7 Examples of Great Brand Strategy

In this article, I talk about brand strategy examples. I examine some of the best brands in the world and brand strategies behind them.

Then I also talk about how to develop a brand strategy for yours or your client’s brand.

That way you can see some specific brand strategy examples to which we can all relate.

You can also get inspired or just understand key components of developing a successful brand strategy.

7 Brand Strategy Examples

  1. Tesla—Brand Purpose
  2. Starbucks—Brand Vision
  3. Apple—Brand Values
  4. Amazon—Brand Positioning
  5. Harley—Brand Personality
  6. Tiffany—Brand Voice
  7. Nike—Brand Tagline

Before I show you these brand strategy examples—first, let’s quickly define what brand strategy actually is and why it’s important for branding a business.

If you prefer to watch instead of reading—check out my YouTube video of the same title:

My YouTube video about brand strategy examples.

What is a brand strategy?

When it comes to this subject—Marty Neumeier is a true brand strategist.

This is how he defines brand strategy:

“A plan for the systematic development of a brand in order to meet business objectives.“—Marty Neumeier, Brand Gap

The goal of brand strategy is to shape the perceptions of a brand’s audience so that ultimately we can influence them.

Therefore, brand strategy sets out the plan for shaping those perceptions through different forms of expression both visual and verbal.

Brand strategy sets out the plan.

Earlier, Brand strategy used to be reserved for global brands.

Now more business owners have started to realize the importance of building a brand and the strategy behind it.

In this article, I examine some of the world’s greatest organizations and reverse engineer their greatness.

That way you can understand the strategic decision they’ve made in the past.

Which allowed them to grow and build iconic brands that they are today.

Before we talk about those specific brand strategy examples, it’s also important to define key elements of an effective brand strategy.

7 key elements of effective brand strategy

Branding experts go about defining brands in different ways and by using variety of frameworks.

Most of them would definitely agree on these key elements.

I believe every successful brand strategy must include:

I will show you an example of a famous brand for each of these 7 key brand strategy elements.

Now, when you look through these seven brand strategy examples—please look for opportunities to not copy.

Rather, just understand the concept behind it so that you can apply it for your own use.

Then, I will give you my step-by-step process to develop a brand strategy for yours or your client’s brand.

Firstly, let’s talk about the most important element of your brand strategy which is your brand purpose.

Here, let’s take Tesla as an example.

1. Tesla—Brand Purpose

The goal of a brand’s purpose is to define the greater good behind your work.

It talks about the purpose to rally your team and foster connection with your audience.

Brand purpose unites your team.

Your brand’s purpose is expressed by your purpose statement.

It is a short sentence describing the “WHY” behind your work as a brand.

Why does your company exist? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And Why should anyone care?

Tesla is a great example of a purpose driven brand.

Now, Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers. They wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric cars.

Tesla believes in clean sustainable energy and saving our planet. Tesla’s brand purpose statement is following:

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Which is a great way to go about your brand purpose—to tie the brand to a greater cause.

Tesla-purpose statement.

Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles.

It also builds infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage solutions.

As you can learn from this example, your purpose statement should be open for future expansion.

Tesla’s purpose statement doesn’t focus on just cars, it’s about something bigger.

It believes that the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.

This can be manifested through electric cars. But also through other products like storage and clean energy solutions.

To sum up—the brand purpose will inspire your employees to work.

It will also give your customers a clear reason why they should engage with your brand.

Ultimately your brand plays an invaluable, irreplaceable role in people’s lives.

You can also check out my article about brand purpose.

Now, let’s talk about brand vision by taking Starbucks as an example.

2. Starbucks—Brand Vision

The goal of a brand’s vision is to ensure that the brand is navigated towards the right direction.

Your brand’s vision is expressed by your vision statement.

It is a one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired end-state.

You need to describe the future your brand is ultimately working towards.

Have clear vision of the future of your brand.

This will not only inspire and energize, but also help you dream big and influence long-term business decisions.

