Your brand is what people say about you behind your back. Shaping the brand, from what they say now, to what you want them to say, is the essence of brand strategy. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
The brand identity needs to cover every element of the business. For example, if you want your brand to be: the best Italian restaurant in town, then everything about your business needs to reinforce that idea, including your marketing materials, your products, your property, your staff, and customer service. Everything needs to say ‘best’,’Italian’ and ‘here’. If a staff member is sloppy or rude, that instantly undermines the brand. If your marketing materials are cheap, the brand is unclear. If you add a few British dishes to the menu, the brand is confused. Of course, the brand can evolve over time, maybe after some customer research and feedback, you could aim to be the best Italian Restaurant in the Region or the UK. Set your direction and then take it seriously, don’t flinch.
Concept of Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is like looking into your business and setting up the key elements that make the brand a unique one. This can incorporate several things, for example, how you deliver the brand’s goals and the mission.
For you to have a solid brand, you need to take your time to craft one meticulously. Take into account all the aspects of the product, niche, the market, and the service. You may also need to look at some of your competitors as much as you look at potential customers.
When you are starting, you may need to factor in taking vast leaps of faith. This is how you’ll get to know what works and what doesn’t work. You also need to have your hands on as much data as you can.
Data will only be generated once you start getting the customers to buy your products. It won’t be conclusive data though, that’s why you need faith when you are beginning. As you move on ahead, with every customer, every follower, and visitor, you’ll get valuable data and feedback which will help you to reflect on and shape the brand identity.
Elements of Brand Strategy
As stated already, various elements are incorporated when it comes to brand strategy. They are more like the template that you can use to cover all the bases when creating a brand:
- Brand Objective – here’s where you figure out your vision, mission, and why your business exists. It also has to cover what impact you will have on the audience.
- Brand Positioning – carving out a piece of the market and figuring out what it may take to get to the big players in your field and looking to play there.
- Target Audience –your audience, their interests, habits, needs, passions, and so much more.
- Identity – you can have a color or a logo that you can easily be identified with.
- Marketing Strategy – this is the long-term strategy that you have to implement to succeed. You will need to communicate what you are about to the audience at some point and in a way that they’ll receive. Social media paid ads, and all those can be incorporated here.
Developing A Brand Strategy
The process of developing a brand strategy is pretty straightforward. There are only three significant steps that will get you there.
Planning starts with research. Carry out market research with existing and potential customers. What do they really think about your business, how do you compare against your ideal brand identity? Carry out competitor and industry research too, to identify where you fit in comparison, where the gaps are and what are the important trends that you could exploit.
When this first phase of research is complete then you can map out a plan to define the brand and apply it to all elements of the business. As the folks at branding Brisbane explain “Your brand is more than just a logo and a colour palette; it’s a unique personality for your customers to engage with.”
With a plan in place, a solid plan, it’s now time to build. Make sure that your brand image and personality are fully expressed across every element of your business including your website and social media handles.
The last bid is to ensure that your marketing is on point. Marketing is what will fuel your brand. The messaging and all aspects of the marketing need to be in full swing. Ensure that you utilize all marketing channels and get the message to your audience. Market research should be ongoing. Have a process for ongoing data collection and review.
Brand strategy is the roadmap a brand uses to get where it needs to be. A strong brand doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, it is quite simply about having a clear focus and vision.