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Brand Planning for the Food and Beverage Industry

March 15, 20244 min
Lauren Daniels photo
Lauren Daniels Tastewise

Food isn’t just sustenance. It’s a shared language, a catalyst for memories, and a way to express who we are. To thrive in this deeply human industry, brands must tap into the profound aspects of consumption: food’s power to spark creativity, catalyze shared experiences, and reflect our values.

What is brand planning?

Brand planning crafts a cohesive identity and direction for your food or beverage business. It goes beyond product features to define your company’s heart and soul—the ‘why’ behind your existence.

 A strong brand plan aligns your mission and vision, a specific understanding of your ideal customer, a clear position in the market, and a unique brand voice. This ensures a unified approach that resonates strongly with your target audience.

How does brand planning work in the food industry?

The food and beverage industry is particularly fertile ground for brand planning. It taps into fundamental human needs and the power of taste to evoke memories and inspire emotion. To succeed, strategic branding matters in these core areas:

  • Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, what makes you stand out? Brand planning defines your unique selling proposition, articulating the specific benefits and values that set you apart from competitors.
  • Consumer connection: Understanding your ideal customer goes further than demographics. It’s about getting into the nitty gritty of their lifestyle, aspirations, and the pain points or desires your product uniquely addresses.
  • Resonant messaging: Brand language shapes how people perceive you. Your messaging should be consistent and meaningful, crafted to resonate with your target audience’s values and interests.
  • Cohesive experience: Taste is essential, but the experience extends from packaging design to customer interactions. Brand planning ensures a consistent journey across all touchpoints, reinforcing your brand identity at every step.

Ready to expand your brand’s presence in the world of food and beverage? Discover Tastewise here.

How should a brand planning template look?

While templates provide a starting point, the most effective ones are customized to your business. A robust template includes sections for:

  • Situational analysis: An honest appraisal of your internal strengths/weaknesses, as well as external market opportunities/threats. This involves thoroughly assessing your current brand, competitors, and the overall industry.
  • Target audience identification: Zero in on who you’re truly trying to reach. Define your ideal customer in detail, going beyond demographics to understand their motivations, lifestyle, and the problems your product or service helps them solve.
  • Brand positioning crafting: Define your unique space in the market and how you want to be perceived. Develop a compelling positioning statement that differentiates your brand and highlights its value proposition.
  • Brand identity development: This includes your logo, color palette, typography, and brand voice. Create visual and verbal elements that embody your brand’s personality and resonate with your target audience.
  • Implementation & measurement: Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track success and guide continuous improvement. Establish measurable goals, track relevant data, and use insights to adjust your brand strategy over time.

What is strategic brand planning?

Strategic brand planning goes deeper than basic templates. This process is:

  • Insight-driven: Effective brand planning leverages market research and consumer data to ground decisions in real-world insights. This process ensures your brand strategy aligns with actual market needs.
  • Collaborative: For a holistic, shared brand understanding, you must nvolve stakeholders across the organization in the planning process. . Input from sales, marketing, product development, and other teams creates a unified vision and prevents siloed thinking.
  • Adaptive: The strongest brands continually assess their performance, making adjustments in response to changing trends and consumer sentiment.

Annual brand planning

Leading brands aren’t static. Taking part in annual brand planning sessions allows you to assess performance, align with consumer preferences, and make adjustments as necessary.


Q: Should brand planning be part of my business plan?
A: Absolutely. Your brand is a core business asset, and its strategy should be tightly woven into your overarching business plan.

What’s the difference between brand planning and a marketing plan?
A: Brand planning establishes the foundation – your who, what, and why. A marketing plan focuses on the how – specific tactics, channels, and campaigns to reach your target audience.

The food and beverage industry demands a continuous focus on understanding consumer preferences. Platforms like Tastewise offer invaluable insights by analyzing real-time consumer data, revealing emerging food trends, and shifting attitudes toward food. This knowledge empowers brands to refine their messaging, target their audience with precision, and develop concepts that truly resonate.

Building a beloved food or beverage brand takes a strategic approach. It’s about knowing your customers, crafting a compelling story, and staying adaptable. With the right insights and a strong brand foundation, you’ll be well-equipped for success.

Learn more about Tastewise, here.

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