Nobody ever opens the doors of their business only to end up closing after a short while. However, many businesses don't make it to the top since they know nothing about the relationship between brand strategy and business success. Whether you're new in the market or already in operation, you need a brand strategy to gain traction.
Without a well-defined brand strategy, your business will look like something without vision or identity. A business with no brand strategy is like something with no plan for long-term success. A brand strategy is like the personality, attributes, and characteristics of your business.
This is what will help you build your business, attract clients, and position your services. An effective one is the correct guide you have with you in influencing your target audience's opinion. This article outlines how to come up with an effective brand strategy that will help you create long term business success.
Start by Understanding What a Brand Strategy Is
A brand strategy is simply defined as a systematic plan that helps develop your brand and align it to your business goal. This is what helps you understand who you are and helps you communicate what you promise to deliver. It's the identity of your business in the eyes of all the stakeholders concerned.
If you do it well, a brand strategy will help shape what people surrounding your business think about it. And by these, it means everyone, including your customers, staff, and competitors. Do you think people love brands such as Apple, Coca Cola, or Google by chance?
These companies have worked on their brand strategies and products. They have managed to position their brands in a certain way in the eyes of their customers. This has helped people to identify with them, and they will now choose them anytime.
Why Does Your Business Need a Brand Strategy?
Creating a solid brand strategy is important for any business that wants to stand out. The business world is so competitive that you must position yourself to get ahead. Without a brand strategy, your business is deemed to lose in the long run.
But you must also know that successful brand strategies were not built overnight. Successful strategies such as that of Apple went through a process to help determine what business needs to succeed. Here is a summary of the reasons you need a brand strategy development.
Your Brand Needs To Stand Out
A brand strategy plan is unique to your business; hence will make you stand out. It positions your business in the minds of your target customers. You'll be speaking clearly and directly to your customers in a sea of competitors and still manage to get noticed.
Helps Build a Strong Culture
No business can ever succeed without a strong organizational culture. Building a strong culture for your company starts with coming up with a solid brand strategy. This is what will articulate the mission, vision, and values of your company.
With a good brand strategy, you'll have a foundation that guides how you interact with your customers. It will also guide your team's behavior and how they show up to work every day. It gives your staff a clear sense of purpose and creates loyalty.
It Streamlines Marketing
With an established brand strategy, you're assured your marketing efforts will be more productive even if done remotely. The brand strategy will make it easy for you to identify how and where to market. Without a strategy, successful marketing becomes more like a struggle.
Helps With Consistency
A brand strategy will help your company develop consistency. It will help you have a clear understanding of what and how you communicate any message concerning your brand. You'll have a common written and visual language in everything you do.
Clear Decision Making
A good brand strategy guides decision making for any business. It will help you see clearly what's consistent with your brand. This gives you a framework to ask questions aligned with who you are and what you plan to achieve.
How to Build a Brand Strategy for a Successful Business
Now you know what branding strategy is and why your business needs it. Do you think it's something you want to adopt? If the answer is yes, then you're ready to move to the next section, which helps you develop a successful business by learning how to build a brand strategy.
Here is what you need to understand to come up with a successful brand strategy.
Start by Building Brand Identity
Your brand identity is also known as the core business identity. It's what you stand for as a business. It's your core, why, mission, and values.
To identify yourself, you should start by answering why you started your business. Experts will refer to this as your vision statement. It's what creates hope for the world and the goal that defines every single activity you partake in within your business.
You also need to identify yourself with the core mission of your business. This is what you do and what you want your audience to think about when they hear about your business. It's the work you're engaging yourself in every day so that you achieve your vision.
Lastly, you should identify yourself with your core values. This is how you carry out your work in the organization. It's what you believe in and that which drives your organization's culture.
Define Your Target Audience
The first thing you should ask yourself when you start building a brand strategy is the 'who' question. Yes, who are your customers, and what can you learn from them regarding your brand? You should start by creating well-detailed customer personas and have a deeper look at the people you're trying to sell to.
Understanding your customers helps reveal details about your brand strategy and marketing dilemma. Without well-detailed customer personas, you'll only waste your marketing efforts and miss out on marketing opportunities. Even when you already know your customers, make sure you document them in your brand strategy.
