Your brand is your company’s persona; its personality. A brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of your brand in order to achieve your goals. This includes all aspects related to your customer’s needs such as understanding your buyer personas and defining your brand and message strategy. In fact, there are a number of components which go into crafting a powerful brand strategy. We’ve outlined the key considerations below to help you build a consistent, long-standing, strong brand that can stand the test of time.
Define Your Brand, Define Your Business:
- Brand Promise: Be consistent by defining the values or experience that your customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with your company. Brand consistency, which includes your brand’s promise, will float your company’s boat even when the waters seem rough.
- Brand Perception: The perception of a brand is owned by consumers, not the brand itself. However, as a brand, you can determine how you want to be perceived and craft your brand messaging to support that perception.
- Brand Values: Your brand values are the core from which your brand’s design, voice, message, and relationships radiate. Your values will impact the design and message of your brand, and the way in which you approach relationships with your customers.
- Brand Voice: Brand voice is the tone and selection of words, combined with the attitude that you use to address your brand’s consumers. Voice plays a very important role in how your customers view your brand. What type of personality do you want your brand to convey in order for it to ultimately be perceived as you would like?
- Brand Positioning: Used as a tool to align marketing efforts with brand values, brand positioning is a brief description of your brand’s offering, the persona you are targeted and a determination of how the product or service meets the needs of your buyer persona. What do you want your potential customer to think about when considering buying your brand. What need can your brand fulfill for them?
Applying Your Brand Strategy to Growing Your Business
What do you think of when you hear the name Coco-Cola? Nike? Burt’s Bees? All three of these powerhouse companies have done a superior job of creating and maintaining their brand's identity. And if you haven’t already, your company can as well.
- Target Audience: When defining your brand strategy you likely started with Buyer Personas. Your audience (who become your clients or customers) want to feel confident in the fact that your company understands their needs. Understanding your consumers means also being able to service them, and this understanding of your customer should carry across in all that you do to grow your business.
- Have a Voice. Don’t be boring, be a voice that stands out amongst a sea of sameness. We mean it. Content is where it’s at, and if your business not only establishes its voice when it comes to marketing content but remains consistent, consumers will follow. If your content is unengaging, you may not attract as big of an audience as you would like. Find your voice, keep it clear, consistent, and interesting. Hit the key points of your audience and their needs and make sure it has a purpose.
- Branded Content. Case studies, blogs, and information as to your services and/ or products on your website go a long way to showing not only what your company does but also how it continues to learn and grow in order to remain successful in its expertise. Added bonus? This content can be used in your email marketing, and social media content to help drive valuable traffic to your site.
- Monitor Your Brand. There are many ways to keep track of where your efforts are leading to. Your branding initiative should be driving business straight to you. Google Analytics will not only keep track of how your customers are finding your products or services but also from which content factor: emails, blogs, and what they did when they found that content, how long it took them to act upon it, and if any other factors contribute to this. Some SEO tools (such as SEMRush) allow you to monitor brand chatter or brand reputation, while there are free social media alert tools which help you to track online mentions of your brand.
Keep the Chatter Going: Your Branding Initiative
A company’s brand strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step is to outline your blueprint, what you want to fulfill as a company and who you want to attract, then build your brand based off of your blueprint. It’s important not to overlook the essential tools necessary to not only establish, maintain, and keep track of your company’s activity and success but also to be able to identify where your weak spots are and how to continue to improve your brand and your business. Change is definite in business, and if you know how to adapt and respond to change, you’ll always be ahead of the game.