For example, this is how Starbucks thinks of the future position as a business they want to be in:

“To be the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world.”

Starbucks' vision statement is probably why the multi-million dollar coffeehouse chain has soared to success.

Starbucks-vision statement.

After carefully examining the Starbucks' vision statement, it’s clear that they have an ambitious goal to become the finest coffee marker in the world.

If you have a clear vision of where your brand is headed, then you can make meaningful decisions along the way.

Thus you need to describe the future your brand is ultimately working towards.

So your vision statement will help you get some clarity on where you’re heading as a brand.

Also, it will help you think more strategically and make meaningful decisions that are “on brand”.

For more examples, you can check out my article about brand vision statements of other famous brands.

Now, let’s talk about brand values by taking Apple as an example.

3. Apple—Brand Values

The goal of your brand’s core values is to ensure that you can create a culture and driving force for what that brand stands for in the world.

Therefore core values are guiding principles, that articulate what your brand stands for.

Core values-guiding principles of your brand.

They must be actionable so that your staff can act upon them and create that desirable internal culture.

That will ultimately deliver a consistent brand experience externally—to your customers.

Steve Jobs was also the company’s chief brand evangelist who said:

“Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us.”
—Steve Jobs

Therefore, Apple’s core values are following:

  • Accessibility—Ensure people with physical limitations are not left out.
  • Education—Provide educational solutions to schools across the United States.
  • Environment—Build products that are safe for both the users and the environment.
  • Inclusion and diversity—To create products that serve everyone, we believe in including everyone.
  • Supplier responsibility—Hold suppliers and partners responsible for creating quality products for our users.
  • Privacy—Offer the utmost security for the user. Privacy is a fundamental human right.
Apple-core values.

If you’re a founder and you’re not clear about what your brand stands for—how can you expect others to know?

Thus you need to be like Steve Jobs and be your own chief brand evangelist.

To sum up—your values stand at the core of your brand and guide business processes.

Together with your purpose and vision statement, they guide your company both internally and externally.

They’re important for both—attracting customers as well as retaining your best employees.

You can also check out my article about brand core values.

Now, let’s talk about brand positioning and take Amazon as an example.

4. Amazon—Brand Positioning

The goal of a brand’s positioning is to find a differentiator and set your brand apart from your competitors.

As Al Ries said:

“Positioning is not what you do to a product; it is what you do to the mind of a prospect.”- Al Ries

You need to find that differentiator to be able to stand out in the marketplace and stand for something in the minds of your customers.

Make your brand stand out.

That way your audience can remember you for something you want to be known for.

Now, when you think of Amazon, what comes to your mind?

Probably you love that quick delivery and excellent customer service.

Amazon’s positioning statement is the following:

“For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop online shopping site.  Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence.”

As a business you can do many different things.

As a brandyou want to be known for just ONE thing—not one product or one service, but one idea.

Amazon-positioning statement.

So that ultimately you can create that desirable perception and take a specific place in the mind of your customer.

Next time they’re about to make a purchasing decision, it can help them navigate through variety of choices and buy from you-thanks to that clear positioning.

For further examples, you can check out my article about brand positioning.

Now, let’s talk about brand personality by taking Harley as an example.

5. Harley—Brand Personality

The goal of a brand’s personality is to give a human-side to your brand.

That way your target audience can build a lasting relationship with your brand as if it was a person.

Certain personalities attract each other and others repel each other.

You want to create that human-like persona.

It will attract your target audience and connect with them on an emotional level.

Brand personality attracts the target audience.

The personality of Harley Davidson is ruggedness and it fits the outlaw archetype.

A brand you choose is often a vehicle to express yourself.

Harley-Davidson has a macho, rebellious, America-loving and a freedom-seeking personality.

This personality directs all the visual as well as verbal communication.

Harley-brand personality.

You can see that conveyed in all brand touch-points, like in marketing campaigns.

Ultimately having a well-defined brand personality will help make that brand-customer connection as if they were interacting with a real human being.

