The Basics of a Winning Brand Strategy
Brand strategy is a long term plan used for brand development and management to achieve your business goals. It consists of the brand story, positioning, associations (such as logos and colors), personality, and promise. An effective brand strategy covers all aspects of a business, focusing on your target audience’s needs. It can help your business grow successfully with improved outcomes.
Most companies rely on their marketing plan for business growth and success; a brand plan or brand strategy should be at the center of your marketing. When it comes to developing an effective brand strategy, one size does not fit all. It is the responsibility of your marketing or brand team to promote the company’s services and brand in a way that aligns with your business’s goals and resonates with the customers, too, especially on an emotional level.
‘At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’ – Maya Angelou.
What are the essential elements of a winning brand strategy?
Every small business or startup needs good branding to promote their business. Yet, many new business owners focus so much on the company operation and forget about the brand, trying many different things hoping one of them will stick. A brand strategy provides clarity and focus. The elements that are crucial for forming a successful brand strategy are:
1. Brand vision and purpose:
Every brand makes a promise to its customers. It is not the promise that makes one brand different from each other but having a defined purpose. Making money shouldn’t be the only purpose of the brand. Brand purpose is a fundamental pillar, and companies having a specified purpose are most successful nowadays. Your purpose is what helps your consumers relate to your offering.
Having a clear vision for the brand will help determine the business goals and serve as a roadmap to ensure that the brand is heading in the right direction. The purpose and vision of the brand will shape the marketing plan. Every small business or startup should take its time to frame its vision and make meaningful decisions for the company.
2. Target audience:
The most critical component of a successful brand strategy is defining the target audience for the brand. First, you want to decide what your brand archetype should be. A brand archetype is a way to represent your brand, using symbolism, characterization, values, behaviors, messages. Identifying the target audience for the brand will you help in assessing the demand and modifying it to better meet customer’s requirements.
To identify the target audience, try to create a customer profile that includes demographics, psychographics, problems they face in life, solutions to the issues, and the customer’s emotions tied to those problems. You can also consider favorite channels, their likes and dislikes, and important influences in their lives. Get creative! Each persona or customer profile should have a name and personality as if they were real. Audience persona development will help the brand or company to design a marketing campaign that speaks to the right people in the right way by using the tone, messaging, and voice that most likely appeals to them.
Tone-of-voice is how brands speak to their audience. Brands use many social media platforms to interact with their audience and receive feedback from their brand community.
The tone in which the brand will speak to its community will vary from brand to brand. The company should choose an appropriate brand voice and then use it consistently across all platforms to interact with customers.
4. Market Analysis:
It may be difficult in the initial stages, but not impossible for small business or startups to secure their position in the market. A market analysis is essential to understanding how to position your brand in the market.
As new brands come to be every single day, every business will have to face tough competition. To secure a place in a market, the brand must identify its competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Weighing the competition will help you modify the brand if needed for better and improved outcomes. We recommend using a SCORE or SWOT analysis to understand where you are. At 28 D.Tales, we use a SCORE Analysis – Strength, Challenges, Options, Responses, and Effectiveness. Be sure you know your unique advantage before creating your SCORE analysis. Another good key performance indicator (KPI) to follow is realizing what keywords your competitors rank for on search engines. This information can help you optimize your content and GET NOTICED! Visibility is a key point in strategy.
5. Constant restructuring for future benefits:
Another crucial component of a winning brand plan is that the strategy should continuously evolve with time; otherwise, it is a stagnant strategy. No one wants a stagnant business; growth should be inevitable when designing your plan. It is the marketing team’s responsibility to develop new and improved practices, solutions, and processes with time.
The brand community should receive updates about any new processes and practices that may affect their brand experiences to feel more connected to the brand. A winning brand strategy is always dynamic rather than fixed.
Business success is a difficult target as many new businesses tend to fail in the first few years. Unfortunately, many new brands or companies are disappearing from the scene. An effective marketing plan can help the brand survive the toughest of times. Each feature listed above plays a critical role in developing a winning brand strategy. The brand should put their time and effort to represent and design each element properly. Stay innovative, relevant, thorough, helpful, social, unique, and knowledge-hungry – with these pillars, you can thrive and be prosperous in business.
If you need help with any or all of these components, 28 D.Tales is happy to help, and we insist that you contact us if you want to get on the right track to increased brand awareness, influence, engagement, impact, and revenue!