In today’s competitive marketplace, building a strong brand is essential for any business looking to succeed. A well-crafted brand strategy can help you differentiate yourself from competitors, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue. In this article, we will discuss the key steps involved in developing a brand strategy.
Define Your Brand
The first step in developing a brand strategy is to define your brand. This involves identifying your unique selling proposition (USP), your target audience, and the values that your brand represents. You should consider what sets your brand apart from competitors and what emotional response you want to elicit from your audience. Defining your brand will serve as the foundation for all of your branding efforts.
Conduct Market Research
The next step is to conduct market research. This involves gathering information about your target audience, your competitors, and your industry. You should seek to understand your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, as well as the competitive landscape in which you operate. This information will help you make informed decisions about how to position your brand in the marketplace.
Develop Your Brand Positioning
With a clear understanding of your brand and the market, you can now develop your brand positioning. This involves crafting a clear and concise statement that communicates your USP and how you differentiate yourself from competitors. Your brand positioning statement should be memorable, relevant, and differentiated. It should also align with your target audience’s needs and values.
Create Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the visual representation of your brand. It includes your logo, color palette, typography, and other visual elements. Creating a strong brand identity is important because it helps you stand out from competitors and create a cohesive brand experience for your customers. Your brand identity should reflect your brand’s personality and values, and should be consistent across all of your marketing materials.
Develop Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is the tone and style of communication that you use to engage with your audience. It includes the language you use, the messaging you communicate, and the personality you convey. Developing a strong brand voice is important because it helps you create a consistent and authentic brand experience for your customers. Your brand voice should be aligned with your brand values and positioning, and should be tailored to your target audience.
Determine Your Brand Architecture
Brand architecture refers to the way in which your brand is structured. This includes the relationship between your parent brand and any sub-brands, as well as how your products or services are branded. There are several different brand architecture models, including branded house, sub-brands, and endorsed brands. Determining your brand architecture is important because it helps you create a clear and consistent brand hierarchy that communicates your brand’s structure to your audience.
Develop Your Brand Guidelines
Your brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that dictate how your brand should be represented across all touchpoints. This includes your brand identity, brand voice, brand architecture, and other branding elements. Developing clear and comprehensive brand guidelines is important because it helps you maintain brand consistency and ensure that your brand is represented in a cohesive and professional manner.
Launch Your Brand
Once you have developed your brand strategy, it’s time to launch your brand. This involves introducing your brand to your target audience and communicating your brand’s value proposition through various marketing channels. You should develop a launch plan that outlines your marketing tactics and objectives, and measure your results to determine the effectiveness of your branding efforts.
Building a strong brand is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor your brand over time to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with your target audience’s needs and values. This involves regularly conducting market research, analyzing your branding efforts, and making adjustments as necessary.
What Is Brand Strategy?
Every brand has a brand strategy, which guides the decisions your company makes on many matters.
The voice you use to communicate with your target audience or the values that motivate you are just two examples of the components that make up your brand strategy. The various components of a compelling brand strategy are discussed here, along with the specific ways in which each one helps to establish a powerful brand.
The comprehensive technique used to develop a brand’s recognition and favorability among current and potential customers is known as a brand strategy. A brand strategy includes a variety of distinctive brand components, including voice, storytelling, brand identity, brand values, and a general vibe.
Your branding strategy is the framework that supports your brand, which is how the public perceives your company.
Why is developing a branding strategy important?
Forging relationships with customers, a strong brand is essential. A strong brand strategy can increase customer loyalty, promote brand awareness, foster repeat business, and spur referrals and word-of-mouth advertising.
Brands without strong brand strategy risk becoming weak, forgettable, or diluted. Customers are likely to walk on rather than make a commitment to a repeat purchase in the absence of (and even with) a standout product experience.
Elements of a strong brand strategy
The essential components of a successful brand strategy include brand voice, brand design, brand values, brand story, and brand vibe. We’ll go over each one in detail, explain what it is, and examine how it improves the experience that both potential and current customers have when they interact with your company.
Your brand story is the narrative you employ to convey key moments in your company’s history, your basic values, and the reason you are in business.
The relationship between your company and its consumer base is further sparked through brand tales. You may foster an open environment where people can learn more about your company by explaining why it exists, what it stands for, and what motivated you to start and continue operating.
Brand voice refers to the language that a company employs on its website, in other marketing materials, and in other communications with present and potential customers.
