Do you want to create a brand strategy but don't know where to start? Brand strategy is the solid foundation of any successful business or organisation, as it helps define who you are and how you interact with your customers.
A well-defined brand strategy helps inform every decision that you make and ensure that your message resonates with your audience.
In this article, we'll explain what brand strategy is and provide a 10-step guide to help you create a successful brand strategy. By taking the time to think through your approach and define clear objectives, you'll be in the best position to market your organisation effectively.
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So, what is a brand identity?
Brand identity is the collective emotional and rational associations that people make with a brand. It encompasses all elements related to creating an impression, from visuals, brand voice, messaging and the way you interact with your customers.
Building a strong brand identity involves carefully crafting your messages and images so they accurately reflect who you are and what you stand for. Your brand identity should be reflected in all aspects of your communications, from your website to your social media posts.
What is brand strategy?
Brand strategy is the long-term plan for a business or organisation and is an essential step of the brand development process. It's how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, how you communicate with customers and stakeholders, and how you position your organisation in the market.
By defining a successful branding strategy, it helps to ensure that every decision made across all departments is consistent with this overarching message. It's important to revisit your brand strategy from time to time and make sure it is still relevant.
Why is brand strategy so important?
Brand strategy is important because it helps to ensure that everyone associated with the organisation is on the same page. From employees, to customers and stakeholders, having a clear brand strategy enables everyone to understand what your organisation stands for and how they should interact with it.
It also allows you to create consistency across all of your communications, which helps to ensure that your message is clear and consistent, resulting in better brand equity.
Studies have found that companies with clearly defined brand strategies are more successful. In fact, research has shown that organisations with a clear and consistent brand strategy are up to 23% more profitable than those that lack one.
What are the components of a brand strategy?
The four key aspects of a branding strategy are:
Creating a reputation for quality and reliability.
A good reputation is essential in creating trust and brand loyalty with your customers. It also helps to differentiate you from your competitors, as customers tend to prefer brands that they perceive as reliable and trustworthy.
Setting yourself apart from competitors with unique features or services.
Differentiation helps to ensure that your product or service stands out within the competitive landscape and highlights the unique value proposition and brand personality that makes you the better choice.
Differentiation also helps you create unique experiences for customers and establish yourself as a leader in your market.
Defining where your organisation stands in the market and how customers view it.
Positioning helps to identify and define your niche in the market. It sets you apart from other businesses and allows customers to understand what makes your organisation unique.
Making sure customers know what your organisation offers.
Creating awareness for your brand is essential in ensuring that customers know what you offer. This can be done through a variety of channels, from advertising to social media campaigns. It's important to get the word out about your products and services so that potential customers are aware you exist.
A great brand strategy will include the four components outlined above: reputation, differentiation, positioning and awareness. When combined together, these four components help to create a unique identity for your business and define how it should be viewed by customers.
It also helps to ensure that all decisions made across all departments are consistent with your overarching message.
5 top tips for a successful brand strategy
Before you start, here are some tips to consider before starting a brand strategy for your business:
1. Establish a clear vision
Having a clear, concise vision of your organisation is essential in helping to define what it stands for and how you want to be perceived by customers.
2. Do regular reviews
It's important to review your brand strategy on a regular basis to ensure that it is still relevant and up-to-date.
3. Stay consistent
Consistency is essential in creating a strong and recognisable brand. Keep your messaging consistent across all channels, from advertising to social media.
4. Focus on customer experience
Your customers should always be at the heart of your branding strategy – how you interact with them and how they feel about your organisation can make a huge difference in creating loyalty and trust.
5. Use research
Understanding the needs of your customers is essential in crafting an effective brand strategy. Research their behaviour, preferences and motivations to gain insight into what they value most.
10 steps to creating a solid brand strategy
Creating a brand strategy can seem like an intimidating process. However, if you follow these ten steps, you can ensure that your brand will be positioned to succeed in the long run.
1. Establish your brand purpose and core brand values
Why establish your brand purpose and core values for brand strategy? Your brand purpose and brand values are the foundation of your brand strategy.
They define who you are in the marketplace, what you stand for, and how your customers perceive you. It's important to take time to clearly articulate your purpose and brand values so that they can guide all aspects of your business, from product development to customer service.
2. Identify your audience and their behaviours
In order to effectively communicate with your target audience, you need to understand who they are and what motivates them. Through research, you can gain insights into their needs, behaviours and preferences that will inform your brand strategy.
