisfy customer needs. This can include the functionality of the product and the experience that they gain from using the product.

Customer perceptions

It is always beneficial for brands to capture the imagination of their customers. This not only helps create a lasting impression on the minds of the customers but also help the company to better plan their market positioning strategy.

Brand recognition

This is one of the most commonly used types of market positioning strategy wherein a brand promotes some basic visual symbols and information associated to itself in such a way that customers easily recognize the brand through these symbols/information. For instance, the logo of Mc Donald’s is unique, and its eye-catching yellow logo is enough for customers to recognize the brand.

Pricing

Pricing is a primary strategy used for competition. Except for luxury goods, markets for most other goods are price sensitive, however, customers do not want to compromise on the quality. So, companies that offer goods at a lower price and with a reasonable level of quality tends to win in most markets. Furthermore, one of the key ways for brands to outperform competitors is with the superior level of quality.

Customer service

Customer services prior to, during, and after the course of purchase is one of the key factors that lead to better market positioning. Customers favor companies that offer better customer service, this is especially true in the case of goods such as electronics and automobiles wherein customers spend more time before making purchase decisions.

Being more diligent and responsive than the competition is integral for business success

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Use or application

Market positioning strategy based on the use or application of the brand involves positioning a product depending on the uses that customers can derive from that product. For instance, for several years Nescafe positioned themselves as a winter product and extensively invested in product advertisements during winters. However, the advent of cold coffee has urged them to build a market positioning strategy for summers as well. Introducing new uses and applications of a product is a measure undertaken deliberately in order to expand the brand’s market.

How to create an effective market positioning strategy?

Building a market positioning strategy is essential for businesses to identify how their brand is perceived in the market and making necessary changes to change these perceptions in the desired manner. Experts at Infiniti Research have listed out some key techniques for brands to create an effective market positioning strategy:

Determine the USP

Unique selling proposition (USP) sets a brand or its products apart from their counterparts in the market. Companies must make efforts to compare and contrast the differences with that of the counterparts in the market. Increased emphasis should be given to the strengths and how they can be leveraged to exploit the available opportunities.

Identify current market position

Analyze the company’s current market position. This helps determine if any changes are required in the current market positioning strategy. In case any changes are required, it also helps determine how new positioning will be beneficial in setting the company apart from other players in the market.

Competitor positioning analysis

Businesses must analyze the current conditions in the marketplace the amount of influence that each player in the market can place on each other. This gives a better picture of who the company is competing against in the market and what their key strategies are.

Develop effective market positioning strategy

Once the company has identified what their brand is and how they are different from competitors, the next step is to evaluate the market conditions, and other opportunities and threats in the market. This way the company has to decide how they wish to position themselves in the market.

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Tips to Stay Clear of Loopholes in Your Brand Strategy

A recognized and loved brand is one of the most prized assets of a company. A company’s brand strategy defines what they stand for and is primarily aimed at creating a particular image of itself in the minds of current and potential customers. So, it is an integral element for modern businesses in order to thrive in today’s highly competitive marketplace. A well-defined and executed brand strategy framework affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. Here are some rules for businesses to keep in mind while building their brand strategy:

Be specific

Today’s markets are highly fragmented and noisy with a large number of players doing their part to be heard and recognized by customers. In this chaos, the only way brands can stand out in the market is to have a bigger marketing budget than the peers or to get the right message out to the right audience. For most companies, an increased marketing budget might not be a viable option. So, it would prove beneficial to create a brand strategy framework by targeting the right customer with the right message.

Take risks

Risk is an inevitable factor for any business. With so many companies fighting for the same chunk of market share, it is essential for enterprises to go out of their way and place their bets on new and innovative strategies. Taking risks is a great way for new and emerging brands to earn authority in the industry. A good brand strategy will also force businesses to take difficult decisions.

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Empathize with customers

It might sound obvious, but many players in the market still fail to do this, eventually leading to loss of customers to other smart counterparts in the market. Today, it is not just important for brands to get into the minds of their customers, but they must also put themselves in their customers’ shoes while building their brand strategy. Empathizing with the customers will help enterprises to uncover the triggers, behaviors, and beliefs that will underlie their brand strategy.

Consistent communication

Consistent messaging with the customers is an ideal way to resonate with the company’s target audience. This includes factors such as the tone that has been used in the copy to the way customers are addressed. The company’s brand strategy must focus on strong messaging tactics by developing a clear promise to the audience.

