7 Essentials to Brand Strategy
Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. If this is true, then developing a stronger brand strategy should be the most important task for any business.
Your brand is more than just your logo or core values. Although these are important aspects of your brand, they are just the beginning. Ultimately, your company should have a strategy to become the most valuable company in your market. Building and leveraging a compelling brand will help you cut in front of competitors and capture more market share.
For brands to succeed, they must skillfully attract and build genuine long-term relationships with people in an authentic way. Knowing who you are, your values and to communicate is essential in connecting to customers. That’s why knowing your brand strategy matters.
What is Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy encompasses specific long-term goals that can be achieved through a step-by-step plan. A well-curated and implemented brand strategy affects all aspects of your business and is directly associated with consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.
In essence, your brand strategy is your plan for how you and your team will create, shape, and deliver your brand. It’s the proposal of what your brand is and aspires to be, the purpose it serves, and how you articulate it to consumers. It’s a documented plan for your brand’s success.
We want to help you succeed, which is why we have created an 8-step brand strategy guide to help you get started.
7-Step Brand Strategy Guide
To make things easier, we’ve broken down the brand strategy development into 8 important steps.
Define Your Brand Purpose
In a marketplace where consumer confidence is low and budgetary caution is high, making a promise that separates one brand from another may not be sufficient, but rather defining your purpose.
While knowing what your business promises is necessary, understanding why you wake up every day and go to work is more substantial when defining your brand purpose.
We understand that making money is important to every business, but brands that emphasize a purpose profitability typically have a higher loyalty rate from consumers.
Describe Your Audience
Who is your target audience? Clearly defining your target audience offers higher growth rate and higher profitability. Typically, the narrower the focus, the faster the growth, and the more diverse the target audience, the more diluted your marketing efforts will be.
Dedicate sufficient time in researching what your best audience may be. Research to understand your target customer’s perspective and priorities which will give you the ability to anticipate their needs.
Commit to Consistency
Brand consistency can be a challenge for any company, but it is critical that you stay focused on your core values. In an effort to give your brand an established platform, it is imperative that all messaging and marketing content is cohesive.
Avoid weakening your brand by pushing unrelated messaging or creating misaligned products or services. Every connection with customers should enhance your brand in some way.
In order to develop your brand and ensure all aspects of your company are cohesive and consistent, consider the benefits of creating a style guide. A style guide can encompass everything from your brand’s tone of voice, logo uses, color scheme, etc., to help define the acceptable usage of all brand elements and the overall messaging to consumers.
Speak With Emotion
Logic brings customers to your door. Emotions are what drives the purchase.
How often do consumers buy a more expensive product for the name alone? People have an innate desire to build relationships. When a brand is committed to using an emotional branding strategy, they are more likely to connect with their customers and in turn, more likely to create a long-term relationship.
Find a way to connect emotionally with your customers on a deeper level. Will your brand make consumer’s lives easier or give them peace of mind or let them feel like part of a family? Use emotional triggers like these to help develop that emotional connection with your audience.
As mentioned before, achieving a consistent and coherent brand is essential when building brand recognition. While a style guide may help you develop an overall cohesive brand, it is equally important for your employees to be on board with how they should be communicating with customers.
If you have ever been to Chik-fil-A and spoken with one of their employees, you know exactly what we mean.
Chik-fil-A is committed to holding their employees to its core values and building a strong reputation for friendly and helpful customer service. By creating an emotional connection with customers through their employees, they have developed an extremely loyal customer base. Which brings us to the next point, loyalty.
If you have developed a brand that people love and are loyal to, don’t just sit there and pat yourself on the back. Reward your customers for that love.
Customers that have gone out of their way to write about you or tell their friends about you, act as brand ambassadors for your company. Promoting loyalty from these people will create returning customers, which in turn will help increase revenue for your business.
Take competition as a challenge to improve your own brand strategy and create greater value in your company. You are in the same industry and going after the same customers, right? So keep an on eye on what they do and how they improve their business.
Do some of their strategies succeed? Do some fail? Develop your brand positioning based on their experience to better your own company.