Developing a brand strategy can be one of the most difficult processes to undergo, especially when starting out as a new business. Some companies have decades of history to draw upon, but often times that doesn’t make the task any easier. Creating a brand strategy from scratch isn’t easy, but at the same time, the process is an exciting and unique challenge for business owners. Similar to constructing a house, there’s a lot of thought that goes into creating a strong foundation for a successful brand strategy to be built atop of. Here are the six key elements that we choose to focus on when developing a brand strategy.
This is usually an easy one, and therefore a great place to start your brand strategy! Who is going to be purchasing your product, or signing up for your service? Determine their age, gender, income, location, as well as some other interests that may help to better define them. Aiming to target a wide range of people? Having multiple target audiences is normal, especially for larger businesses, but it is important to ensure that your messaging will reach all of these audiences. Don’t isolate anyone! If you need a little extra help, we’ve written a few articles in the past about what affects certain age demographics buying habits.
Figure out what it is exactly that makes your brand unlike any others on the market, and what your customers should expect when they engage with your product or service. Consider the brands you interact with on an everyday basis; what separates them from their competition and how do they deliver on their brand promise? What separates a cup of coffee from Starbucks, versus a cup from McDonald’s? An iPhone from an Android?
Defining how you would like others to perceive your brand can be a tricky process, especially if you’re unsure how exactly your brand is perceived in the first place. Start off by defining how you would like others to perceive your brand, then consider doing some research into seeing whether or not your ideals match up with the public opinion. Understanding your customer and what drives them is a big part of this process, so make sure you haven’t skipped over defining your target audience. Finally, be realistic. You might not win everyone over immediately. Make sure you’re delivering on your brand promise. There are a lot of brands out there nowadays, so focus on standing out and targeting a specific niche; appealing to all audiences should not be your first priority.
Outlining what values, in particular, your brand is centered around can help you to make decisions as a business that is in line with your overall brand strategy. Values are what your brand aims to embody. Maybe these values are as simple as “Innovative” or “Quality”, or more complex, abstract ideas. The main focus is to ensure that your brand remains in line with these values, to help deliver an experience that is consistent with all of your audience.
Your brand will interact with others a lot, that’s just the nature of business; so invest time to decide what exactly the personality of your brand will be? Is it going to be upbeat and playful, or straightforward and professional? Refer back to your target audience to help refine how your brand will communicate with others, and consider how they interact with one another regularly. Make sure your voice is genuine and consistent with your brand’s values.
Brand positioning can be thought of as defining how do you want to be perceived in the minds of your audience. Crafting a one (or two) sentence “positioning statement” is a great way to go about this process. This statement should include who your target audience is, the benefits of your brand, your competition, and how you follow through on your brand’s promise. The more comprehensive the brand positioning statement is, the more directed your overall strategy can be, so spend a good chunk of time to come up with it.
That’s all there is to it! Simple right? Well if you’re like a lot of businesses, the prospect of creating a brand strategy with little to no experience can be a daunting one, especially when there is so much on the line. Luckily, it’s not our first time working on a brand strategy, so if you’re interested in building or refreshing your brand’s strategy, we’re happy to help! Once your brand strategy has been defined, there are still a lot of other things to be done! Creating a new logo, assembling a brand style guide, maybe even a new content-filled website? All this and more need to be aligned with your brand strategy, so drop us a line and let’s get talking about how we can bring your brand to life!