What is Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is the process of identifying what your company and your brand stand for. It is the act of establishing why you are in business. Brand strategy is a comprehensive plan for how you will speak about your business. Built upon a comprehensive analysis of your company, your industry, and your competitors, this plan will guide all of your marketing communications.
For your brand to break through the clutter and engage with your target audience, you need to define your brand’s mission statement, value proposition, and position in the marketplace, and then determine the proper messaging, including voice and tone, to create meaningful connections with your customers.
It is important to keep in mind that your brand strategy should be rooted in long-term thinking and planning, and serve as a visionary roadmap for your business’s future brand and marketing decisions. Your brand strategy should not be subject to change based on every new challenge, threat, or opportunity that comes along. Rather it should be a fundamentally sound approach to how you conduct and promote your business that it is able to withstand these external forces. This does not mean, however, that your brand strategy cannot, or should not, change over time. As your business, your competitors, and your customers evolve, so should your brand strategy to keep your brand competitive and relevant.
Your brand strategy should be based, more than anything else, on what your company stands for and the value that it provides. The resulting plan will be based on a combination of company values and principles, and benefits and outcomes for your customers. Brand strategy will therefore impact things like your mission statement and all other supporting messaging, your logo and visual design including signage and product packaging, and even things like your internal company culture.
An examination of your industry and competitive landscape, and how your business is positioned within it, makes up another key component of your company’s brand strategy. These external considerations should not dictate your strategic planning as much as internal factors, but it is nevertheless important to think about how your business fits into the larger whole, and to then carve out a positional advantage within it. Examine your product offerings, customer service, pricing, distribution, and any other factors that might differentiate your company from others, then determine which of these factors can be most effectively leveraged to enhance your brand in the minds of your target customers.
Your target customers are another component of your brand strategy. Who are they, what their needs are, and how your company can help fulfill them are all questions that need to be answered. Much like your industry and your competitors should not dictate the strategy for your brand, nor your should your customers. They should, however, heavily influence things since branding is largely the interaction between your business and your customers, it is their perception of your business. As such, developing a strategy to define your brand should take them into account.
Remember that brand strategy is about outlining who and what your business is, and what it stands for. It provides the framework for telling your brand’s story. So it is vitally important to your success that you get the plan right. To do so most effectively, it is best to work with an experienced marketing agency partner well-versed in developing brand strategies. Brand strategy provides your business with its long-range plan for success so don’t risk taking a misstep and costing your business valuable time, money, and customers.