Introduction to Brand Strategy
Designing a Brand Strategy doesn’t happen out of the blues. Most people just focus on pictures , logo, social media and design. But it goes way deeper than that. For a start it begins by setting your Business Goals and answering a few important questions.
- What you are doing
- Why are you creating a brand
- What do you aim to achieve by launching this brand
- When you should do it and
- How you should do it
In establishing these and more, long-term objectives can be used as a basis for all of your strategic branding efforts.
To illustrate this:
ABC Brand is aiming to break new grounds by introducing their sanitary wares into the market. ABC’s brand strategy in achieving this goal is most likely to be quite different from an already existing, well established business that aims to amass market share from a category leader. And that’s why setting business goal objective is a basic starting point in creating brand strategy.
What Is Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is a long-term plan that comprises specific long-term business goals that can be achieved as a brand grows or expands. The combined components of your company’s well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.
What Is Brand Marketing Strategy?
Brand marketing Strategy is a way to promote your products or services by promoting the highlights of your overall brand. In a nutshell, brand marketing strategy aims to link your brand identity, values, and personality with communications to your audience. Primarily, your brand is the span between your product and your customer.
First, let’s clear up the biggest most believed myth about brand strategy: Your brand is essentially not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. In actual fact, your brand is much more than that — it’s the medium that is untouchable. Brand marketing does not encompass putting your logo and business name in as many places as possible and looking forward to generate sales.
Why Brand Strategy Is Important
The importance of having a brand strategy are significant for your brand and your customers, the foremost obvious reason is that a brand distinguishes you from your competition and moulds you to be more identifiable to customers.
Here are just a few more reasons why you should invest in defining your brand strategy:
In earnest your brand strategy dictates your marketing strategy plan. It gives a crystal clear purpose, why brands should engage customers and how you should do so.
With a consistent brand strategy, communication with your customers is fluid and more clearly acknowledged. The more coherent your messages/stories, the more promising you are to attract and maintain loyal customers.
Brand Strategy does not only provide consistent connection with your customers, it also builds employees focus. Simply put, a clear brand vision helps make sure everyone (staff, social media adverts, and influencers) is working towards the same business goal objectives.
Finally, a strong brand can attract high distinctive expertise.
How Do You Develop A Brand Strategy?
And here is the question you have been waiting for.
How do you develop that “all-distinguishing, all-encompassing” brand strategy?
Brand development involves the process of building and promoting your brand product and services. In practice, when we help firms develop their brands, we divide the process into three stages.
The first stage is setting your brand strategy right and aligned with your business objectives.
- Your brand strategy should combine all answers to the question;
- why do you do what you do?
- what makes you different? (What is it that sets your business apart from other competitors),
- where you have come from (where it all started, what you’ve learned and how well do you know your niche),
- how do you want to position yourself moving forward?
- what will make you stand out
- what are your values
Second stage involves developing all essential tools needed to communicate the brand to your target audience, such as your logo, tagline and website.
Finally, there is the stage of building your newly developed or upgraded brand. But, in order to create an original and distinctive brand that consistently engages with its target audience, there’s never a wrong time to define (or redefine) your brand strategy. Especially, if you’re in for brand performance.
What Are The 4 Brand Strategies?
Are you looking to extend your services or product lines; here are four common brand development strategies for businesses. The four brand strategies include Product line extension, multiple brand approach, brand extension, and new brand strategy.
Product Line Extension: In Product line extension a new product is introduced, this new addition is usually within the same category or product line that the company already operates in. Consequently, an existing market is targeted by using the existing brand name.
This approach has become popular in marketing. The brand leverages on the existing brand recognition to extend the product line with variations, which most times are well received by loyal customers.
Big retail brands often use this marketing approach, where variations of color, flavours and packaging sizes have great appeal in the market.
Multi-Brand Approach: Multiple brand strategy is a variation of the product line extension the approach is to run a multiple brand product line within the same market. This implies having more than one brand product competing in the same product category/line.
Big Retail companies often employ this strategy to crowd the market and gain a sizeable share as competitive advantage. For example, a confectionery may have multiple brands of the same corporate ownership that seems to compete against each other. The goal of this approach is to address different market segments for the same product. Aside from having different market positioning, it also reduces opportunities for competitors to enter the market since it makes it appear like the market is saturated.
The pitfall of multi brand strategy is the cost and time of creating new brand name that will attract consumers.
Brand Extension: The brand extension approach involves expanding the brand’s reach, target markets and niche. Here the company introduces completely different niche products or category under the same brand.
For example, Samsung the electronics company has recently started to market medical equipment— effectively expanding the brand’s target audience.
Since the market may not comprehend the brand’s expertise in another product category, brand extension approach should be carefully examined and strategized. Hence, brand extension approach should be gradually implemented by initially venturing into new product categories that have at least one commonality with the brand’s existing products.
New Brand: Finally, the fourth approach in brand development strategy is forming a new brand. In this approach, a new product line is introduced, as well as a completely new brand image, tagline, marketing strategy is created. In other words, starting a business from scratch.
