A brand is the most valuable asset for a business and its strength is identified by its reputation and visibility in the market. The brand strategy development process involves creating and reinforcing professional services. A brand strategy is a detailed plan for establishing a unique identity for a business to attain its objectives. A brand strategy impacts all areas of a business and connects customers’ needs and emotions.
A good brand strategy needs to create a clear, fascinating and unforgettable image in minds of the audience. Its development needs a thoughtful and precise plan which cannot be done hurriedly. A brand strategy allows one to tell their brand story meaning and creating the image that it wants to send to the audience’s minds. It also bears the words and actions reflecting the purpose of its existence and the company’s standing point.
Why have a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy guides the business decision of the company; identify products and services to be developed, presented and marketed in the correct form. It informs why a business was started, the journey that has been to get to that point and the principles and beliefs of the company.
A brand strategy also helps improve brand’s recognition, increase trust and attract new customers through captivating storytelling. This helps customers connect with the band. A brand strategy will also help you and the team members be on the same page. It will inspire your employees and will also help inform other parties that you may work with such as creative agencies and freelance designers about the company.
Creating a brand strategy can be overwhelming and the following guidelines can form a baseline of where to start.
1. Analysis of the Overall Internal Brand
Establishing the foundations of the brand is necessary by asking crucial questions such as “Why do you exist”, “Who are you” etc. These questions help decipher the purpose, vision, mission and values of the company/brand. These values should represent the company’s beliefs, commitments and behaviour. A brand internalization should outline the decision making and long term goals of the company and the direction the company is going.
An introspection of the internal brand will help differentiate you from other companies offering similar products/services, identify the problem you are solving, and why should people care about your brand. Knowing your principles and why they matter is key in this stage since principles are commanding and have the ability to either support or bring down the company. The mission and vision should be reflected clearly either verbally or visually through the logo, colour, voice or messaging.
2. Identify the Target Audience
Determine the audience your brand intends to reach i.e. your mission and how to meet their needs. Identifying what the brand is offering and whether it is what people want should be among the guiding factors. The goal is to not only have a large audience but to maintain them and have their loyalty. Therefore, be specific in your targeting through:
- Identifying and understanding the behaviour of the customers (know who you are trying to sell to).
- Understanding what and why they are buying.
- Knowing their budgets and when they are buying the products or services.
Winning the target audience will involve good communication and emotional connection to win their trust.
Conduct a Brand Research
It is prudent to do market research before venturing into any business. Knowing what the market looks like and other competitors you are sharing spaces with helps position your brand well.
Brand research will help you be unique and avoid intimidation from the existing actors. It will also help you map out the competitive landscape and convince the customers why they need to purchase from you.
Brand research should explore what other competitors are doing or not, the market size, the quality of your competitor’s services, the market flourishment, the consistency of your competitors and the customers’ reviews or feedback regarding the existing products or services. Understanding this will give inspiration and strategic insights that will help stand out from competitors.
Establish the Brand Identity
A brand identity gives a company recognition and distinguishes it from others. The brand identity should channel the brand’s name, logo, tagline, values, missions and emotions to the audience. Form the brand identity around what the company should be identified for. This should include, establishing the brand’s visuals through the logo design, font style and colours, building the brand language and the brand style guide.
The brand identity should also incorporate marketing techniques and developing the brand’s online presence. It should contain elements of how to reach the audience and brand publicity such as the use of websites, social network platforms, product design and packaging, email designs, online marketing tools and advertisements and campaigns.
Having content and publishing should be part of the brand’s identity as a form of communicating with the customers and sharing more about your brand with them.
Review, Implement and Track the Brand Strategy
Having an unimplemented strategy is as good as having none. Implement the strategy once created. Conduct a review of the key areas; visuals, website and verbal’s, and ensure they are aligned with the company’s purpose and values.
It is important to constantly assess the brand’s influence on the customer’s purchase decision making, the awareness and the value of the brand to the audiences, the marketing strategy, and the brand’s emotional connection with the customers.
A solid brand strategy is a blueprint of the success of a company and should be accorded great attention. A brand strategy will determine the company’s growth and customer attraction, achieving the company’s vision as well as influencing the purchase, distribution and development of new products. As such, having a strong and feasible strategy will give your brand an upper hand over other similar companies in the market.