What is a brand strategy, and do I need one?
As a brand strategist, most of the time, my first job is to explain to my small business client’s what brand strategy is. That’s because it sounds like something only big corporate organisations have, and therefore can feel overwhelming or intimidating. It can also be called an array of business jargon buzz words such as brand DNA, Brand Blueprint, Brand Book and whatever else a clever marketing person has decided to call it. Alternatively, it’s mistaken for brand design, which is the visual element of your brand such as your logo, colours, and fonts.
Simply put your brand strategy is taking the time to write down and articulate the who, what, where, when and most importantly the why of your business; and doing this in the most compelling way, to appeal to your target market. You can then use this across all your marketing materials and business decision making….so pretty important stuff!
Like anything in business, you can choose to do it yourself or call in the experts, just like with your bookkeeping or social media. Your brand strategy is no different. If you choose to dive in headfirst and write your own, then these are the key components you need to include:
A short sentence or two capturing what problem your business is solving and for who. Keep it concise, balancing what you already do with what you want to work towards.
Your business plans and strategies will change as your business grows but your values won’t as these need to be what is most important to you and your business. They help customers understand and relate to you.
Capturing your origin story to share with your customers is a powerful piece of marketing for your business. Just like any story it needs characters, intrigue and to be memorable.
Your brand attributes are the personality traits of your business. Are you loud or quietly confident? Are you timeless or modern? Are you urban or rural? Your attributes help build up the picture of your brand, so your customers can relate, empathise, and trust you.
Tone of Voice
How you talk to your customers reflects the type of business that you are. Do you talk with authority or are you friendly and chatty? The right tone can help build trust and recognition amongst your target audience.
Are you high end luxury or are you high value, lower price? Mapping out where your competitors are and understanding where you sit amongst them is an important exercise, to know where you sit in the marketplace.
If you have read this far and thinking “I don’t have the time or inclination to write my own” then get in touch (www.nonameextrabrain.com). If, however, you’re now motivated to get stuck in, then you may be thinking “but what do I do with my brand strategy, once I have it?” and if that’s the case then read on…
How to use you brand strategy effectively
Your brand strategy will quickly become your business bible, creating the foundations you need to build upon. That’s because it will inform all your future business decisions. For instance, if you have captured that you a high-end luxury product then this will impact your price point, where you choose to market and how you talk to your customers. You will want to reflect your high-end status in everything that you do, so you can attract the right type of customer, gain customer loyalty and grow.
Your brand strategy will…
- Support business decision making
- Make you more relatable to your customers
- Give you a wealth of content to talk about
- Stop you wasting time and money on marketing that is not effective
- Give you a competitive advantage
Running your own business is hard work and overwhelming at times but with a strategic brand in place you will be able to future proof your business, by growing in a way that differentiates you from everyone else.