Whether you’re a fresh start-up on the tech scene or an established multinational corporation, effective branding is important to the continued growth and success of your company. But a brand isn’t anything if you don’t have a concrete strategy behind it.
Your brand may be recognized by your name, logo, colors, ads, and product designs, but what your brand is, goes much deeper. Your brand is your reputation. It is the perceptions and emotional associations that live in the minds of your customers. It is what makes you identifiable and distinctive from the competition.
Customer perceptions shouldn’t happen by accident. The identity of your brand needs to be intentional, crafted, and carefully tended. That’s where brand strategy comes in.
- A brand strategy aligns with your marketing efforts.
It aligns all your marketing efforts across channels. It ensures your campaigns, imagery, and social media marketing share a consistent voice and vision. Consistency of message and identifiable branding are important for your marketing efforts to succeed.
- A brand strategy supports collaboration across teams.
A brand strategy provides a set of goals and a shared vision for your employees across teams. Your teams can see how their efforts contribute to the bigger-picture project and ensure that every decision helps achieve the larger branding goal.
- A brand strategy gives you metrics to measure success.
It is important to have clear metrics for success for any large project. Your brand strategy will set benchmarks for your teams and give them a shared set of metrics to measure the success of their efforts.
Today, We’ll be guiding you through a full guide on how to develop a branding strategy for your business.
Steps to develop a brand strategy:
1. First Audit your current branding and marketing strategy
2. Establish your brand purpose (business’s mission and vision, The “Why” etc.)
3. Develop your buyer persona
4. Identify and analyze your competitors
5. Develop your brand identity
6. Establish your visual identity (Logo, website, App, etc.)
Let’s begin with,
- Audit your current branding and marketing strategy
If you’re an established company looking to brand or rebrand, It’s quite essential that before a new strategy is planned, the current one be evaluated.
Branding does not necessarily have a start time. It’s since the moment you established your company that brand building has started for you. The first step to finding out what your company branding is, is to ask yourself: “What is the point of my business?”
- Take note of how you’ve been communicating with customers on social media and through your other support channels.
- Find out how your current logo makes people feel.
- Find out what your customers feel and think when they do business with you.
These are all things that your customers already identify you with, and these are the building blocks upon which you can build or pivot your marketing strategy so that you can continue growing.
- Establish your brand purpose (business’s mission and vision, The “Why” etc.)
Before promoting your products to your customers, you have to think about why you set up your business in the first place.
The “why” of your company is the purpose of every action you take in your company.
61% of consumers want brands to take a stand for causes they believe in.
The mission and vision statement work hand-in-hand to condense your brand in a few words. They should state what your company is now, and what it aims to be. They should be clear and comprehensive enough that your customers can read them and know what your brand is.
These two statements are part of your brand’s unique value proposition.
- Develop your buyer persona
A buyer persona is a profile of your target customers.
Beyond demographics, it represents a real person: what they go through in a day, what they like and dislike, which social media channels they use, etc.
Questions that should help you develop a buyer personas
- How old is your customer?
- Is your customer a man or a woman?
- Where does your customer live?
- What’s your customer’s household income?
- What does a typical day for your customer look like?
- Are there any causes your customer supports?
- Why is your customer buying your product?
- How does your customer use your product?
- How often does your customer buy your product?
- Why wouldn’t your customer buy your product?
- How does your customer like to communicate? (Social media, emails, texts)
Developing your buyer persona involves studying your customer data, as well as the data of your competitors and data from market research. Use all this data to target your customers successfully, and then make sure you’re the best company that they could come to for their needs.
- Identify and analyze your competitors
Your competitors are the other companies who can satisfy the needs of your target customers. The most obvious competitors are grouped into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors.
Take note of your biggest competitors and see what they’re doing right, and what they're still not doing right. Always be comprehensive when scoping out your competition. Check out their advertisements, social media, and customer service. This will lead you to some ideas for your brand, and maybe inspire you to create unique strategies of your own.
- Develop your brand identity
When customers think of your brand, a clear, distinct, and unique message should pop up in their heads instantly. Your brand identity is that message. It’s a message formed by your brand’s name, logo, tone, tagline, and everything else you’ve put out for your audience.
You have to make your brand identity strong enough for your audience so that when they see your brand’s logo — or maybe something related to your service — they instantly think of your brand.
Ensure you develop your brand centered around what you want your audience to think your brand is.
- Establish your visual identity (Logo, website, App, etc.)
A core element of any branding endeavor is to use the power of design to help communicate with your target audience. This is where a brand kit comes in. When thinking about your brand strategy, it’s important to ensure the visual elements of your brand (logo, brand colors, fonts, and product design generally) align with the overall brand strategy and what you are trying to achieve with your brand.
Don’t be afraid of refreshing or rebranding if it feels necessary! A rebrand can be a great way to bring your visual identity closer to alignment with your brand purpose or goals.
A great brand strategy is all it takes,
Having a concrete, well-researched, and adequately managed brand strategy can bring your company more customers and ensure your company’s growth. The strategy serves as a blueprint of your company’s success, and investing in your brand strategy will pay off once your company gets closer and closer to achieving its vision.
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