Steps To Creating Your Brand Strategy
Your brand development strategy is how you go about achieving these marketing tasks. To make it a bit easier, we’ve expatiated the brand development strategy into 10 steps.
1. Examine your overall business strategy.
Thinking of growing your company, a strong, well distinguished brand will do that much easier. But then what type of company do you want? Do you plan to grow organically? Generally, your overall business strategy is the backdrop for your brand development strategy. In simpler terms, if you are clear about where you want your company to be in future, your brand will help you get there.
2. Identify your target audience.
Who is your target audience? If your answer is “everybody” then you are making a very big costly mistake. From research, it shows clearly that high growth, high profit brands are super focused on having defined target audience. The narrower the focus, the faster the growth; the more diverse/broad the target audience, the more watered-down your marketing efforts will be. So how do you know if you have chosen the right target audience?
3. Research your target audience.
Companies that run systematic research on their target audience grow faster and are more profitable than ones that do not research. Furthermore, frequent research (at least once per quarter) by target audience-driven companies makes them grow faster still.
Research helps you understand your target audience’s perspective, expectations and priorities. Hence, you can anticipate their needs and put your message in language that connects with them. Perspective/View of your brand’s strengths by customers can be analyzed from research. Consequently, it drastically reduces the marketing risk related with brand development.
4. Develop your brand market positioning.
How different is your brand from others and why should potential customers within your target audience choose to work with you? Brand positioning statement is basically a length of three to five sentences that captures the essence of your brand market positioning. It must be realistic, as you will have to deliver on your promise with a bit aspiration so you will have something to strive for.
5. Develop your messaging strategy.
Messaging strategy translates your brand positioning into messages for your various target audience. Your target audiences typically include potential clients/customers, competitors, potential employees, referral sources or other influencers and potential business partners, to name a few of the usual.
While your core brand positioning statement should be the same for all audiences, each of your target audience will connect to different aspects of it. The message that is passed to each target audience will emphasize the most relevant pain points. Each target audience group may also have specific concerns that should be addressed, with each requiring different authentication to support your messages.
6. Develop your name, logo and tagline.
For many companies, a change of the brand name is not required. But for a start-up, a company undergoing a merger or a company that are burdened with a name that no longer suits their positioning, a name change may be in order. Even if you don’t change your brand name, most especially if you are rebranding, a new logo and tagline may make sense for a better support to your brand positioning.
Don’t forget, your name, logo and tagline are not your brand. They are all a part of your brand identity, the ways to communicate or symbolize your brand to your customers.
7. Develop your content marketing strategy.
Why Content Marketing? Content marketing is significantly well suited to attract, nurture and qualify prospects using valuable educational content. It does everything traditional marketing does but more efficiently. Content marketing increases both visibility and reputation at the same time, as the two cannot stand alone as perceived in traditional marketing. It is also the ideal way to make your brand relevant to your target audience.
8. Develop your website.
Responsive website is your single most important brand development tool. It is the hub where all your customers, leads, target audience come to learn what you do, how you do it and who your clients are. Prospective clients may not likely choose your company solely based on your website, but they may rule you out if your website sends the wrong message (in terms of design, structure, and communication).
Furthermore, your website hosts your valuable content, that content is the focus of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts so that your prospects, potential employees, and referral sources will find you and learn more about your company. Online content is the center to modern brand development strategy.
9. Build your marketing toolkit.
Build your marketing tool kit, this may include landing page or one-page “sales sheets” that describes core services that you offer or key markets you served. Additionally, this marketing toolkit may include videos, popular video topics include company overviews, “how to use it”, case studies, customer review, or “meet the partner” videos. With appropriate preparation, these tools serve not only a business development operation but also are important for brand awareness development.
10. Implement, track, and adjust.
This final step in the brand development process is very important. Obviously a brand development strategy without implementation is a complete waste of time and energy. You will be surprised at how often these things happen. A solid strategy is developed and started out with all the good intentions and support the company can assemble. Then reality kicks in, employees get busy with client work and brand development tasks is off the chart… Boom forgotten.
This is why tracking is so important, that we strongly recommend tracking the implementation of the strategy as well as the results. What happened with the objective measures, such as website search traffic and web visitors’ conversion rate? Did the strategy get implemented as planned? How many new leads, employee applications and partnering opportunities were generated? Only by tracking the entire process can you be sure that you are drawing the right conclusions, making the right adjustments and making profit for all the pains.
Brand strategy is a journey. Trust the process and keep taking action. Action leads to clarity. Clarity leads to success.
Get A Free Discovery Call Today
We are here for you! If you need help getting your brand strategy all setup and running, let us do the hard work for you. Our brand discovery call will help you discover your ‘why’, align your brand positioning, distinguish you from your competitors and connect you with your target audience. And if that isn’t tempting enough, we’re also good at knocking up responsive websites, landing pages and generating leads all in one buffet for you. Give us a call on +2348134670809 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org