This is a guest post by Sharline Shaw.
We see lots of brands in our daily life such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, Huawei, etc. They’re known to almost everyone. But how do they do this? In reality, brand strategies start from behind a desk.
A brand is a promise made by the creator to the shopper about the experience or the product they are buying, and how they are going to feel when they use it. This emotional connection is the core of a fantastic brand strategy.
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is an approach that outlines and develops brand objectives. It identifies how the business reaches its marketing goals and determines the way the company presents itself to consumers. There are different elements to a brand strategy, including:
- The market positioning
- Brand differentiation
- Marketing goal
- Customer relationship
- Marketing cost
- Brand personality
The right brand strategy will tell you where the company is going, keep you on the right track, and reduce your marketing cost. So how do you create a brand strategy?
How to Create a Brand Strategy?
1. Figure out Business Purpose
For a new business startup, you have to figure out the reason why you exist in the marketplace, why shoppers have to buy your products or services. As Simon Sinek said in his speech, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This means that you have to figure out your business purpose, and know your promise.
Profit should be only one of your purposes, but it should not be the only purpose of your product or services. Accordingly, we admire brands that emphasize their willingness to achieve more than just profit.
Remember to dig deeper when you try to work on business purpose. Go and check out brands you admire, you will get to know how they frame their mission and vision statement.
2. Identify Target Audience
Who are your brand target customers? How do they depend on your product or service? These the most important questions you have to address when working on the brand strategy first and foremost.
Usually you have your ideal audiences in mind when you start your business. They are your target group definitely. Or you can find and analyze the direct competitors. In this way, you will finally get your answer to these questions by analyzing their products or services, their customers or users, and the interaction models between audiences and their brands. Besides, you can also research the Internet to find possible target groups.
You have to identify who your target audiences are, what they are interested in, what are the problems they are unable to resolve. This is how you create your audience personas, and then document them into your brand strategy.
3. Develop Brand Positioning
At this stage, you have to determine your brand positioning in your service or product category industry in the market. It is about the product or service distinctiveness of your brand. Remember to include the basic requirements of the product or service category, and the distinctive benefits they bring to your customers.
You can brainstorm and structure a sentence to deliver your brand positioning clearly. A well-structured brand positioning statement should deliver the value and benefits of your business to target the audience. Make sure to incorporate your target audience, products or services, functional benefits or emotional benefits together to make your brand unique in the marketplace.
4. Create a Brand Identity
To make your brand distinguishable on the market, remember to create a unique brand identity. It should include both tangible and intangible assets. This will make your brand distinctive and outstanding.
On the tangible part, you have to create your brand name, log, tag lines, color palettes, typography, shapes, etc. Customers can see and experience them directly. They will likely to create impressions among your customers, and deepening their understanding of your brand.
When it comes to the intangible part, it includes your company vision, mission, and business values. Simply, it carries your business culture. Try to use simple and succinct language to present your identity.
Both the tangible and intangible parts of your brand identity should be linked together. Make sure your target audience will easily remember your company when they see your logo, and understand your business.
5. Train Staff to Understand Your Brand Positioning
At this stage, you have to train your marketing stuff to understand your brand positioning. Make sure all stuff can work based on your branding positioning.
Training your employees is a great way to deliver your brand positioning, business mission, and value to your marketing groups. This will make them the ambassador of your brand. This is a great way to follow your brand strategy, keep business on track.
Besides, you can adopt cross-training to get the stuff to understand your business from different perspectives. Make sure all your marketing stuff can deliver marketing task accurately and precisely with a focus on your brand strategy.
6. Integrate Your Brand Strategy into Each Aspect of Your Marketing
Generally, a brand should be visible and reflected in everything that your customer can see, read, hear, and feel. This means that your brand image or logo should be on display in your shop, on ads and in every communication. For instance, if a customer walks into your store, your brand logo and image should be on display both in the environment and with personal interactions.
