It sounds like a buzz word, right? Brand Strategy! Well, news flash it’s not a buzz word and it is absolutely something you need to grow your business. Why? Because without it, your business will lack consistency in your overall brand message, values, and design.
Think of a brand strategy this way. When you start any job whether that be in corporate, retail, even at Cold Stone Creamery (fun fact that was my first job at 15 years old) your first couple of days you’ll go through some type of orientation. Typically in orientation, the company goes through the company, the purpose, and goals, you start seeing the logos in different ways, and if you’re really lucky they’ll even give you a quiz at the end to make sure you were paying attention (this happened a couple of times for me). Everything you learn in orientation for any job is the company’s Brand Strategy. It makes sure everyone is on the same page so that everyone understands the business goals, values, and design. Need I say more?
Even if you’re a solo-entrepreneur or a small business of 5 people, your business needs a Brand Strategy. As time goes on and if you decided to grow and have employees or contractors you want to make sure they are all on the same page from the very beginning.
So, now that you know you need a brand strategy you may be wondering, what does it include?
Here’s a list of everything we include in our client Brand Strategies:
- Brand Purpose/Mission Statement
- Brand Values
- Target Audience
- Competitor Analysis
- Brand Personality
- Logo Design
- Color Palette
- Mood Board
From that list, the most important factors of a brand strategy are…
In 1-2 sentences your mission statement needs to explain what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it. For example here is our mission statement at Apto Media: We help brands find their voice, build their foundations, and grow through branding and marketing strategies.
YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
You have your service and product, great, BUT now you need to know who you’re trying to sell to. Defining your ideal target and audience will ensure that your brand is truly focused. We first create a general list of demographics. Example: Women, 25-50, single or married, annual income of $100K per year, etc. This is a general list of items to narrow down your target audience. Then you need to create a specific avatar of your ideal client. For example: Mary lives in New York City, works in banking, and is ready to start her own business. By creating a storyline for your ideal client you can visualize who this person is, their struggles, and how your business can help. Lastly create a list of qualifying lead points. This goes back to demographics but are more specific and refer to pain points in their life, maybe they are lost, looking for help, etc. Having qualifying leads will ensure that you and your team have a list of points that each client needs to meet so you can easily identify if this client would benefit from your products or services.
This is typically completed after you do a competitor analysis. Create 5-6 sentences that answer the questions, what makes my brand different from my competitors? Is it because of the different features you offer, your customer’s service is top-notch, or do offer a product/service that your competitors don’t? This list will ensure that you know why your brand is better than your competitors, and what make it different.
These are the three most important factors but of course follow the list I mentioned above to make sure you have a complete Brand Strategy for you business.
If you’re still not sure why your company needs a brand strategy, here are a couple of multiple reasons:
1. Distinguishes you from your competition.
If you or your team ever feel overwhelmed by your competitors and think, how the heck can I market my business differently from them? A brand strategy will explain exactly why your brand is different.
2. Provides more recognition from your customers.
Pepsi and Coca-cola offer a very similar product however customers are able to recognize the brands immediately by their colors, logos, values, and taste! A brand strategy allows your customers to recognize your brand instantly without thinking twice.
3. Prepares your brand to become more consistent.
This is key to growing and scaling your business. Consistency is king and you need to bow down and do as it says, and it says you have to keep going, promoting, and selling your business ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Having a brand strategy will ensure that everyone who is apart of your brand (employees, audience, contractors) is on the same page. They’ll understand your values, typography, your mission statement, and everything about your brand.
So if I haven’t convinced you yet, I leave you with this one last statement that will hopefully convince you that your brand needs a Brand Strategy.
A Brand Strategies is the heart and should of your business. Without it, your brand doesn’t stand a chance in a saturated, or new industry.
That’s is, everything about a Brand Strategy, why you need it, and what are the most important features to focus on. If you have any questions feel free to reach out, we’d love to hear from you.