Learn how to create a killer brand strategy in 12 easy steps!
What is brand strategy and the importance of brand building?
There is a common misconception that having a branding strategy in place means having a cool logo, name, and tagline for your company. But in a real sense, branding is much more than just that.
You might be wondering, “so what is branding?”.
In simple words, a brand is a relationship between a company and its audience. It is defined by the perception the audience has about the company and the experience they have. Your brand strategy is all about what your company stands for, the promise you make, and the personality you convey.
Although a brand strategy includes a logo, name, tagline, and colour pallet, these are just the creative elements that help convey your brand to the audience.
A brand strategy consists of various elements like
- The images you convey
- The way your employees interact with your customers
- The messages you deliver on your website and other platforms
- Your customer’s opinion of you compared to your competitor
The next question could be, “how to develop a brand strategy?”
The truth is building a brand strategy is not an easy process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Building a brand strategy is an ongoing process that involves continuous inputs and assessments.
But what we can tell you is that building a brand strategy can help you increase your sales and referrals.
Are you wondering where to start?
The leading Marketing and Branding companies in India suggest starting by figuring out which category your business falls under.
Your customers and prospects know what your company delivers and what it stands for.
Your prospects do not have a consistent view of your product/ company.
You do not have a defined brand strategy.
It is easier for you to sell your products/ services as your prospects support what you say.
You think that you can do a better job at sales if you have a brand strategy in place.
Your prospects have no idea of your product and why it’s better than your competitor’s.
You dictate the prices and the consumers are willing to pay it as they know why you are better than the others.
You are neither hurting your business nor helping it.
Basically, your competitors are doing much better than you. It is easier for them to acquire your prospects.
Steps for success
1. Identify your positioning
The brand’s positioning is the place in the consumers’ mind that you want your brand to own. To identify your brand’s position, think about what makes your company unique. It is all about where your products, service, and culture are positioned in the market, i.e., the consumers’ mind.
For example, Apple uses its high-end innovative company culture and products to create a unique brand experience that evokes the feeling of style and status amongst its customers.
2. Define your target audience
By keeping in mind who your target audience is, you can create a brand identity that your audience can understand and relate to. Tailor your mission and message to meet their specific needs. This will help you attract the people who will be interested in your business, click your ad and subscribe to your emails.
3. Form a mission statement
A mission statement defines an organization’s core purpose of existence. A mission statement should encompass everything from your logo, to tagline, voice, message, and personality of a brand.
So, we suggest that you start small and always focus on your target audience while defining the brand mission.
4. Research your biggest competitors
Don’t skip this step as this is a crucial one. We are not asking you to copy what the big brands are doing. But it is good to be aware of what they do. The goal is to differentiate from the competitor, to convince a customer why they should choose you over your competition.
5. Outline the significant qualities and benefits of your brand
Think hard about what you offer, that no one else is offering and how what you are offering will add value to the lives of your customers. Focus on the qualities and benefits of your brand that make your company unique.
6. Design a logo and tagline
This is a no-brainer! Creating a logo and tagline is perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about building a brand. The logo of your company is crucial as it appears on everything that relates to your business. So, be willing to invest time and money to create something that will help you reinforce the visual identity of your business. Hire a Corporate Identity Design Agency, if the need be.
7. Build a brand message
Make your brand message simple and clear. It should not be about what your product can do, but why it is important to the consumers. It is an opportunity to have a direct emotional connection with the audience, so it should encompass three things:
- Who you are
- What you offer, and
- Why people should care
8. Apply your brand strategy into every aspect of your business
Your brand should be reflected in everything that your customers see, hear, and read. Right from business cards, to advertisements, to packaging and products should have the logo of your business. For digital platforms, make sure there is a consistency with colours, fonts, photography, etc.
9. Be consistent
Once you have your branding strategy in place, don’t keep changing it, as inconsistency only leads to more confusion amongst your customers. Until you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective based on your consumer response, stick to your existing strategy. Make sure you document your branding guidelines and distribute it internally.
10. Define a brand voice
Being amongst the top Branding agencies of Ahmedabad and having worked with hundreds of clients, we highly recommend forming a brand voice. A brand voice can depend on various factors like your mission, industry and your target audience. It’s the way you connect with your customers. Depending on the factors mentioned above, a brand voice can be friendly, promotional, technical, professional, etc. Maintaining a consistent brand voice, especially when publishing blog articles or social media posts, can help your brand recognizable across platforms in the same way.
11. Be your brand’s biggest promoter
No one knows your brand as well as you do, so when hiring new employees, make sure that they are a fit for your company culture, mission, and values.
12. Measure regularly and effectively
One of the important steps in branding is to know whether your strategy was effective or not. You need to measure it before, during and after implementation. There are ways to find that out. You could start by measuring conversions on landing pages or checking the total social media shares. You can start with being well versed with tools like Google Analytics. This will help you measure your efforts and optimize them in the future for better strategies.
What’s our take?
Brand building is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Without a brand, the business lacks an identified purpose, and this can hamper your business from standing out from the competition.
And that’s not what you want!
A strong brand can help build a deeper level of trust amongst your customers. So, put your efforts into developing a consistent brand message and visual identity to reinforce your business’s mission.
You can always take help of corporate brand development expert, but on the contrary, you can start working on brand building on your own.
Just remember the following steps to build a kickass brand strategy
- Identify your positioning
- Define your target audience
- Form a mission statement
- Research your biggest competitors
- Outline the significant qualities and benefits of your brand
- Design a logo and tagline
- Define a brand voice
- Build a brand message
- Apply your brand strategy into every aspect of your business
- Be consistent
- Be your brand’s biggest promoter
- Measure regularly and effectively
Facing hurdles in building your brand strategy? Have examples of mind-blowing brand building that you’d like to share? Comment below!
Originally published at www.raredevs.com on August 6, 2018.