The kind of brand message a company uses depends on the voice of the brand. By combining a brand’s personality with its basic principles, it frequently plays the biggest role in establishing connections with a client base. The snarky best friend, the sympathetic instructor, or the comforting doctor could all come to mind when you hear a powerful brand voice. It establishes the tone for the relationship that a client will develop with a brand over time and demonstrates what the client can anticipate from it. Without a personality-filled voice, a brand runs the danger of losing that connection or conveying something other than what it really wants to say.
relationship a client will develop with a brand through time and demonstrates what they may anticipate from it. brand that doesn’t establish a distinct niche
It will appear consistently if there is an internal style guide for the brand voice.
What happened? A brand voice that cultivates relationships with consumers and gains their trust.
How your business shows up visually — from color palette to fonts to photography style — on your products, website, and marketing platforms is called brand design, and it’s often the first and quickest way a potential customer within your target market can understand what you’re all about.
Great brand design can be communicated via a sunscreen bottle with chic packaging, a bright label easily recognized at the grocery store, or fun shapes and elements on a website. Aside from speaking to what your brand is all about, brand design also illustrates a point of view and taste level. A potential customer might love your brand partly because of the way you package and design your products, or because of the colorful templates you send out with an email newsletter. Like art, brand design can draw an emotional response. Andy Warhol famously turned one brand’s packaging into pop art when he painted an array of Campbell’s soup cans.
A lack of design can leave your brand without a visual identity, which prospective customers will pick up on. Designing the visual components of your brand — from product labels to packaging inserts to your homepage — gives it a stronger position in the market, can improve customer experience, creates a strong visual identity, and can help differentiate you from your competitors.
Elements of brand design should also appear in a brand style guide alongside tone of voice specifications. As it pertains to a visual identity, this includes color hex codes, font weights and styles, logo usage, and more.
How Acid League and Salt & Stone capture different moods with brand design
A self-proclaimed “instant pantry makeover,” Acid League’s living vinegars and other acid-forward essentials bring a contemporary aesthetic to everyday kitchen condiments. Its bright, punchy labels mirror the bold flavors the brand infuses into its gut-healthy product line.
Acid League is on a mission to revive acid: “We started by reimagining vinegar, creating living vinegars with both bold flavors and good gut health benefits,” the shop says on its website.
Its colorful, playful label designs help reinforce a strong brand identity: bright colors, bold fonts, and crisp text make the product line stand out online and on store shelves.
Salt & Stone, a performance skin care business, on the other hand, keeps design minimalistic and sleek to echo the peace of mind its products seek to provide potential customers. This also reflects the simple, powerful, and clean nature of the ingredients the company uses in each of its products, again demonstrating how a strong visual identity can additionally reinforce a brand’s core values.
Why does your company exist? What matters most to you? Are there causes that your business is actively working to solve?
Questions like these help get at the heart of your brand’s values, or the beliefs and principles that guide your business.
Brand values become the parameters that help you discern if a decision or partnership fits the goals of your business, help you build connections with your community, and find potential customers who share similar beliefs. They also help with your brand positioning, as a brand’s values can be a main differentiator for you.
Brand values are often codified via brand guidelines, which can be used in tandem with a style guide. In addition to tone of voice and visual identity requirements, brand guidelines may include a mission statement, spell out a brand’s core values, and share do’s and don’ts for how to appear on social media and other content marketing channels.
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How Saie uses the “feel good five” brand values to drive decision making
Clean makeup brand Saie established a framework for its brand values called the “feel good five.” These five values represent the criteria that the business uses to evaluate its products. Communicating them to both existing and new customers ensures they understand the care and thoughtfulness that goes into each one.
Establishing brand values gives you a sense of direction and purpose. Communicating those values clearly and often allows your community to connect with those values and purchase products from brands they truly believe in. And that can drive a greater sense of customer loyalty.
A brand’s vibe is the general sentiment it emits on its website, social media channels, product packaging, etc. The vibe could be anything from playful to sarcastic to serious to funny, and is an amalgamation of the ways a brand’s personality, values, and aesthetic line up.
If you’ve ever been to Palm Springs, or a craft coffee shop, you can sense a certain feeling or energy the moment you arrive. While many businesses operate online these days, it’s still possible to inject a specific vibe into the way someone feels when they interact with yours.
Creating a vibe contributes to the overall customer experience with your brand, and it can leave a more memorable, lasting impression.
Great brand strategy is all about the feelings
Successful brand strategies inspire a sense of connection through honest values, a brand voice that captures the essence of the brand, and design that reflects a business’s true personality.
Strong brand connection builds relationships, which can inspire repeat business. And your biggest fans will become your biggest advocates.
A great brand identity sets you up for success for the long term.