A brand represents a company’s intangible assets. The ones that make it worthy of customers and differentiate it in a competitive market. If you develop a solid strategy, you’ll be able to increase sales and improve your reputation in the industry. Consumers usually have emotions and thoughts associated with a specific brand, which influences their purchasing behaviour. An in-depth, purpose-driven strategy helps you turn these emotions into positive ones, which in consequence, increases the brand equity of your business.
A brand strategy is a term that encompasses a company’s reputation, products, and services it provides. The strategic plan covers the brand’s values, market position, goals, and ideal customer. These elements are required for a company’s team to operate in one direction, have a clear goal and make conscious and aligned decisions.
How do I build my brand strategy?
1. Define your vision, values, mission, and goals. What do you want to achieve? What are your core values? What is your company’s mission? What are your long-term and short-term goals?
- A company’s vision, goals, values, and mission are its foundation. They provide a framework for everything the company does and guide its decisions.
- A company’s vision is a long-term view of what the business wants to achieve. It should be ambitious and inspiring, something that motivates employees and drives the company forward.
- Goals are the specific objectives that a company sets out to achieve. They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
- Values are the principles that guide a company’s actions. They should be reflected in everything the company does, from the way it treats its employees to the products it sells.
- A mission statement is a brief statement of a company’s purpose. It should be clear and concise, and it should sum up what the company is all about.
A company’s vision, goals, values, and mission provide a foundation for everything it does. They guide its decisions and ensure that they are aligned with its long-term objectives. By having a strong foundation, a company can weather any storm and emerge even stronger.
2. Research your competition. Who are they? What are they doing well? What could you do better than them?
If you’re in business, it’s important to know who your competition is and what they’re doing. After all, if you don’t know what they’re up to, how can you stay one step ahead?
Fortunately, researching your competition is relatively easy. There are a few different ways you can go about it:
- Check social media. Social media is a great way to get insights into what your competition is up to. Most businesses have some presence on social media, so take a look at their profiles and see what they’re posting about. This can give you an idea of their marketing strategy, as well as any new products or services they might be launching.
- Talk to customers. If you want to really get an inside view of your competition, talk to their customers. See what they like and don’t like about the business. This can be a goldmine of information that you can use to improve your own business.
- Ask around. Sometimes the best way to research your competition is simply to ask around. Talk to other businesses in your industry and see who they consider being their biggest competition. This can give you some good leads to follow up on.
- Conduct a SWOT Analysis. A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to assess a company’s competitive position. The term SWOT stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” Such an analysis can be used to help develop business strategies, identify potential partners or suppliers, and understand the competitive landscape. There are a few different ways to conduct a SWOT analysis. One common method is to use a grid with four quadrants. In each quadrant, you would list the corresponding elements of the analysis.
Researching your competition is a crucial part of being in business. By taking the time to understand who they are and what they’re doing, you can stay ahead of the game and keep your business one step ahead.
3. Identify your target audience. Who are they? What do they need or want? What are their pain points?
Target audiences can be difficult to identify, but there are some key ways to go about it.
- First, consider your product or service. What are the unique selling points of your product or service? What needs does it meet? When you know what your product or service has to offer, you can start to think about who might be most interested in it.
- Do your research. Use market research tools like surveys and focus groups to learn more about potential customers. Look at demographic data to get an idea of who your target audience might be.
- Think about where your target audience spends their time. Where do they get their information? What websites do they visit? What magazines do they read? Knowing where your target audience hangs out online and offline will help you reach them more effectively.
- Define your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts? What are your business goals? Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can start to think about who your target audience might be.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to identifying your business’ target audience.
4. Create a brand identity. Your identity should be unique and memorable. It should reflect your values and mission. A brand identity embraces your logo, typography, colours, and creative/art direction. For the sake of simplicity, we will focus mainly on the logo in the tips below, but the same concept applies to the entire identity.
- Keep it simple. The best logos are usually the simplest ones. A complicated logo will be difficult for people to remember and recognise. Try to use basic shapes and colours that will be easy for people to associate with your brand.
- Make it relevant. Your visual identity should be relevant to your industry and target audience. For example, if you’re targeting a young demographic, you’ll want an identity that’s modern and hip. But if you’re targeting a more mature audience, a classic logo might be more appropriate.
- Use strong typography. Your brand identity should feature strong, legible typography. The fonts you use should be unique but also easy to read. Avoid using more than two different fonts in your logo.
- Use colour wisely. Colour is one of the most important elements of a visual identity. It can evoke certain emotions and help people remember your brand. When choosing colours for your visuals, make sure they’re appropriate for your industry and target audience.
- Make it scalable. Your logo should be scalable, which means it should look just as good on a business card as it does on a billboard. Keep this in mind when designing your logo. Avoid using too many details that will get lost when scaled down.
- Be original. There are millions of logos out there, so it’s important to make yours stand out. Avoid using clichéd images or symbols in your logo. And steer clear of trends—what looks modern today will look dated tomorrow.
- Hire a professional. Designing a brand identity is not something you should do yourself. A good designer will help you create a unique and memorable identity that reflects your values and mission.
5. Know how to implement your strategy. This includes creating marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as social media and public relations plans.
- Develop consistent Messaging. It’s important to use consistent messaging across all channels when promoting your brand. This means creating a style guide that outlines how your brand should be represented in terms of visuals (logo, color scheme, etc.) and copy (tone, voice, etc.). By having these guidelines in place, you’ll ensure that your company’s branding is always on point.
- Create a compelling Brand Story. People love stories, so make sure your brand has one. What is your business’ history? What was the motivation behind it? Why would customers love it? Once you have a strong brand story, you can use it to help market your business and connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
- Promote your brand through multiple channels. There are multiple channels you can use to promote your brand, so make sure to take advantage of as many as possible. This includes traditional channels like print, as well as digital channels like social media and email marketing. By promoting your brand across multiple channels, you’ll reach a wider audience and generate more leads.
- Evaluate and adjust your strategy regularly. Your brand strategy should be flexible and ever-evolving. As your business grows and changes, so too should your branding. Make sure to regularly evaluate your strategy and make adjustments as needed.
6. Evaluate your results. Are you meeting your goals? What could you improve upon?
When it comes to evaluating your company’s results, it’s important to take a comprehensive approach. Are you meeting your overall goals? What could you improve upon?
There are a few key areas you’ll want to focus on when assessing your company’s performance:
- Sales and revenue. This is perhaps the most obvious metric to track, but it’s also one of the most important. Are your sales and revenue increasing? If not, why not? What can you do to boost them?
- Customer satisfaction. Another critical metric, customer satisfaction can give you valuable insight into whether or not your products or services are meeting people’s needs. If you’re seeing a dip in customer satisfaction, what might be the cause?
- Employee satisfaction. Employees that believe in your business’ vision and purpose tend to be more productive and creative, so it’s important to track this metric. If you’re seeing a decline in employee satisfaction, what could be the root cause?
- Operational efficiency. Finally, you’ll want to take a look at how efficiently your company is running. Are there any bottlenecks or inefficiencies that you can address?
By taking a holistic approach to evaluating your company’s results, you can get a clear picture of where you’re excelling and where there’s room for improvement. Use this information to make strategic decisions about where to focus your energies in order to continue driving success.
A well-planned, purpose-led, well-considered, and tested brand strategy is essential for any business to succeed. Developing a strong brand strategy is certainly not an easy process, but will give your business a solid foundation.
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Download our FREE Brand Notion Board here. It will give you a place to gather your inspiration and help articulate your brand vision. It has several prompts to guide you through a DIY Brand Strategy. 🙂