how to develop your brand strategy

how to develop your brand strategy

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word "brand" is probably a logo. However, a brand is so much more than just a logo. Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. They don't talk about your name and logo, but how you make them feel and their perspective of you.

Your brand embodies a concept in the hearts and minds of your customers. You can shape your brand with your actions, your message, the way you communicate with your customers, and so on. You can choose how you want to be seen. You can choose how you want to appear in your customer's mind, but this can only be possible with a brand strategy. Let's dive into what a brand strategy is.

what is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy is a long-term plan on how to get the brand from where it is today, to where it wants to be. It sets the tone for all design and marketing communication. It helps you bridge the gap between how your target audience perceives your brand and how you want them to perceive it. It also makes sure that you understand their true needs and wants, which helps you solve their problems and make their lives better.

Being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming, and sometimes you feel frustrated trying to grow your business. It’s not because the colors of your brand aren’t perfect. You probably just don’t have a strong brand strategy that will help you upscale your business.

the seven key elements of a brand strategy

There is no brand strategy template that every brand uses around the world. In fact, I don't think there should be because each and every brand is unique. However, there are core elements that most people would agree should be included in an effective brand strategy.

The seven key elements we’re going to look at here are: (1) Why are you in business? (2) Value proposition, (3) The unique point of view, (4) Target audience, (5) Positioning, (6) Visual identity; and (7) Messaging.

Here is how you can go about developing these brand elements for your business.

(1) why are you in business?

Simon Sinek says it perfectly, "People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it." It’s great that you have an incredible product/service but communicating a strong vision for what you are trying to accomplish will encourage people who share your vision to purchase from you. Your purpose is the reason your brand exists. It should make you want to jump out of bed every morning and hustle. It is the reason why you strive to bring out the best out of your brand.

You may have started your business because you want freedom and you desire to make your own decisions, but you'll need to consider the bigger picture. You can choose to call it your vision, mission statement, but you must have a clear understanding of why you are in business. It should be your calling, something you are passionate about. 

 

 

(2) value proposition

Value proposition is the bedrock of your business and the key to your sales success. It is what makes you stand out from the competition. Your business should have a unique offering in the eyes of your target audience. If not, you are just another commodity in the market. Value proposition is what you offer and what sets you apart from the rest.

Your value is the soul of your brand: What you want to be known for. The truth is you can’t be everything to everyone, so defining your values will help you make better decisions for your brand. Your value should be clear. For example, honesty, integrity, and good customer service are values that you should possess; otherwise, you shouldn’t be in business. Be different, be YOU! 

(3) unique point of view

What kind of person would your brand be if it were a person? This one is a little more delicate, but it can guide your decisions on how you communicate, the type of content you share, and the tone of voice you use with your audience. Try to be as descriptive as possible. Is your brand approachable and casual or elegant and refined? Modern or conventional? Fun and eccentric or traditional and dependable? The clearer the image, the more useful it will be.

(4) your target audience

As I have mentioned in my past articles, YOU are not for everyone, which is perfectly OK, but you must learn to know the people who are meant for you. Your brand can’t focus on everyone so focus on your ideal client base and target audience.

Understanding one crucial concept—that it's not about you—is the first step in creating a successful brand. By better understanding your target audience and the more profound needs and wants they have, it is possible to make sure that the brand elements you develop and invest in communicate messages that are acceptable for your target audience and ultimately result in a long-lasting customer relationship.

(5) positioning

Positioning is all about standing for something unique and valuable to your customers, something that sets you apart from the competition. You want to be absolutely certain about the benefits that your products and services offer. Each of these benefits requires “a reason to believe”-a method of establishing your credibility.

Include any unique benefits that will set you apart from the competition. For example, let's say you own a restaurant. A basic benefit, a requirement that you have to meet, is "a delicious and healthy meal”. You also need to find ways you can be different from your competitors-maybe your restaurant provides an ambience that makes them feel more at home or they are treated like royalty.

(6) build your visual identity

Your visual identity is what enables your customers to recognize you. They are the meaningful design assets that customers will see and experience, such as your brand name and logo, as well as any taglines, color palettes, typography, shapes, and so on. Your goal here is for your customers to recognize your brand in all of your communication-even if you conceal the brand name. This means being strategic and consistent in how you communicate your brand’s purpose, values, and benefits across all resources and marketing channels.

When building your visual identity, consider color meanings and psychology so that you can come up with a unique logo and the right packaging for your brand and customers. You can find articles in my blog that dig deeper into these subjects. 

(7) messaging - what does your brand feel like?

Your brand's message is the way your brand communicates its values through verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. Your brand message can motivate or inspire them to buy your products or services. Brands can have stage fright as well, believe it or not. When you have your customer's attention, you may have the words in mind but can't quite get them out.

A Brand message is far more difficult than simply "do it." But doing so is essential to your success. Your brand messaging covers more than just the offers and services you offer. In fact, it's one of the best strategies for attracting new clients.

take action now

If you’re lacking any of these elements, try to spend some time examining what they would look like for your brand. You might be eager to start sharing your work, but putting this method to work now will save you a ton of work, money, and stress in the long run with inconsistent and poor communication.

Once your brand strategy has been created, check to see if it's consistent throughout all of your current touchpoints, including your website, “about” page, and social media accounts. Make sure that your goals and values are present in everything that you do; it's not just about the logo or visual elements.

 

xoxo, 

Megan

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