If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely looked into getting some branding done for your business. But have you looked into your brand’s strategy?
Strategy is a big buzzword in the design industry nowadays. Designers are starting to not only design brands but also orchestrate how the brand should interact with its audience, how it should stand out, and what makes it different from its competitors. If the person you hire does this along with designing the actual brand they might consider themselves not only a designer, but a brand strategist – someone that looks at every part of your brand and then consults you on what actions you should take to better your business.
Brand strategists focus on building a roadmap you can follow for years to come. Kind of like an architect building a house, there has to be a clear outline of what goes where so the walls don’t crumble from the weight of the roof. The same thing applies to brand strategy – there has to be a clear direction of where the brand is headed and who it is targeting so the business has a chance to succeed. There are a couple of things that go into every brand strategy to make it a success:
The Big Why
Before you develop your brand you should ask yourself why you’re even doing it. And I’m not talking about the money (everyone starts a business for that), I’m talking about the big-picture long-term goals. What do you want to achieve? What do you want to change? How do you want to help? These are the questions you should be asking yourself to get a better understanding of your brand purpose.
The What & How
What the hell are you selling and how are you doing it? Believe it or not, a lot of business owners know what they do or sell but can’t tell you how they do it. This is because they’ve never thought about explaining it to their customers, they just know what to do to get the job done. It’s your job to know and easily explain both of these aspects as they are important to the brand and business.
Your audience is a vital part of your brand because without them you wouldn’t have any sales. It’s important to not only know what your audience looks like, where they are, and what their investment levels could be but also what they want or desire from your brand and what they fear. These emotional insights give you a better chance at actually understanding your audience, what makes them loyal to your brand, and why they would buy from you
You could have the best product in the world, but if you don’t position it well it will never sell.
Let’s back up a bit. Good positioning is created when a brand knows its market and competitors inside and out. Positioning your brand comes from tons of research and analysis into what is already in the market and how your specific brand differentiates from the norm in the eyes of your target audience.
In a way, the way you’re positioned in your market solely depends on what your target audience has to say about you. This is why the messaging and visuals you use in your branding are so important. They frame the way your audience views the brand, and if you’re successful, they will be able to easily differentiate you from your competitors.
Your Brand’s Personality
Good brands sell great products but great brands have winning personalities. If you think about all of your favorite brands, they more than likely have some sort of human personality attached to them. Some brands are quirky, some are funny, and others might be downright inappropriate. It doesn’t matter what type of personality your brand has, just that it makes an easy connection with your intended target audience. When people have the ability to connect with your brand’s personality they’re more than likely able to trust the brand more and create loyalty with them.
The Client Journey
An important but often overlooked step in your brand’s strategy is the client journey. Knowing how and why clients go from having a problem to getting the problem fixed through your specific product or service is really important in how you communicate with them as a brand.
Messaging is the end all be all when it comes to brand strategy. You might know who your target audience is, what they want from your brand, and how to position it well but if you can’t talk to your audience then it’s a moot point.
Your brand’s messaging and tone is what tie everything together in the end. Is your brand serious or playful? Respectable or inappropriate? Funny or straightforward? These are things you should think through when building your brand’s strategy.
Do you have your brand’s strategy in place? Are there aspects of your brand you can approve of?