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Identify channels for engagement

 Modern customers relate more to the brands that they can constantly interact with. Customers want to stay in touch with the brands of their choice, be it connecting to the brand through social media or using the company’s website to customize their products. It is up to the brand in choosing how to keep the customers engaged. Companies can use a highly engaging brand strategy such as offering online customer support, running contests, and asking for customer feedback through online platforms.

For over a decade, Infiniti’s market intelligence solutions have been helping clients around the world construct the right brand strategy framework to thrive in the market. Get in touch for more insights on our solutions.

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5 Steps to Develop a Perfect Brand Strategy for the Long-term Success of Your Business

BRAND STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

Your brand is an amalgamation of emotions, thoughts, and experiences and makes what you offer unique. It also helps you differentiate yourself from the competitors. But a brand can only be valuable and yield the desired outcome when it has been built with proper care. This is where the role of brand strategy comes into play. The objective of a brand strategy process is to build brand value for a company. Many successful companies take the help of a brand strategy template to have the best brand strategy process in place. Developing the perfect brand strategy can be one of the most difficult steps in the marketing process. For most businesses, this is perhaps the biggest challenge, but it is a vital step in creating the identity of any company. A brand strategy doesn’t have to involve a lot of investments, but it certainly requires proper steps to yield the required resultContact US for your business. But before jumping to those steps, let’s pause for a moment and understand a little bit about brand strategy in layman’s terms.

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A 360-Degree Approach to Identify Key Elements of a Brand Strategy for a Petrochemical Company

As the petrochemicals industry shifts, petrochemical companies will have to work harder on core capabilities and brand strategy to drive growth. Click To Tweet

The largest subsector of the chemical industry – the ‘Petrochemicals Industry’ is changing rapidly due to the competitive dynamics of the global market scenario. This makes it necessary for petrochemical companies to make the right business decisions by understanding the changing dynamics of the market, as well as sources of cost advantage and trends in demand growth. However, over the past few years, petrochemical companies across the globe have been showing buoyant margins, as well as healthy demand growth.Request Proposal

The Business Challenge

  • The Client: A petrochemicals industry major

A leading petrochemicals industry client wanted to identify and leverage the key elements that would help their brand stand out and gain a winning edge over the peer categories. They were looking to identify the key elements of a brand strategy that could be organized, redesigned, and deployed in accordance with their business plan. To do so, the client approached Infiniti to leverage its expertise in this field of market research.


Brand Strategy Assessment Benefits

Organizations often seem to be juggling between two contradictory goals i.e., enhancing brand visibility by making them distinctive and improvising their brand strategy to drive business value. Though these are seemingly contradictory goals, they are interrelated as both are essential for any brand’s success. Assessments such as these that focus on identifying key elementsGet More Info of a brand strategy help make necessary adjustments to brand strategies. However, a successful brand strategy built on credibility offers several benefits that help organizations lead their respective category.


Summary of Our Brand Strategy Assessment Engagement

Petrochemicals Industry

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Client’s Journey

The brand strategy experts at Infiniti Research adopted a comprehensive approach that included surveys and an assessment of the brand’s reputation to identify the essential elements of a brand strategy, which are required to thrive in the petrochemicals industry.

This study included in-depth primary and secondary research coupled with qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures. Our experts also collated inputs from various stakeholders in the petrochemicals industry to gain insights into the petrochemicals industry overview.

Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

This study offered a detailed petrochemicals industry overview to help the client understand the essential factors necessary for a brand’s success. The comprehensive analysis encompassed all the touch points that shape market perception, including product/service branding, brand portfolio structure, and corporate identity.Get More Info

The solutions offered also enabled the pharmaceuticals industry major to gain detailed insights into the essential elements of a brand strategy. This, in turn, helped them alter their brand strategy and enhance their business reach.


The Future of Petrochemicals Industry

The competitive dynamics of today’s petrochemicals industry is a compelling factor that is forcing leading petrochemical companies to turn market advantages into their brand’s success. While several petrochemical companies rely on the easily available market data or assumptions that are not fully transparent, a few are more focused on developing their own scenario-based approach. However, to thrive in a competitive landscape is not easy for petrochemical companies, especially when you have no idea of what’s in store for the future. This has compelled petrochemical companies to enhance their brand strategy to navigate the changing industry landscape and build a business for the future.


