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Your brand strategy gives you a unified plan for everything from the core of your business and the positioning of your brand to It formulating a brand persona that resonates with your target audience.
An effective brand strategy helps you define key aspects of branding your business.
Think of it as setting the pathway for everyone else who is going to work with the brand.
From designers, to marketers, to developers and of course the C-suit executive.
So when you define the key elements, you will get clarity on how to build a strong brand.
PS. Also check out me huge list of brand strategy resources.
Here is a list of nine components that are fundamental for forming an effective brand strategy.
The brand strategy framework comprises of 3 sections with 3 elements in each one, totaling in 9 branding exercises.
So without further ado, let's discuss each of these 9 brand strategy elements in more detail.
First, you need to know why you’re in business and talk about it to rally your team and foster connection with your audience.
Finding the purpose or greater cause behind what you do is fundamental.
It is simply the WHY behind what you do as a brand, aside from the obvious reason — making money.
When your brand has a clear purpose, it will help you:
So finding your brand purpose is the first and probably the most important elements of developing an effective brand strategy.
Second, you need to Influence long-term business decision to ensure the brand is navigated towards the right direction.
Having a clear vision will serve as the roadmap for where your brand is heading.
Having a clear vision helps you in determining your goals for growth, and will directly influence your business decisions.
You must have a bold vision that can challenge and motivate you and your team, but at the same time your vision must be realistic, so that people will believe in getting there.
When your define a vision, it helps you:
A brand's vision, after its purpose, is the next in order key element of branding a business the strategic way.
Third, you need to determine your core values and create a culture and driving force for what to stand for in the world.
Determining your core values will help you create a culture and driving force.
By defining you core values, you can determine how your brand will be perceived in the marketplace.
This is allow you to guide communication and decision-making so that your brand remains consistent.
Your brand values will show customers, suppliers, and the general public what the business stands for.
Just like the other two elements of brand strategy, your brand values guide your brand internally and helps with decision making.
Four, you need to understand your audience well so that you can address their problems and needs with relevant solutions.
Knowing your target audience is key to positioning your brand in the market.
In the positioning section of your brand strategy, the most important component is defining your target audience and uncovering details about their lives.
You can start defining your target audience by building a profile of your average target customers.
This should include their demographics, problems they face, emotional inclinations as well as behavioral patterns.
Most importantly, you must discover their aspirations, hopes, objectives, and goals, so that you can position your product/service as a something they want and need.
Look for gaps in the market to find what differentiates you and how you can stand out or stand for something.
Analyzing the marketplace will help you differentiate your brand from the pack.
A market analysis is the second very important step in the process of positioning your brand among your competitors.
There are new brands are being created every single day and almost each industry is very crowded and competitive.
That's why you need to analyze the marketplace and know the strengths and weaknesses of you competitors.
You must look for areas where you can set yourself apart from others, so that your audience can remember you among your competition.
Therefore researching your competitive landscape is a very important element of developing an effective brand strategy.
Brainstorm and prioritize how customers will learn about your brand.
Prioritizing awareness goals and initiatives will help you market more effectively.
Next in line for the key elements of a brand strategy are your brand's marketing goals.
The purpose of this element is decide how you'll create awareness, so that your target audience can discover your brand.
This element of your strategy will help with you reach to and and get in front of prospective customers.
In this step, you also need to consider the cost and difficulty of each marketing initiative so that you can spend your marketing money wisely.
Together with the target audience, and market research, your goals can help you in getting the word out there.
Give your brand a human side by defining its personality to build relationships with your customers.
Defining your brand personality will help you resonate with your audience.
Most startups overlook the importance of giving their brand more character and a human-like personality.
It is extremely important to humanize your brand, so that people can feel that real connection.
Describing your brand as if it was a person, will help you form opinions and attitudes and therefor build relationships with like-minded audience.
Define your tone of voice to set guidelines for how you want to sound to your target audience.
Projecting a compelling voice is essential to deliver your brand message.
Once you have discovered the personality of your brand, the next step is to complement it with an appropriate tone of voice.
The tone in which a brand speak to its customers will vary from brand to brand.
For example: a bank will speak in a more formal and professional manner, while a new brand that caters to millennials can be more friendly and funny.
Whatever voice is appropriate for your brand, you must make sure you use it consistently across all channels of communication.
Distill your message into a few concise and memorable words that can tell your brand story.
Crafting a memorable tagline will help you tell your brand story in just a few, short words.
It is important to choose a tagline that conveys the message of your brand in reflects brand positioning.
Once you have worked out all the other key elements of your brand strategy, it's time to sum it all up in just a few memorable words.
Every small business, every startup needs good branding and these 9 key elements are crucial for forming a great brand strategy.
Every brand strategist will have a slightly different approach, so frameworks can vary from person to person.
At the very basic level the must-have elements would include brand purpose, audience and personality.
Learn how to develop brand strategy — check out my new Brand Strategy Guide.
Looking for a brand strategist to help you define and articulate your brand? — Book with me the Brand Strategy Workshop.
If you have any questions, just shoot me an email or leave a comment below.
I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch