What is Brand Strategy?
Strategy is simply the name given to planning in advance to achieve a specific goal.
If you decide you want to lose weight for a wedding in 6 months time – you can’t just ‘will’ it to happen. To make it happen you need to decide what course of action you will take to achieve that goal. You’ll have an eating strategy and an exercise strategy to reach your weight goal.
In the same way, to reach your business goals, you’re likely to have multiple strategies. New business development strategies, retention strategies, financial strategies to name a few possibilities and of course a Brand Strategy.
But before we start talking about Brand Strategy in more detail, let’s talk about what a brand is. A brand is an emotional connection. Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon put it in a way that we think is easy to understand… “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s not your logo, the look of your website, packaging or marketing materials, your brand is how your customers or client’s would describe you. Your brand is the value that you bring to customers/clients and the reason they give to other people for choosing to do business with you rather than anybody else.
It’s intangible, but it’s what separates powerhouse brands from those that are merely ‘meh’. And Brand Strategy implemented well is what will help you achieve your brand goals.
Brand Strategy is defining ‘who’ you are as a business/brand. It’s deciding what you stand for beyond the practical or tangible, after all other businesses can copy what you do but not who you are. Beyond making money, why does your business exist? What motivates you and your team to get up each morning and do what you do? Does everyone in your business have the same vision of this and are your customers able to talk about you in the same way? A Brand Strategy is about defining what you want this to look like at a certain point in time in the future. A Brand Strategy will define what you do and why you do it, who you need to connect with, your values, personality, essence, your story and the reasons to believe. The next step then is your communications or marketing plan to help you achieve this internally and externally – but that’s a discussion for another article.
A strong Brand Strategy will:
01 Lay the foundation for a healthy and differentiated brand
02 Form an effective brief for many aspects of the business
03 Provide a sounding board for all business decisions
04 Get all stakeholders on the same page
05 Defines a blueprint to then create a bridge between this internal strategy and your customers
A strong Brand should:
01 Provide meaning about who you are and what you stand for. It doesn’t say ‘buy me’, it says this is why I exist and if you agree – like me, follow me, recommend me, buy me.
02 Create emotional connections with your target audiences. Remember emotional connections are harder to break.
03 Provide focus for internal stakeholders
04 Ultimately save you time and money as you don’t need to re-introduce yourselves to your target audiences every time you come in contact with them.
Target audiences may not buy your product after viewing one advertising campaign. A customers’ first visit to your website might not lead to a direct sale. The strongest pitch presentation mightn’t result in a win this time around (but hopefully it will but every time you get the opportunity to get in front of your audience is a chance for you to direct how they’ll talk about you in the future (when you’re not in the room or in right front of them). And a solid Brand Strategy means you are taking control and dictating what that conversation is going to look like.
Think you may need some help to define and develop your Brand Strategy. Let’s talk.