Knowing your target customers is essential for crafting a message that resonates and drives conversions. Get specific about your target market, as the more diverse the audience, the more diluted your marketing efforts will be.
3. Understand your competition
Competitor research is essential for crafting a brand strategy that stands out in the marketplace. It will help you identify where your competitors are strong and weak, and how you can leverage those insights to differentiate yourself from them.
It's important to keep an eye on your competition so that you can spot trends and opportunities for growth.
4. Develop a brand vision and mission statement
Your brand vision and mission statement will guide all aspects of your strategy. A clear, concise vision statement should define why your company exists, the direction you want to take your business in and capture what makes you unique.
It's important that both your vision and mission statement are closely aligned with your core values and resonate with your audience.
5. Write a brand positioning statement?
A brand positioning statement is a short, succinct sentence that accurately defines the value that your brand offers to customers. It communicates the unique benefits of your product or service and how it stands out from other offerings in the market.
A well-crafted statement can help you communicate more effectively with customers, define clear goals and objectives, and craft effective marketing campaigns.
It should be clear, concise, and representative of your brand's values. With a strong positioning statement in place, you can better differentiate your brand from its competitors and help customers understand why they should choose your product or service over others.
6. Define your brand promise
Your brand promise is the cornerstone of your branding strategy. It should clearly articulate what customers can expect from your brand and how it will benefit them. A well-defined promise helps to build trust with customers and reinforces why they should choose you over competitors.
Brand promise example
At XYZ, we believe that everyone should have access to the highest quality products and services. We promise that our customers will always receive the best value for their money.
7. Establish your brand voice and key messaging
Establishing a brand voice is key to crafting an effective brand strategy. It will help ensure that your messaging is consistent across all channels and resonates with your target audience.
A strong, unified tone of voice helps convey the personality of your business, builds trust with customers and reinforces the values of your company.
It's important that you craft your brand voice in a way that is authentic, clear and representative of your values.
Your brand messages should be used to summarise your brand in a few short, memorable statements. This will help ensure that customers recognise and understand what your brand stands for. It's important that it reflects the essence of your brand and resonates with your target audience.
Brand key messaging should include the core values and benefits of your brand, as well as how it stands out from its competitors. It should be consistent across all channels and easy to understand.
By developing a strong key messaging strategy and brand voice, you can ensure that your customers are always aware of the value that your product or service offers them and help ensure that customers recognise and connect with your brand.
8. Identify channels for communicating with customers
Identifying channels for communicating with customers is essential for your brand strategy. It will help ensure that your message reaches the right people and helps build relationships with customers.
Your choice of communication channels should reflect the needs and preferences of your target audience. For example, if your target audience is young adults, you may choose to use social media accounts like Instagram and Snapchat to reach them.
By selecting the most appropriate channels for communicating with customers, you can better engage your audience and ensure that your message is seen by the right people. This will help drive more sales and increase customer loyalty in the long term.
9. Craft a unique visual identity for your brand
A strong visual identity helps to create a memorable impression with customers and reinforces why they should choose you over competitors. It should embrace and reflect the values of your brand, while also standing out from the competition.
Your visual identity can include elements such as a logo design, colour palette, typography and imagery. Your choice of these elements should be consistent across all channels and reflect the essence of your brand.
Once you have your visual identity, create comprehensive brand guidelines (also known as brand style guide). By developing brand guidelines, you can guarantee that your brand messaging and brand assets always remain consistent, professional and reflective of your business’s core values. This will help build brand recognition.
By crafting a unique visual identity for your brand, you can better engage customers and create an emotional branding connection with them.
10. Monitor and measure the performance of your brand strategy
Monitoring and measuring the performance of your brand strategy is key to ensuring that it is effective. It allows you to measure the success of your marketing activities and adjust them accordingly. You can also use this data to inform future decisions about branding and messaging.
By tracking metrics such as customer engagement, website traffic, social media reach, and sales, you can get a better understanding of how customers are responding to your brand. This will help you identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.
By following these eight steps, you can create a comprehensive brand strategy that is tailored to meet the needs of your audience while helping you achieve your business goals. With a well-crafted brand strategy in place, you will be able to effectively communicate with customers and build a powerful brand identity.
How to run a brand strategy workshop
Running a brand strategy workshop can be an invaluable tool for any business. A brand strategy workshop is a great way to get input from all stakeholders, engage with customers, and identify areas of improvement.
When running a brand strategy workshop, it's important to plan out the session in advance and set clear objectives. Here are some steps to help you prepare:
1. Set clear objectives
Determine what you want to achieve during the workshop and create a list of objectives based on those goals.