You need to integrate your brand into every aspect of your business which means anything tangible – such as business cards, advertisements, packaging, and products – should be stamped with your logo. Doing this delivers the vision, mission, and value of the new brand on all the business-related materials including your office, store, business website, etc.
On digital platforms, you have to make your sure that your brand looks the same everywhere. It’s important to create a brand style guide to maintain consistency with the color, logo, fonts, and photography. Remember to incorporate your voice, message, and personality into all the content you design- this could be everything from podcasts and YouTube videos to blog posts and webinars- as your branding distinguishes you from others in the marketplace.
Make sure the profile pages of your social media networks visually represent your brand and speak with your chosen voice. Maintaining consistency makes your brand’s uniqueness stand out among millions of competitors.
7. Actualize All Possible Channels
Implementing your brand’s strategy will include interaction with your consumers. But how exactly can your consumers interact with your brand?
You can take diversified approaches for your brand launch but each customer contact must be consistent in voice. You may have more channels than you think to interact with the public. Make sure you research all possible connection points to avoid areas you might be unaware of, as an example, someone delivering their feedback on social platforms. When you write about your brand’s creation; you should include a visual approach such as images, animated videos. Remember to deliver value to the customer with your brand communications. Airbnb has launched its’ new symbols with a mixed bag of content including the text-based descriptions, social media-friendly visuals, infographic, etc. You can deliver all of them on different channels to brand yourself.
8. Establish Branding Workflows
To implement your branding strategy effectively, you can ask your colleagues to implement a branding strategy into their normal workflows. Technology has made creating branding workflows easier than ever, saving you time in your branding strategy marketing. To build branding strategy workflows, you can use the latest innovations like digital asset management systems to maintain your brand consistency. It is short for DAM.
You can create, store, share, and secure all your images, video, articles, and adjust everything else on a DAM. You can store all your brand assets into your DAM and make it accessible to all your workgroups. If you put the digital asset management at the center of your branding efforts, you will have a good overview of your branding. You can put approval for assets in the DAM to ensure everyone has the correct access to the approved assets. You can keep your logo and brand image in a sharable folder for better cooperation with external designers and copywriters. You are allowed to share your brand assets with the necessary workers. Tap your brand assets in your DAM for a higher working efficiency. It will make your branding very easy for all relevant people.
9. Measure Regularly and Adjust Your Brand Strategy
How can you know the result of your branding strategy? You need to track and measure your branding strategy accurately during the new campaign. To ensure a good brand strategy implementation, it’s important to continuously track results to remain effective. Track and measure both the implementation of the branding plan as well as the results. Compare the results with your business goal.
Did the strategy get implemented as planned? How did it deliver against the objectives? You will draw the right conclusion by measuring the entire process of your strategy implementation. Generally, there will be a number of different factors to be measured. For example, you can measure the conversion on landing pages, the open rate of your marketing emails, and the number of social shares. To measure your branding strategy, you can utilize free tools like Google Analytics to master the basic performance data on your website during the implementation stage. This enables you to measure your branding effectively. You have to justify your efforts in the future.
As your market matures, so should your branding strategy. When you measure the whole process of the implementation of your branding strategy, you will know the causes and effects of it. If the result is not the one you anticipate, you may have to adjust it to launch your new brand successfully. The passage of time may change the market. When you decide to change your branding strategy, you have to know the brand never changes, but the logo, design, or key messaging. Perhaps, you have to reposition yourself in the market and adjust your branding strategy to uphold the brand consistency. When you decide to adjust your branding strategy, remember to involve the entire company, and integrate the new branding strategy.
Hopefully, you have a clear understanding of how to implement a new brand strategy. If you already have a new branding strategy and plan, you can incorporate some of the above tips into your practice. Now, it’s time for you to start out and carry out your new branding strategy effectively.
About the Author:
Sharline Shaw, the founder of leelineSourcing, is an expert in Chinese export trade. With 10 years experiences in the field of sourcing in China, she is familiar with all relevant regulations and laws about China’s exporting. She’d love to share her experience with people and has written many helpful articles.