Are you looking to brand and market your business effectively? Have you tried everything but nothing seems to work? If so, you definitely need a successful branding strategy. But what does that entail?
For entrepreneurs, developing an effective branding strategy can be a challenge, but with the right resources, it does not have to be that way.
What is a branding strategy?
An effective brand marketing strategy includes long-term goals that are crucial to the development of a brand. It aims to extend reach, enhance consumer experiences, and make people aware of what the brand does. The goal is to create a positive image of your brand among your current and future customers.
Benefits of an effective branding strategy
A successful branding campaign can result in a lot of positive outcomes.
- Positive image
- Being recognizable
- Easier brand expansion
- Easier brand management
- Consistent brand identity
Building a branding strategy is important
Developing a branding strategy helps to coordinate marketing activities. Additionally, a branding strategy ensures that your message to customers is clear and allows you to analyze your successes and mistakes. This is the guidance that every brand needs.
Consider these points before creating the strategy
If you want to build an effective brand strategy, start from the core of your business. Here are some factors to consider:
- What type of firm are you?
- Where do you want your brand to be?
- What are your mission and values?
- What and whose expectations do you want to meet?
And the most important question: HOW would you like to do everything above?
Although the process seems straightforward, many companies don’t start with the basics by answering these questions. If they want to succeed, they should.
How to Create a Strong Brand Strategy
Work as a team
You have a team of people occupied with various tasks. Their perspectives are valuable. Take the time to focus on your brand’s mission, vision, and values as a group, to keep the message strong and consistent.
Simon Mainwring says, “Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms.”
If you are ready with your mission and values, it is time to show the world who you are. Think about how you would like to convey your message to your audience. You can build a bond with your target audience by delivering the message in a way that resonates with them.
Make sure your brand messaging reflects the essence of your brand. Defining and implementing your brand essence within your messaging requires focus on these three elements:
- Personality: It should reflect your brand’s values. Imagine that your company was a person – who would it be?
- Voice: A good voice is clear, unique, and constant across messages.
- Tone: Different contexts, channels, and audiences call for different tones.
Creating anything is all about the purpose
Defining a purpose is a crucial step in creating an effective branding strategy. You need to give meaning to what you do. This is the first and usually the most important step. The purpose shows to the customer not only what you have to offer but also the value you provide.
Vision vs. purpose
Vision and purpose are not the same thing. Your vision of the brand reflects your vision for the company. Those two aspects are strongly connected, however. Based on the vision, you can define:
- Mission statement
Values play an equally important role in defining a vision. Your values determine your goals, how you act and what guides you.
How can you define your vision? Ask yourself some questions:
- What are you good at?
- What are you best at?
- How can you make the world a better place?
You can learn a great deal about yourself and your brand by answering these questions.
Regular self-evaluation is essential. This step allows brands to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. You can see what worked and what did not and use this information as you move forward.
Social media is typically used to communicate with audiences. Make sure that everything you do there is thoughtful, meaningful, and aligned to your brand’s main message.
A well-designed social media campaign gives your customers a sense of consistency in your content and message. It also helps you gain their trust because they understand what to expect. Regular and consistent communication will help you gain customer loyalty.
Coca-Cola is an excellent example. They do a lot of work to maintain consistency. We all recognize their ads around Christmas time, which usually focus on being together with family. This is Coca-Cola’s message every year.
Emotionally connect with your clients
This is the next point to consider when creating a successful branding strategy. Brand loyalty is more likely to occur when customers are emotionally attached to the brand.
Feelings are powerful! Happiness, relaxation, love, friendship. Many of those values and emotions are present in the most successful and well-known companies around the world.
How to imply the emotional aspect? Think of your company as a person and consider:
- Who do you want to be?
- How do you want it to behave?
- What worth does the brand bring to the world?
- What emotions would you like to evoke in your clients?
Once again, consistency is essential because your company will be identified by the messages it sends to its target audience. When people know what to expect, your brand will be much more recognizable.
Establish a tagline and slogan for your branding strategy
If someone asked you to recall a famous tagline or slogan, you would probably think of McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” or Nike’s “Just do it.” They’re catchy, which is why they’re easy to remember.
A slogan is different from a tagline
A tagline is an easily recognizable motto or phrase. It describes the brand’s mission, values, or purpose. You will immediately associate a tagline with a brand when you hear it.
In general, taglines should be:
- Consistent with your brand message
A slogan is similar to a tagline. Slogans are associated with a certain product or a marketing campaign and tend to be:
- Less memorable than a tagline
- Attached to a product or a campaign
They should be simple, memorable, and catchy. They have a promotional function and are created to build good associations with a brand.
Creating a slogan or a tagline requires creativity. Consider the slogans and taglines that resonate with you. Analyze why you remember them and strive to make your slogan or tagline equally memorable.
Visuals for your branding strategy
Your logo, colour palette, images, and all other visual elements are tools to communicate with the audience.
According to Forbes, a person needs only seven seconds to make a first, solid impression of who you are based on your appearance. It takes 10 seconds to determine traits such as being trustworthy.
Use this knowledge to your advantage. Thinking about your branding strategy, make sure that:
- Visual elements are consistent
- Are in line with your assumptions
- Transmit the message you want to transmit
Your logo is a graphic element that identifies your company. It helps you to distinguish the brand from others. By incorporating symbols, colours, and other visual elements, a logo creates a visual identity of your company.
A logo is not a brand
There is a difference between a logo and a brand. The logo is a graphic representation of the brand. Branding refers to the concept that defines a service or a product. Would you like to know how to build a brand? Click here for The Complete Guide on Brand Building.
Your branding strategy should target the right audience
Research your clients to determine who they are. Your marketing efforts should be tailored to their needs. The more specific your marketing efforts, the better the results.
Research your target audience
Defining the target group requires research into their priorities, preferences, and needs. For example, if your company produces toys for babies, your target market would be parents. You must think about how to talk to your parents so that they will listen to you. When choosing a tagline, remember your brand philosophy and the message you want to convey to the customer.
Don’t forget your team!
Let’s talk about your employees.
When developing a branding strategy, team involvement and satisfaction are crucial. Employees communicate with the client and represent the company. When they’re happy, engaged, and passionate brand advocates, it can elevate customer perception of the band.
Change is the only constant in branding strategy
Never be afraid to change, experiment, and try new things. Changes are vital and even needed. They are proof of your growth. To keep up with all the changes and adjustments, you must develop and modify your brand.
Try SWOT analysis if you’re not sure about upcoming changes. This analysis can be performed before any sort of action, such as undertaking new initiatives, changing the policies, considering new opportunities for your brand. The analysis relies on four categories:
S – Strengths
W – Weaknesses
O – Opportunities
T – Threats
Imagine that you are running a small, sustainable clothing company and planning to introduce a new product: a handbag. Here’s what the SWOT analysis looks like in action:
S – Strengths: knowledge about the materials, access to the best sustainable material supplier in the market
W – Weaknesses: No prior experience in sewing handbags
O – Opportunities: Gain new clients and develop your business
T – threats: Intense competition
SWOT analyses allow you to examine new changes you would like to integrate into your company from a broader perspective.
Building brands is easier with the right partner
It takes some time and effort to develop a brand strategy, but it is definitely worth the effort. A well-planned strategy will make your brand successful. If you’re looking for a strategic partner in developing your brand, SociallyInfused Media can help you tell your story, create compelling visuals, and develop unique campaigns. Talk to us about how we can bring your brand vision to life!