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Brand Strategy - what is it and when to consider developing your brand strategy?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Brand strategy is a fundamental part of Think Collectiv's service offering, we work with large and small businesses, and agencies to extend their strategies teams.

I wanted to set out some brand basics – if you are thinking of clarifying your brand, rebranding, starting a new brand or just wondering what brand strategy is all about, - I hope that blog this can act as a guide to understanding how brand strategy might help your business and support you in setting a plan to get your brand foundations right.

In my pervious blog I touched on start-up brands, and why brand strategy is important for start-up businesses and big businesses alike. I explored the basics of brand strategy and its importance in business success.

What is Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is a misunderstood but crucial aspect of developing value in any business. Your brand strategy is the blueprint that defines how a company talks, acts and delivers, it is intrinsic to growth and it allows prospects and customers to instantly recognise you in a crowded world, distinguishing you from your competitors.

Getting your story straight entails setting out core values, identity, and the purpose of a business. It involves determining the target audience and critically gaining an understanding their needs and preferences, based on research.

Your brand strategy sets the tone for all touchpoints, activities, product launches and marketing efforts, and it guides the development of messaging, visual identity, and customer experience.

A strong brand strategy based on customer, market and business insight lays the foundation for a company's proposition and your important point of difference in the market, your brand strategy directs your expectations of your people, and all of your marketing efforts and it helps create a consistent and memorable brand experience.

Why is Brand Strategy Important?

A well-executed brand strategy has many benefits for a business. It sets the direction for your business and creates expectations from your products and services. It helps guide the actions and behaviours of your staff and it tells your customers' and prospects what they can expect from you as a business.

Your brand strategy should work to tell a story across “Why, How and What “ and importantly it can help a company stand out, build trust, and increase loyalty.

A strong brand can also help you to attract and retain top talent and make it easier to secure partnerships and collaborations.

A clearly defined brand strategy can also guide decision-making across the organisation, ensuring that all actions are in line with the company's values and mission and that every one in the business is motivated towards the same goals.

Steps in Developing a Brand Strategy

Define what your business delivers and what you brand should represent : The first step in developing a brand strategy is to understand the business, your customers, and the market you operate in. From looking at these three perspectives you can work out what the brand actually needs to communicate and how this is relevant to prospective customers.

Conduct Research: To get to a relevant purpose, values, vision and mission you need to understand your target audience – what problems do you solve? Why do they select you? You also need to understand the internal dynamics of the business and the competitive landscape. Conducting research to gather insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviours, and research into how the business operates its ambitions and the market in which it is operating should guide the development of your brand strategy.

Develop your Brand Positioning: From your research into customers, your business and your competitors you can then build out a brand positioning – this will cover your personality, your proposition and importantly your brand positioning statement, this statement clearly defines what you do, how you do it, why you do it and what makes you more desirable than your competitors – this needs to be more than a price statement – it needs to define the unique value that the brand brings to its customers. It should be clear, concise, and memorable.

Once you have developed you story - consisting of the core aspects of how you brand solves problems for customers, its unique position in the market, its vision, mission purpose and personality you can look to move to the creative stage of visual identity development.

Create a Visual Identity: Once you have your brand story agreed this can be used to create the visual identity of your brand this includes the logo, colour palette, typography, and other design elements. These elements should be designed to be memorable and consistent across all touchpoints and marketing channels.

Develop Messaging: Messaging is a key part of any brand strategy – how a brand talks and the tone of voice it uses signals to prospective customers who the brand is for. Messaging includes the language, tone, and voice of the brand. This should be designed to resonate with the target audience and communicate the brand's unique value proposition.

Implement the Brand Strategy: Once the brand strategy is defined, it should be implemented consistently across all marketing channels, including advertising, social media, email marketing, customer service and internally as a focus for behaviours and aspirations.

Why brand strategy is a critical aspect of business success?

A well-defined brand strategy can help a company build long-term value and create meaning for its products and services beyond the rational aspects of the products it sells. Creating a clear consistent and memorable brand proposition acts as a guiding star that over time, when delivered consistently and relevantly help your business build memorability, stand out, create associated meaning, engender greater value, and trust, and increase loyalty. By following the steps outlined in this blog, businesses can create a strong brand that is memorable, meaningful, different, salient and aligned with actionable values and a deliverable mission.

For support in crafting your brand strategy please get in touch

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