If you're looking to reposition your brand, we're here to help you on the path to success. Essentially, a brand strategy should be the first document you put together to identify the purpose and vision behind your company. Understanding the brand positioning and brand awareness strategy can take a lot of time to put together, which is why many companies don't survive if they're not working on it.
In this guide, we're going to share everything you need to know about building a brand strategy so you can start working on your brand marketing strategy straight away.
What is branding strategy?
Let's break it down, so we're on the right path together. To be clear, brand strategy isn't synonymous with marketing, your logo, or your product.
Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room.
The brand is essentially the face of your business that emotionally connects to your customers, which will build them into becoming long-time fans.
Companies like Apple or Nike, for example, have built some of the most well-loved brands globally because they know who their brand is and who their customers are. While most companies don't have the same size budgets as Apple or Nike to boost their brands, you can learn a lot about how to perfect your brand goals by encompassing what these powerhouses have achieved.
Therefore, a brand strategy definition connects the target audience on an emotional level that affects all levels of the business. It's a long-term plan designed to achieve a series of goals encompassing the brand's mission and its vision for the customers.
So, it comes as no surprise when you hear the term 'being on brand'; it actually means connecting with the customers on the correct emotional level to attract and maintain loyal customers.
Why is brand strategy important?
Building a brand strategy is crucial for several reasons. Achieving a well-defined brand identity facilitates seamless alignment with the overarching marketing team strategy. It's vital to note that marketing and brand strategies are distinct entities. By establishing a robust brand strategy, you ensure consistency across all your marketing campaigns, fostering the creation of a loyal audience that readily recognizes your brand.
Here's what a solid brand strategy can do for your business:
- Defines purpose and vision: A brand strategy serves as the guiding document that defines the purpose and vision behind a company. It articulates the fundamental goals and values that drive the business, providing a clear direction for all organizational activities.
- Ensures consistency: Consistency is key in building a strong brand. A well-defined brand strategy ensures that every aspect of your brand – from messaging and visuals to customer interactions – remains consistent. This consistency fosters trust and recognition among your target audience.
- Aligns teams: A comprehensive brand strategy aligns different teams within an organization. When everyone understands the brand's core values and goals, they can work cohesively towards a unified vision. This alignment enhances efficiency and minimizes the risk of conflicting messages.
- Builds brand recognition: A consistent and well-defined brand strategy contributes to brand recognition. When consumers can easily identify and remember your brand, it creates a lasting impression. This recognition is vital in a competitive market, helping your brand stand out.
- Fosters customer loyalty: Brands that resonate with their target audience on an emotional level are more likely to build customer loyalty. A brand strategy helps in creating a unique brand personality that connects with customers, building a loyal customer base over time.
- Guides marketing efforts: A brand strategy serves as the foundation for marketing initiatives. It outlines the key messages, target audience, and channels to be used in marketing campaigns. This guidance ensures that marketing efforts are focused, effective, and aligned with the overall brand vision.
- Differentiates from competitors: In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is key. A brand strategy helps identify and articulate what sets your brand apart from competitors. This distinctiveness is crucial for attracting and retaining customers who resonate with your unique value proposition.
In essence, a brand strategy is not just a document; it is a dynamic tool that shapes the identity, perception, and success of a business. It is the compass that guides every decision, ensuring that your brand remains true to its essence while adapting to the ever-changing business landscape.
Defining your brand
Understanding the core motivation behind building your brand is the key to breathing life into it. This clarity not only enables you to express your brand but also attracts the right customers and fosters a community that propels the growth of your business. In essence, discovering the authentic rationale behind your brand lays the foundation for its vitality and success by cultivating a meaningful connection with your audience.
You'll need to put a few practices in place to find your brand identity and brand values. Think about your brand purpose, vision, mission and values!
1. Brand purpose
If you don't know the purpose of creating a brand, will it succeed? Think about what is the reasoning behind the brand? Why does it exist? What are you trying to achieve? There must be more meaning behind it other than to make a profit. When you can nail down the why, it will make your employees feel valued and excited to come to work every day, which will build the company's reputation and work culture.
2. Brand vision
When thinking about the brand vision, you'll need to think about the ideas behind the brand that will guide its future. What does the future of the brand look like? When you nail the brand vision, it will tie in with all aspects, especially the business strategy. Essentially, you could build the entire company around the brand vision.
3. Brand mission
Don't confuse brand vision with the brand mission! The brand mission is designed to communicate the purpose and how it will help the audience. This is an action implemented principle which will give the customers an idea of what the business does and how it will help them.
4. Brand values
Don't forget to think about the brand values which shape every aspect of your business. As the central focus of the brand, the values should be designed to showcase how unique your company is through brand messaging, personality, and identity.
5. Competitor research
While you're defining the brand and who it is, you'll need to simultaneously make sure you conduct a thorough competitor analysis to know who you're competing against. Make sure you can clearly define your business's strengths and weaknesses, which could ultimately impact branding decisions.
You can assess your competitors through using a combination of SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRUSH, for example. You'll need to define what your competitors do better, especially regarding the brand building strategy.
Bringing your brand to life
Now that you've discovered your why, it's time to bring your brand to life by understanding its personality, tone, and voice. Truly understand who your audience is, who your competitors are, and what messaging you will be communicating to build the brand.
6. Brand personality, tone and voice
Let's bring your brand to life by identifying the personality, tone and voice!
When understanding the brand's true personality, you'll need to nail who you are. Is the brand edgy, or sophisticated? Is it young and modern or corporate and professional? While these are just a couple of examples, make sure you understand your brand's personality so you can make it shine throughout the business.
7. Understand who your audience is
As you give your brand personality, tone, and voice, you'll need to make sure you align it with your target audience. Think about your primary customer and how you can help them with your business. You might have the buyer personas in mind, allowing you to uncover more details about who they are, what emotions they are going through, and how you can connect with them through your brand strategy.
When you create a customer profile that dives into who the customer is and their lifestyle, you'll be able to identify who your audience is.
8. Convert with the right messaging
When you get the brand messaging right, you'll be able to convert your audience into buyers when the messaging refers to the underlying value proposition. Any successful brand will understand its buyers so well that the messaging will reflect their intent. Think about how your content will be inspirational or motivational, for example, and how it will ultimately make your customers want to buy your product or use your service.
9. What tagline will be memorable?
When you think of a famous tagline, I'm sure Nike's 'Just do it' comes to mind? A tagline is usually a one-liner catchphrase that summarises your brand. You'll want to encompass everything about the brand's voice, identity, purpose, and core values all in one sentence that will be captivating and, most of all, memorable. Sounds difficult? But when you get it right, your brand will instantly become recognizable and memorable.
Your next task is to decide on how you'll convey the brand visually. This means you'll need to encompass everything about the brand in the logo, typography, color, imagery, and additional elements to bring the visual identity to life.
10. The all important logo
For example, when you think of Apple, you'll instantly think of the logo, right? While the brand strategy isn't just about the logo, it is one of the most critical aspects of building a brand strategy. Think about how you can bring all of the core brand values and voice into one logo.
Will you use a pictorial logo like Apple? Or will you go for a type-faced logo like FedEx? Maybe a mixed logo with copy and an image might be more suitable? The options are endless and could potentially take a lot of time with various stakeholders across the business to work on it together.
11. Think about the typography
The brand typography brings your copy to life, aligning with the messaging and your brand personality. It goes hand in hand with the design, brand voice, and marketing across all business channels. When you choose the typography for your brand, it will give it meaning and deliver the brand consistency for the visual identity.
12. Choose your colors
As with typography, you'll need to choose the colors to make your branding come alive. If you're unsure where to start with selecting the right colors for your brand strategy, you might like to look back at your previous branding and choose a couple of colors and build your color palette from there.
Think about using up to four complimentary tones to make your branding unique. You'll also need to think carefully about the colors you'll be using for hyperlinks and buttons throughout the site to keep consistency as well.
You can't forget about brand imagery when building your brand strategy. While imagery will help develop the brand story and brand purpose, you'll want it to guide your customers to feel like they can see the brand in person. When you get the copyright to convey the brand messaging, this will help the customer gain an emotional connection with the brand imagery.
But, don't be fooled! You don't need one image to be at the forefront of your customers' minds regarding the brand. The brand image involves many aspects such as loyalty, trust, confidence, value, emotion, reputation, belief, and impression.
14. Create your brand strategy template with an authoring tool
Having gained a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in building a brand strategy, it's time to put that knowledge into action with the help of Coassemble's free Course Builder. Simply drag and drop your content into the Course Builder created by our training experts! You can add screens, move screens and customize your content to build a brand strategy you'll be proud of. Add in a quiz to break the content up and make learning fun so that your team and stakeholders understand all aspects of your brand story and branding strategy.
Now, armed with your newly acquired insights, take the next step in shaping your brand narrative. Coassemble's interactive authoring tool empowers you to design and refine elements of your brand strategy in real-time. Take control of your brand' narrative and see the impact instantly!
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