You need a detailed description of your ideal customers. This is not just about telling people that your audience is young women that love sports. You need to build a clear description of the person and go beyond the demographics.
A good audience profile also helps you craft a marketing message that connects with people. You need to make them feel that the message was directed to the people you're trying to attract. With this foundation, your messaging will be directed to the audience, and they can develop a stronger relationship with your brand.
Know Your Competitors
To build a successful brand strategy, you must also know who's against you. Knowing your biggest competitors is the first step to figuring out how you're going to stand out. Have your competitor landscape paint a clear picture of where you sit and how to grow from there.
While trying to understand your competitors, you need to ask yourself three questions.
What are they up to? What is their customer service process? What are they doing on their social media marketing platform or website?
Check if there's any space that your competitor isn't filling and find a way to fit there. For instance, if they're
running a successful Instagram account and are dormant on Facebook, find a way to go the Facebook way.
The main goal of knowing your competitors is so that you try to gain a competitive advantage. Trying to be specific can work in making your target audience see you and understand that you're coming up with a perfect solution for their needs.
Once you understand your competitors and know your competitive advantage, you'll not look and sound like everyone else. Being unique is, no doubt, the key to developing a successful brand strategy.
Brand positioning answers the 'where' question. This is where your brand currently sits on the market and where you hope to reach in the near future. This part is mainly about telling your story.
Your business's brand positioning tells the world what you do, the people you serve well, and the benefits of your products/services. Brand positioning comes in simple one or two sentences that guide your marketing efforts and steer your business forward.
With perfect positioning, you also need a good understanding of your audience. You must know their problems, needs, and those players in your space. Once you understand this, you need to start working on whatever you're doing to make it appealing to the audience.
Any adjustments you make when positioning your brand doesn't have to affect your business. You need to understand that brand positioning is all about perception. The way you present your brand to your audience makes a huge difference in how you want your brand to be remembered.
Create Your Brand Personality
Creating your brand personality is an essential part of your brand positioning. Your brand personality is the foundation of the communication you'll have about your brand. Do you want to look more polished or do you prefer something fun and laid back?
Well, the approach you choose to have for your business will depend on your industry. A brand personality will breathe some life into your business. It will help your business act or provide services that are more relatable to your audience.
To create a good brand personality, you should think about what you need to show to the world and create a personality around it. Creating a brand personality will make your marketing message stand out.
Your personality is basically your human characteristics. How can you describe yourself as a person? Are you charming, enthusiastic, crazy, or sophisticated?
With an intimate reflection of your personality, you can easily understand your beliefs and better control your behavior. An intimate understanding of your personality helps you infuse it into your brand and your customer service. You can easily differentiate yourself and cultivate relationships.
Think About Your Key Brand Messages
Key messages are what you're going to communicate about your brand. If you get strong messages, your audience will remember this for the longest time. They will serve as a perfect guidepost for your marketing efforts.
To package your brand message well, you need to think of three important themes. You can package your message in a short phrase or a word. An example of key themes for your message can be simplicity, compassion, and affordability.
Whatever theme you choose for your message, you will build a supporting language that will skyrocket your marketing efforts. You should be training to create a perfect message that will help your marketing team to come up with a perfect brand strategy. How you communicate your message is what's going to make your brand unique.
A single message will put you out to the world. This is what will reflect your values, story, mission, and positioning.
Whatever way you choose to do your brand message, make sure it's consistent across audiences. You can tweak it slightly depending on whom you're talking to.
The Success of Your Business Depends on Your Brand Strategy
A brand strategy for your business will see you bring value to your client and raise the bar for your business performance. A proven strategy framework enables your clients to think and see you as a competent and trustworthy person. Brand strategy is also about your company's reputation in the eyes of customers, staff, and competitors.
If you have no idea how to develop a brand strategy that will foresee the success of your business, we're here for you. Irving Gil Designs will be ready to offer perfect brand services for your small business.
Schedule a consultation with us, and let's get started in creating a perfect brand that will see your business succeed.