A must-read case study for petrochemical companies looking to develop an understanding of the importance of brand strategy development.

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Brand Strategy for A Leading Pharma Packaging Company Helps Enhance Brand Awareness

The pharma packaging market has been undergoing radical changes in the past decade to keep itself updated with newer innovative technologies for better serialization and to provide sustainable packaging solutions.

Serialization is a complicated practice and, therefore, needs to be implemented with extra care to avoid unpredicted costs. Additionally, the demand for sustainable pharma packaging has been steadily increasing and the pharmaceutical industry is not an exception to this trend. Due to growing demand and stricter regulations, manufacturers and brand owners are becoming more concerned about packaging sustainability. However, the main challenge is convincing consumers to choose your sustainable designs rather than competitor’s, as people now just assume that pharma packaging should be sustainable in the first place.

Business Issues

  • The client: Pharma packaging company

The client – a leading pharma packaging company – with business units spread across multiple geographies was facing certain predicaments in differentiating their products from that of the competitors. As a result, the pharma packaging company approached Infiniti to conduct a brand strategy engagement. The pharma packaging company wanted to evaluate the authenticity of the organization and drive effective marketing campaigns to improve brand awareness.

How Can Brand Strategy Help Companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

With the help of a robust brand strategy engagement, pharma packaging companies can successfully generate revenues and further create a strong brand equity. Moreover, a well-defined and executed brand strategy helps firms directly connect to the consumers’ emotions, needs, and competitive environments.


Summary of our Brand Strategy Engagement

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Client Journey

Infiniti’s brand strategy experts followed an extensive research methodology and carried out interviews and discussions with stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to help the client fine-tune their marketing strategies and maximize competitiveness across markets. The brand strategy experts also collated information from sources such as industry forums, company presentations, and newsletters to help the client enhance brand awareness.

The Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

The pharma packaging client gained in-depth insights into the competitive landscape, which helped them to enhance the brand’s performance. With the help of Infiniti’s brand strategy engagement, the client also improved brand recognition, built credibility, and increased the overall advertising effectiveness. The pharma packaging firm also built a customer-focused marketing strategy to scale their position across emerging markets.

The Future

Producing sustainable, yet functional, packaging is a test for any industry but even more so for the pharmaceutical industry, where regulations and patient safety take precedence. Additionally, while consumers and retailers are shifting to a more environmentally conscious mindset, they prefer safe, high-quality and easy to use medicines. Therefore, to achieve this, companies must start incorporating smart manufacturing processes, using eco-friendly materials, including recycled paper, board, and corn-starch, all of which are biodegradable.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the pharma packaging industry

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Brand Strategy and Market Segmentation Study for a Leading Utilities Industry Client

With the rise in technical awareness among the global population, companies in the utilities industry are poised to witness major challenges in effectively meeting consumers’ needs while managing revenue downturns.

Today, amidst myriad new opportunities and challenges facing the utilities market, companies are forced to adopt a more sustainable approach to cost management, brand strategy creation, and enhanced spend visibility. The global utilities market faces competitive pressure from several other players in the industry, making it necessary to leverage new technologies and develop a well-defined brand strategy to thrive.

As the utilities industry transforms itself digitally, companies operating in this sector are expected to face new challenges in the form of regulatory changes and shifting market conditions. Though technology acts a major facilitator for change in the utilities industry, new market opportunities accompanied by unforeseen risk factors will further complicate the entire process of digital transformation.

The Business Challenge

  • The client: A utilities industry client

A leading utilities industry client based out of the US approached Infiniti to gain an understanding of the market to determine new opportunities, risk factors, and growth drivers. Additionally, as the client was unable to devise an effective brand strategy, they were looking at creating a well-defined brand strategy to navigate the common roadblocks and improve the bottom line.

How Can Market Segmentation Help Companies?

Market segmentation helps organizations in devising appropriate promotional and marketing strategies to cater to the growing needs of individual market segments. To gain a competitive edge, companies need to understand the market and stay aware of the industry challenges and barriers to growth. Market segmentation also helps in building a strong brand strategy that articulates and communicates the core value of an organization.

