A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into creating a successful and beloved brand. Where does it begin? With a solid brand strategy.
When done right, a brand strategy can help you to shape your business into a one-of-a-kind brand that stands out within its niche. This article will help you start by defining brand strategy and why it’s important. Then we’ll break down the elements that a brand strategy needs to be a roadmap for your success.
What is a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy is a long-term plan that defines your business values and how you intend to use those values to build rapport and relatability with your target market. This includes core values and beliefs, brand identity, messaging and marketing, and your niche within the market. The ultimate goal is to become the preferred brand within your niche.
Why is a Brand Strategy Important
Aside from the obvious – standing out amongst the competition – a solid brand strategy is a must for any new or existing business. The benefits of an effective brand strategy include:
- Authenticity: 88% of consumers say authenticity is important in their decision-making process.
- Trust: 44% of customers say they’ll pay more for a brand they trust.
- Consistency: A consistent brand presentation can increase revenue by 33%.
- Transparency: 66% of consumers say transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand.
- Connection: A consumer who makes a purchase based on an emotional connection to a brand has a 306% higher lifetime value (LTV).
All of the above, and more, are the consequences of an effectively planned and implemented brand strategy.
6 Elements of an Effective Brand Strategy
When building out your brand strategy plan, there are nine essential elements to be sure to include.
Why are you in business? A brand purpose statement will help you to nail this down so you can use the answer as a rallying cry to investors, employees, and customers.
With a reason for existing now established, it’s time to decide where your business is going.
A brand vision should be lofty but also achievable. Its purpose is to inspire people (namely, employees and decision-makers) while also providing a clear outline to “compare” your goals.
Your brand’s core values will play a significant role in your company’s culture. These values will align with both your purpose and your vision, and they’ll ultimately guide decisions.
With a strong set of brand values, you can ensure a consistent and purposeful message is delivered to your employees, customers, and business partners.
You know why you’re in business and what you stand for. So who are you selling to? That’s where a target audience comes in.
The target audience is the subset of the audience you wish to create, market, and sell your products. Understanding your target audience through market analysis and customer personas will help you shore up your business’s overall plan.
The personality is the “human” side of your brand. That is, it’s how you present yourself to your customers via marketing efforts.
It helps to think of a brand personality as a multidimensional representation of your values. How would someone with those same values present themselves to the outside world?
Nike, for example, is a brand that identifies itself as efficient, brave, and determined. This inspirational persona is what Nike is best known for.
With the brand personality established, you can now select an appropriate brand voice to finalize your overall strategy.
To continue with the example of Nike, its efficient, brave, and determined personality is complemented by their motivational tone of voice.
Your brand strategy will not only guide you as you make big decisions for your business, but it will also inspire the way others (i.e., employees, customers, and business partners) think about your brand.
You won’t have a solid brand strategy established in one day. The strategy itself includes everything from purpose and vision to personality and voice. With careful consideration and market research, you can ensure you’re building a solid roadmap for your business for years to come.