A brand strategy may sound mysterious. Especially for beginner business owners, these two words don’t necessarily ring a bell. Thinking about starting a company, we care about a business plan, website and offer. The brand strategy is usually overlooked in the first years of operation.
However, it can help clarify goals and establish a real, strong bond with recipients. Today, discount and online advertising are not enough. Today, relationships, community and mission matter if you want to build a tribe of dedicated customers.
What is brand strategy
A strategy is your action plan, a set of appropriate tools and tactics to help you achieve your goal. It changes along the way while your business grows and helps you verify your progress.
A strategy is a long-term investment. It won’t make you succeed in a few weeks. It requires patience and consistency. Being a good observer helps. Allows us to react when our assumptions were not entirely accurate. In these situations, a strategy is also your best friend.
By systematizing all your activities, you don’t have to blindly search for what went wrong. In this case, you don’t fall to the very bottom of the ladder, which took a lot of time to climb. The brand strategy allows you to take a step back to the place where the problem occurred, look closely and make appropriate changes.
Without a strategy, you probably wouldn’t have a clear picture of where you are at achieving your goals, what works and what doesn’t.
What elements should a brand strategy contain?
There are no two identical strategies. It cannot be downloaded from the internet or borrowed from friends. Each case is different and what may work for competitors will not necessarily work for you. However, there are some elements that are important to help you build a strong and recognizable brand and help you to reach the right audience.
Take a look at yourself
Everyone will tell you that your brand is not about you. In fact, the brand is created by your audience. But especially for small entrepreneurs, personal motives are a frequent reason behind starting a business. Urges that accompany us in working on our own brand are very important for it to become authentic.
The key questions you should ask yourself are: What is the real reason for starting my own business and building a brand. What is my mission and purpose?
Is your product awesome?
You may have a great idea for communication, brand identity, slogan and logo, but without a high-quality product, it will be difficult for you to gain the trust of customers.
Nowadays, the old school, pushy advertising doesn’t work anymore. Today, consumers communicate with each other through social media. They share their opinion on websites. Push sell will not pass.
Think about it: Is the product you offer the highest quality? What you have to do to refine it. What problems you may encounter. What real benefits are associated with it? Why should someone care about it?
Who is your brand for?
Although your brand was created out of your own expectations and frustration, to turn it into a profitable business, you must keep in mind other people’s needs.
Finding the right audience who is looking for what you have to offer is one thing. Turning them into faithful brand ambassadors is another level. You need to know them inside out – what they need, what values they profess, what is important to them, what situation they are in.
More articles: Who is your ideal client
Showing that you know and understand your audience will allow you to enter into their memories and establish a deeper bond. They will remember you and come back.
Answer these questions: Who is your perfect customer? What does he/she expect from your brand? Which would make them trust you? Where can you find him?
Set a goal and break it to smaller milestones
There is no brand strategy without a properly selected goal and it is important to implement to agree on the timeline to make sure you on the right track.
Once you know how much time you need to achieve your goals, break the plan into smaller chunks. What actions do you need to take during this time? Imagine a bigger picture and move slowly to details.
If you assumed that by the end of the year you would like to have more customers for your shop, first think about specific numbers – how many customers? Then think about how much of this plan you are really able to implement in three months, and what you have to do each month to move forward. Then determine what you need to do each week to make your monthly goals a reality.
Writing everything down in advance is difficult. That’s why you can break the upcoming quarter first.
Thanks to this tactics you can adapt your actions on a regular basis.
Answer the following questions: How much time do you need to achieve your goal. What milestones you need to achieve in each quarter to move forward. What you have to do each month to complete the quarterly plan. What tools do you need?
What tools do you need to achieve your goal?
The strategy is a long term plan that helps you to build better relations with your audience and have more impact. If you know what you would like to achieve in a year, two, five, ten years, you split the activities into smaller stages.
If you like to open a zero-waste shop in your area, define what would be the sign that you achieved success. At first, you need to grow awareness among the people who can become your customers. What will be proof of success in this case? Increasing the number of fans on Facebook? Numbers of shares under your posts? Direct inquiries about the opening date?
However, to achieve this goal you should know what tools to use. In this case, investing in a suitable structured Facebook campaign, publishing content that will interest your ideal client, a press release in the local newspaper? It all depends on the market in which you want to appear.
Writing out the various stages together and the tools you need to use will help you consistently implement the plan and prepare well for the challenges ahead.
What does your competition do?
Look closely at the competition. It’s not about copying them and misleading consumers. Understanding your opponents will help you find points where your brand can stand out.
Combined this with knowledge about the audience group will allow you to truly understand your strengths and weaknesses, learn how you can compete in the market.
Answer the question: What consumers’ needs your competitors fulfil already. What do you like and dislike about their activities? How do they communicate and what language do they use. What elements of your strategy would encourage people to change their habits and use your services?
Give your brand a right character
Our contact with brands resembles the one with the real people. We establish similar relationships with them. The more human the brand is, the more it mirrors the people we like, the greater chance that we will remember it and return.
The brand archetype helps you build these relationships. It’s a way to bring the spirit into it. The 12 archetypes of the brand are based on Jung’s theory, which is based on the study of various books and applications. It assumes that, as humanity, we have certain cultural patterns that help us recognize human characters and build relationships with them.
How I work with my clients
When I work on branding for my clients, I help them build a strategy that will help them meet their goals. During two months of working hand-in-hand, we look at the brand’s mission, the target group, and competition. We create an annual plan and write down all the tools that are needed to implement them.
Photo credit: Taitana Syrikova / Pexels