Without a brand strategy, it’s difficult for your business to have clear goals when it comes to marketing. It’s also hard for customers to understand both your values, and what your business can provide for them. Implementing a solid brand strategy gives you a clear path forward, and your customers a clear path to you.
In this article, we’ll discuss what brand strategy is and why it’s important. Then we’ll dive into four tips for developing your brand strategy.
Let’s get to it!
Understanding Why Brand Strategy is Essential to Your Business
Put simply, brand strategy is the plan for how your business will define, create, and share your brand with customers. This will include everything that makes up the customers’ experience of your company, such as a recognizable logo and the quality of your products or services.
While a strong brand strategy does help improve sales and the growth of your business, those aren’t the only benefits. For instance, brand strategy can help you to set your business apart from the competition, and draw more customers your way. It also helps diminish confusion about your brand, and increase customer loyalty.
There are even internal benefits for your business. Having a clear plan of action as to how you’ll market your business keeps you and all your employees on the same page. A clear direction helps all of you to have a sense of purpose at work, and increases your productivity.
Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to rebrand to improve an existing one, a clear brand strategy is essential. With careful thought and planning, your business could reach a new level.
4 Tips for Creating Your Brand Strategy
With so much riding on your brand strategy, trying to create one may feel intimidating. However, many of the most important aspects are relatively easy to implement and shouldn’t cause you too much stress. Let’s look at four tips to help yours!
1. Consider Your Customers’ Needs and Desires First
It can be hard to get past the idea that your brand is about your vision and your values, especially if you own your business. In reality, customer-centric brands are more successful. If you’re always worried about what you want your business to be, you may miss what your customers think – which could impact you negatively.
Brands that focus on what customers need and want are more likely to see returning customers down the line. Customer loyalty is key, as it’s easier to keep customers than it is to find new ones. Plus, loyal customers can serve as free brand promotion for your business if they recommend you to friends.
Relevancy is a huge part of creating a customer-centric brand. Showing customers personalized content that quickly gets them closer to what they want can make your business more convenient for them. This could include recommended e-commerce products, showing related posts on your blog, or even using targeted ads.
If you’re looking to improve the relevancy of your brand to your customers, you may want to gather customer data to use in creating your strategy. Tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics can give you valuable information on customer demographics and behavior. Knowing what your customers value will help you appeal to them with ease.
2. Maintain Consistency Across Your Brand
On the whole, inconsistency across your brand is confusing for customers. If you use several different logos, or your packaging doesn’t have a noticeable theme, customers are less likely to recognize your brand on sight. Consistency increases your brand’s visibility, which in turn leads to higher profits.
However, this idea extends beyond just the visual elements of your business. Maintaining a consistent commitment to a set of values is important, too. For example, if your brand emphasizes your use of eco-friendly materials to create products, it could benefit your business to stay on top of environmental news, participate in events promoting green business, or even donate to a related nonprofit.
From your products to your social media accounts, there are a lot of areas to consider when trying to maintain brand consistency. To help manage them all, you could create a set of brand guidelines. Your guidelines might include anything from what tone to use when writing blog posts to how to use your logo.
Distributing brand guidelines to everyone involved in your business helps keep everyone on the same page. With several different people all working on a single brand, competing ideas can easily arise and result in significant inconsistencies across the brand. However, if you have clearly written guidelines on how to use your logo, your brand will look more cohesive.
3. Tap Into Your Customers’ Emotions
Leveraging your customers’ emotions is a huge step toward creating brand loyalty, and the benefits are keys to success. As we mentioned earlier, people who are loyal to your brand are more likely to advocate for your business, providing free exposure. They’re also more likely to stick around and become repeat customers.
When it comes to accessing customers’ emotions, authenticity goes a long way. From your customer service interactions to your website’s About page, it’s important to make customers believe you’re sincere. A friendly, conversational tone helps make customers feel more comfortable and will make your brand seem more accessible and relatable.
It’s also key to align yourself with your customers’ values. Finding out what your customers already care about and pulling your business up alongside those ideals can help raise your worth in the eyes of your customers. They’re more likely to stick around if they feel that you care about the same things they do.
Even the way you design your packaging could play a role in eliciting a particular emotion from your customers. Studies have shown that certain colors are associated with different emotions. When designing how your brand will look, consider how your design choices can play into drawing out your customers’ emotions.
4. Analyze Your Competitors’ Brands
Competitive analysis is a research strategy used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a competitor’s brand, so you can then apply the findings to your own business. For example, you could make an effort to grow your business in areas where your competition is lacking, in order to attract customers who might desire the same quality.
Additionally, competitive analysis can show you areas where your own business could be improved. If you know what your competitors are great at, you’ll have to be excellent in those areas to in order to be competitive. You can also look at where your competitors’ customers are coming from, for inspiration on where to source your own.
Doing a thorough competitive analysis starts with experiencing the competition the way a customer would. As such, visit your competitors’ websites, check out their social media channels, and if they have brick-and-mortar locations, pop in for a visit. Consider the quality of their customer service, and how their brand makes you feel.
While it may be a little time consuming, doing an in-depth analysis of your competitors’ language and images can shed a lot of light on their brand. Consider the shapes and colors in their logo, and the types of images they choose. Think about what values other brands seem to be promoting and what personality their written content seems to give off. If it looks like it’s working for the competition, it could work for you too.
A clear brand strategy can be a powerful tool for improving the success of your business. A clear plan will assure you and your employees of what your business is about and where you’re headed. Plus, you’ll be better able to communicate your values and your strengths to customers, steering them toward your brand.
In this article, we’ve looked at what a brand strategy is and why it’s important for your business. We’ve also provided some tips on how to create a solid brand strategy:
- Consider your customers’ needs and desires first.
- Maintain consistency across your brand.
- Tap into your customers’ emotions.
- Analyze your competitors’ brands.
Do you have any questions about creating a brand strategy? Ask away in the comments section below!
Article image thumbnail: VectorMine / shutterstock.com.