The world’s most popular brands didn’t just appear overnight. The hard truth is that it takes a lot of research and strategy to create a successful brand.
So what exactly is a brand strategy you may ask? It’s a comprehensive plan that encompasses your business long-term goals that will lead to success. Brand strategy determines how you move throughout a space, and influences how you show up in the world. It should guide every way in which you communicate and interact with your customers. It’s the fundamental planning piece of a reputable brand and business.
Brand strategy is so important because it can make or break you. Every component of brand strategy is a building block that helps distinguish you from the competition and makes you more recognizable to customers–ultimately building trust and loyalty.
Ideally, you want your brand strategy to outline your mission and goals for your business. The first step in brand strategy is determining your goals and priorities, and deciding what you want your outcome to be. Ask yourself these questions: Are you looking to build awareness? Are you selling a product/service? Are you solving a particular problem? You should also start thinking about your vision, mission, and purpose in this stage. Think about why your brand exists and the impact you want to have on your audience.
The next step in your brand strategy process is researching and analyzing competitors. You can do this by auditing competitors in the market to gain information. This includes doing a deep dive on their social media platforms and websites to evaluate their messaging and overall visual elements of their brand. See if they are actively engaging with customers and/or frequently posting. Along with their digital presence, you also want to look at their physical presence to evaluate their communication. Check out their marketing collateral (i.e. business cards) and signage to see if it aligns with how they show up online. Rate their cohesiveness of messaging, brand visuals, and see if it infuses the same personality and tone.
After getting a feel for the competitors, take a look at their audience–especially if you plan to serve the same target market. Brands are shaped by their audiences’ perceptions and experiences, so getting a peek at their mindset is critical to your current brand strategy. Look at how your audience responds to your competitors and understand what they’re known for. Use tools like case studies and social media polls to gather valuable feedback such as your audiences’ specific pain points. Then create solutions and offerings around those needs.
Knowing your target audience is essential to a strong brand strategy. So understanding their demographics, psychographics, and buying habits are so important. Furthermore, determine what they value the most. For instance, some may value convenience and detail over functionality and cost. This will give you a better feel of who they are and what motivates them.
Gathering this information will help you define your position in the market and find your place in a competitive landscape. You should ask yourself what makes your brand unique? What differentiates you from your competitors? Once those things are solidified, you’ll be able to determine your overall brand identity, which encompasses your messaging, visual elements, and brand emotion. This is where you’ll develop your tangible brand assets like color palettes, logos, and etc.
Brand strategy is complex, but when it’s done correctly, can truly help guide your business and build success. With clear goals and the right positioning, your brand will retain current consumers and ideally attract new ones. Strategy takes time and it comes before implementation so don’t choose short cuts if you want the best result!
Need some help in the brand strategy department? Contact me today to learn how I can assist. I’ll take a deep dive into your brand and give you tangible ways to improve your overall brand health.