Summary of our market segmentation engagement

Market Segmentation

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Client Journey

To help the client gauge several factors influencing their brand value and help them identify the emerging trends, the market segmentation experts at Infiniti followed a strategic research approach. The approach included primary and secondary research methodologies coupled with qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures. The market intelligence experts also reached out to various stakeholders in the utilities industry to understand the factors that are influencing market growth.

Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

Infiniti’s market segmentation engagement helped the utilities client in increasing their competitiveness and profitability. A detailed assessment of the utilities market also helped them to improve – brand strategy, brand equity, brand recall, customer retention, and marketing communications. The market segmentation assessment also enabled them to reach a wider audience and drive sales across different segments.

The Future

The implementation of smart grids and the realization of electric power systems will be major factors driving the growth of the global utilities market. Organizations will have to determine the future direction of their markets and understand the impact of technological advancements on market growth and business models. Regardless of the chosen business model, players in the utilities sector will have to adopt strategies to leverage their current business position and enhance their future competitive positioning.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the utilities industry.

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Brand Strategy: How an Automobile Chassis Manufacturer Scaled Up Their Brand Position in the Australian Market

Today, meeting the constraints and maximizing the customer value put a lot of cost pressure on the automobile chassis manufacturers across the globe.

The upcoming regulation about the CO2-emissions and the need to reduce fuel consumption of the vehicles has a very high influence on the design of the components. The automobile chassis does have a direct impact on the mass, the rolling resistance, the overall friction, the aerodynamic drag and, to some degree even the electric loads. However, in general customers today are not generally very interested in technology, but they evaluate a vehicle by its attributes, appearance, and overall performance. That implies that the goal is not to design a ‘good chassis’, but to find a resolution that makes the total vehicle more attractive.

In the early years, the focus was on the primary function of a chassis, which is to offer the best possible ride and handling performance. The reason behind this narrow view was that neither ride nor handling scored very high and consequently a good chassis meant a significant advantage in the marketplace. However, today, we have new criteria that play an ever-increasing role in the design of a chassis. The legislation is imposing high safety standards and automobile chassis manufacturers must meet tough emissions targets. As a result, automobile chassis manufacturers are selecting architectures, components, and other design factors such that the Request Proposalresulting chassis meets all legal and market specific requirements and maximize the perceived value of the total vehicle, exceeding customer expectations.

Business Issues

  • The client: An automobile chassis manufacturer

The client, a leading manufacturer of automobile chassis based out of the US, approached Infiniti Research to leverage a brand strategy solution to reinforce their position in the Australian market. The principal objective of the engagement was to gain a comprehensive overview of the competitive landscape, market position, and customer expectations in the Australian region. Besides, the client also wanted to evaluate the authenticity of the organization and drive operative marketing campaigns to improve brand awareness.

How Can Brand Strategy Engagement Help Companies in the Automobile Chassis Manufacturing Market?

A robust brand strategy can take what individuals know and believe about your business to new levels. An active brand strategy takes an asset that may now be largely underused and turns it into a powerful competitive weapon. It will elevate the relevance and importance of what is already known and believed about your business. It can also add many new reasons, both emotional and rational, which will create stronger bonds with customers and make your business more attractive to prospects.


Summary of our brand strategy solutionAsk An Analyst


Client Journey

The brand strategy experts at Infiniti followed a comprehensive research methodology comprising of interviews and discussions with prominent stakeholders in the automobile industry. The experts also relied on sales and marketing reports, syndicated research reports, relevant websites, and company publications to help the client fine-tune their marketing strategies and maximize competitiveness.

The Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

The automobile chassis manufacturer gained better clarity into the competitive landscape and enhanced the brand’s performance with the help of Infiniti’s brand strategy solution. The client also built credibility, improved brand recognition, and increased advertising effectiveness. Also, the brand strategy engagement helped the client deliver value that the customers in the Australian market were looking for. Furthermore, the client built a customer-focused marketing strategy to scale up their position in the Australian market.

The Future

Up until now, major brands would build four or five different models off a single platform. However, today, derivatives share common non-consumer facing product elements including common chassis underpinning, body structures, and core components to make differentiation of consumer-facing features profitable. But running more derivatives per platform also increases complications. Therefore, to manage this complexity, prevent cannibalization, control costs, and ensure that differentiation is aligned with consumer preference, OEMs need to develop new global platform strategies, including modular concepts that would create additional value.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the automobile chassis industry

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