For further examples, you can check out my article about brand personality of some of other famous brands.

Now, let’s talk about brand voice by taking Tiffany as an example.

6. Tiffany—Brand Voice

The goal of a brand’s voice is to set the guidelines for how you want your brand to sound to others.

It is how the personality of your brand comes through the words that you use in communication.

Your brand’s voice is essentially, an extension of your brand personality.

Voice is personality expressed in words.

It helps you develop a consistent way of conveying your message to your audience.

Now, Tiffany is not just about the shade of baby blue.

It’s also about their well defined brand personality and brand voice.

The Tiffany’s tone of voice is witty, elegant and classic.

Tiffany has a clearly defined brand voice and is big on social media and marketing.

Tiffany-brand voice.

Hong, who leads the team of art directors and copywriter said:

“Historically, Tiffany’s voice as a brand was witty and twitter allows us to bring that back.“-Hong

People are willing to pay much more for a Tiffany product than some equivalent without a Tiffany logo.

This means they pay for logo, design and the small blue box that holds the jewelry.

It wouldn’t be possible to sell those often overpriced products without proper tone of voice and messaging.

That’s why in every single communication Tiffany’s brand voice is very elegant and classic.

The brand became iconic thanks to consistent branding with the tone of voice that resonates well with their customers.

To sum up—your personality and your voice will work together to represent the HOW—how your message is delivered.

Your brand’s tone of voice should be used consistently across all channels of communication.

It will allow the audience to build that strong human-like connection.

Check out my other article about brand tone of voice for more examples.

Finally, let’s talk about brand tagline and take Nike as an example.

7. Nike—Brand Tagline

The goal of a brand’s tagline is to convey the brand’s spirit in the shortest way possible. ⁣

You need to distill your message to a selection of a few very concise and memorable words that tell the story of your brand.

Your brand tagline should be inspired by your positioning, which is for internal purposes only.

Tagline is influenced from positioning statement.

While tagline is for external purposes—its customer facing.

In just a few words, you’re expected to grasp the vibe of your brand.⁣

Nike’s positioning is perfectly manifested to the outside world by the their renowned tagline—“Just Do It”.

Which translates into a brand message that is able to inspire and bond customers to the Nike brand.

Nike-brand tagline.

The Nike's "Just do it" slogan, was created 30 years ago by renown advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy.

It's still one of the core components of Nike's brand today.

To sum up—we need to define what we want our audience to remember us for.

Giving them an easy to remember tagline is key to helping them remember your brand.

You can also check out my other article about brand taglines for additional examples.

Conclusions

World's most successful companies develop brand strategies that inform everything. From product development to customer service to sales, marketing and beyond.

At Ebaqdesign, we look at developing brand strategy as the key step in the process of brand building.

Me running a brand strategy workshop.

Many of my clients come to me for a logo or a brand identity system.

But what they really want is to build a strong brand.

Building a strong brand always starts with developing a brand strategy first.

Good strategy combined with great creativity will give your brand a fighting chance in this cluttered and hyper-competitive world.

Brand strategy sets the foundation and further inform all your visual and verbal communication.

It helps you build a brand that has potential to become iconic.

How to develop a brand strategy?

If you want to build a strong brand that people love, you need to clearly define all key components of your brand strategy.

You should run a workshop with yours or your client’s team and define all those key brand strategy elements.

How do you do that?—You simply run branding exercises to align stakeholder on the same page and get clarity on those key aspects of strategy.

You can also buy my premium guide with video tutorials, real case studies, worksheets and more additional resources. It will help you feel more confident.

Check out my new brand strategy guide for more brand strategy examples.

It will help you develop your brand strategy faster and more accurately.

Anyways, I would love to hear from you about your experience in developing brand strategy.

  • Did you find these brand strategy examples inspiring at all?
  • How helpful were these brand strategy examples?
  • Are you going to run the brand strategy workshop?

Either way I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

If you have any questions just ask and I'll do my best to answer all of them.

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