It is vital to have a brand strategy as it directly affects your businesses’ overall identity. Whether you are just starting up or needing a bit of a remodel, if the strategy is lacking, the strength of the brand will suffer. Depending on shifts and changes within your industry, there may be times where the strategy needs to be updated, therefore, evaluating your business plan every so often is a wise decision.
A brand strategy is a plan put in place to define who you are, what you do, and how you are going to do it. This process should not be rushed, rather given the proper amount of time to research and discover the life you want your business to have. Altogether, the strategy makes up all the components of your business identity that consumers are able to identify and understand.
Your brand is far more than just the colors and tagline you assign it, it is the lifeblood of your business and needs to stand out to survive. Read below to learn about the five necessary components of developing a strong brand to help kickstart your strategy.
The purpose of your brand answers why you exist and what problems you solve for your customers. Upon answering these questions you will develop a “promise” that you provide to your audience. This promise gives you a competitive stance within the marketplace and should have an edge that sets you apart. Have clear objectives across a timeline to ensure that your plan is achievable and growth continues. Once your goals are clear, create a mission and vision statement that is available for any audience to see.
The mission statement will be a compelling statement about why you do what you do and how you do it. Be clear, but be convincing, remember you want to showcase your quality of services. At this point, the vision statement is practically already written if you have properly defined your objectives. Combine the goals of your company with where you hope to see influence down the line. The purpose is a vital aspect, without it, you lack the navigation that will ultimately guide you in realizing your goals.
You know what you do and why you do it, but more importantly, you have made that clear to the marketplace. Now it is time to really work on the selling components. Brand identity is what many people think branding is as a whole. In reality, this is just an aspect of cultivating a strong brand, but it is a significant one. People are more visual than ever before, and thus in the 21st Century for your business, the image really is everything. This can be an extensive process, but it is also can be a time to get your creative juices flowing, brainstorm with colleagues, and enjoy giving your brand real personality. Brand image encompasses elements such as packaging, taglines, logo design, brand voice, color palette, etc. If you don’t feel confident about your creative ability, hire a consultant or marketing agency and have fun with it!
Focus. Focus. Focus. Do your business a favor and research who your desired audience is. In marketing, this is considered a target audience and without this step, you risk being a loud voice in a void space. To determine your specific demographic, ask questions such as what is my desired age-range? What income level am I wanting to reach? What are their occupations? Where do they live? These may seem like intrusive questions but luckily, the internet has all the answers and you do not need to make hundreds and thousands of calls to obtain them. Once you define your audience, you are better equipped with the tools to reach their eyes and ears.
Once you have created a strong base for your business identity, it is time to take a look at the competition. You not only want to know who you are going up against but also gather information on how they are doing things that may be helpful to you such as how they target their audience, how they position their products, what media their business shows up in, etc. This analysis should be dense in order to provide you with more information on where you stand and what steps you may need to be taking.
Finally, reevaluate all the work you have done thus far and ensure that all content, colors, packaging etc. are consistent with the brand identity you decided on. If you are on any social media platforms, go through the same process and make sure your voice is consistent with that on your website. Consistency is key to creating a strong strategy that is able to withstand across time. Stay true to your goals, and mission statement as you continue to develop your business.