Without a brand strategy, your business has no clear identity—at least, not one that you control.
Formulating a brand strategy can be difficult for some companies. A “brand” is a somewhat amorphous thing. You can’t see, touch, or quantify a brand in quite the same way that you can with your company’s other assets, for example, property or equipment.
However, your brand is arguably your business’s most valuable asset. It defines how consumers perceive your brand. It impacts your visibility and determines your reputation. Ultimately, it is the most crucial component to your ability to make money.
Every brand starts with a purposeful brand strategy. You need to define what you want your business to be and how you want to be seen. Figuring these things out is not easy. However, with a robust brand strategy, you will be able to take control of your company’s identity, visibility, reputation, and consumer relations. Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Look to your business plan for inspiration
You can’t build a brand strategy without an overall business strategy. What is your company’s mission statement? What are your goals? What types of products or services are you offering? Who are you trying to reach? How are you going to grow? All these questions should already be answered in your business plan. Review them, because they will form the skeleton of your branding.
Step 2: Identify and research your target customers or clients
As mentioned above, your company’s mission statement should identify the market you are trying to reach. Instead of just thinking about your target customers as “a market,” though, think about them as people. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they do? What do they like? What types of marketing do they respond to? If necessary, sit down and sketch out a few buyer personas. This exercise, which can be guided and defined by doing some market research along the way, will help you gain a better understanding of the people in your target market. Knowing who you are trying to reach will be instrumental in developing your brand strategy. After all, a branding strategy is all about positioning your brand so that you appeal to your target clientele.
Step 3: Determine your positioning
Once you know who you are trying to sell your product or service to, you can start figuring out how to do it. The “how” is all about brand positioning. How is your company different from other competitors in your niche? What value can you provide that your target customers will appreciate? What common pain points can you solve? What benefits do you bring to the table that are sorely lacking in your market? Write out a five-sentence positioning statement. This statement should succinctly outline your company’s position in your industry.
Step 4: Take it to the people
A realistic, value-driven positioning statement is the key to your brand strategy. It will inform everything else about your branding, including your messaging, your logo, your tagline, your website design and layout, your content marketing strategy, and the marketing channels you use. Everything about your branding strategy should be geared towards getting your company into the precise market position you outlined in your positioning statement. Again, using research to measure if indeed your targeted customers are picking up on your intended positioning(s) is vital. See how we helped an established property developer achieve this.
If you don’t know where you are right now, how would you know if you are on track? Or how far off, for that matter.
Pull it off, and you’ll start reaching customers unerringly. Don’t leave it to chance.