2. Invite relevant stakeholders
Invite all key stakeholders who are involved in your brand strategy, including customers, team members, and industry experts.
3. Prepare materials
Prepare materials such as presentations, worksheets, and surveys that will help you achieve your objectives.
4. Facilitate the session
Once you’ve got your stakeholders together, it’s time to start the workshop. Lead a discussion, ask questions, and listen carefully to what everyone has to say.
5. Summarise the results
After the session, take some time to summarise the key points and record any action items.
By following these steps and running a successful brand strategy workshop, you can create your brand strategy, taking into account the needs of your stakeholders, customers, and team members.
Mistakes to avoid when creating a brand strategy
Creating a strong brand strategy is essential in helping to establish your business and define how it should be perceived by customers. However, it's important to avoid making some common mistakes when crafting your brand strategy – here are five of the biggest ones to watch out for:
Make sure your message is consistent and clear across all channels. This will help customers to better understand what your organisation stands for, and why they should choose you over the competition.
Ignoring customer feedback
Listen closely to what your customers are saying – it can provide valuable insight into their preferences, challenges and motivations.
Not measuring your performance
It's important to measure the performance of your branding strategy, so you can understand what’s working and identify any areas that need improvement.
Skimping on budget
Investing in your brand is essential if you want it to succeed – skimping on budget can result in a message that is unclear, inconsistent and irrelevant.
Not staying up-to-date
It's important to stay on top of industry trends and customer preferences – this will help you craft a strategy that is relevant and effective.
Branding strategy FAQs
Hopefully, after reading this guide you feel equipped and confident to create your own brand strategy, but check out the FAQs below in case there are a couple of other terms you might not be aware of.
How to create a brand strategy roadmap?
A brand strategy roadmap is a visual representation of the steps you need to take in order to achieve your branding goals. It should include tasks such as researching customer needs, defining target audiences, creating a unique identity, and establishing key messaging.
A well-crafted brand strategy roadmap can help ensure that all departments are on the same page and working towards the same goals. It can also provide a roadmap for measuring progress and identifying opportunities for improvement.
How to create a brand strategy document?
First, what is a brand strategy document? A brand strategy document is a comprehensive plan outlining the ways in which your organisation will create, develop and maintain its brand identity.
It should include information about who you are targeting, what makes your business unique and how you will communicate this to your customers. The document should also specify objectives, key messages and tactics for achieving these goals.
Creating a successful brand strategy document requires careful planning and research. You should start by defining your target audience, understanding their needs and developing a unique message that resonates with them. Once you have this in place, you can define goals, develop tactics and create visuals to support your messaging.
Finally, it’s important to continually measure the success of your brand strategy and make adjustments where necessary. By doing this, you can ensure that your brand’s messaging is always relevant and resonates with your audience.
How do I measure the success of my brand strategy?
Measuring the success of your brand strategy involves tracking metrics such as customer engagement, website traffic, social media reach and sales. By monitoring these metrics, you will be able to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.
How much does brand strategy cost?
The cost of developing a brand strategy with a brand strategist depends on the size and scope of the project. Typically, it will involve researching your target market, defining goals and objectives, creating a messaging platform and establishing creative elements.
Depending on the complexity of the project, a brand strategist can range from a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands.
How to create a brand positioning statement?
To create a strong statement, start by understanding your target audience and their needs. What do they value most? Which problems are they looking to solve? How can you demonstrate that your product or service can meet their needs better than anyone else?
Once you have identified the core elements of your positioning, focus on how to communicate it effectively. This should include crafting a unique and powerful phrase that accurately conveys your message. Finally, make sure to integrate this statement into all of your marketing materials and campaigns.
Brand positioning statement example
"At Company X, we provide high-quality products that are reliable and affordable, so that you can trust in what you're buying."
This statement communicates the core value of Company X in a concise way, showing customers why they should choose this product over another. By developing a strong positioning statement, you can ensure that your brand messaging is consistent across all channels.
Need help with your brand strategy?
Get in touch to chat about your branding & identity requirements.
Creating a successful brand strategy document is an essential part of any business or organisation's success. It involves defining your target audience, crafting a unique message and establishing objectives that support your messaging. Additionally, it should include tactics for measuring the success of your brand and making adjustments where necessary.
With the right strategy in place, you can establish a strong presence in the marketplace, stand out from the competition and take your business to new heights.
Mole has been working in the design industry for over 13 years, and in that time gained a wealth of experience creating powerful brands