Let’s start with what will happen if you don’t have a concise brand strategy; you won’t have clear marketing goals for your business. It will be tricky for your clients/customers to understand what you stand for, what you can provide, what solution you can offer. A defined brand strategy provides clarity – for your business’ way forward and for your clients/customers way to you.
What is a brand strategy?
It’s your plan of how you will define, create and share your brand with the world. And, it’s about more than just your logo; it’s the customer experience and the quality of your offering (products and services) to.
A clearly defined and consistently executed brand strategy will assist with:
- Improved sales
- Stable business growth
- Setting you apart from the competition
- Attracting more clients/customers
- Decrease confusion about your brand
- Increase trust and customer loyalty
Within your business, a brand strategy will keep everyone involved stay on the same page, maintain a sense of purpose and increase feelings of inclusion and productivity.
So, regardless of whether you’re a start-up that’s branding for the first time or ready for a rebrand after a while in your industry, a brand strategy is essential, and here are the four essential steps to creating it.
1. Clients/Customers first – always
Sure, your brand strategy is designed to support your business however, if you create and implement a customer-centric strategy you’re more likely to succeed. Focus clearly on what your clients/customers need and want – this will foster customer loyalty and repeat patronage. Remembering that it’s often more efficient to retain a client than constantly searching out and converting new ones.
How do you have a customer-centric brand? Be relevant, showcase personalised content and really get to know your audience.
2. Be consistent
Inconsistency confuses everyone – your customers, your potential customers, even your own team. If you use different logos, fonts, colours, packaging without an identifiable theme you will lose sales. Consistency across your branding will increase your visibility and, by default, increase your sales and profits.
Keep in mind that consistency goes far beyond looks (visual elements). Be consistent across your values – if you promote that you’re eco-friendly – prove it in across your communications, products, packaging etc.
How do you maintain consistency? Create branding guidelines, keep them up-to-date and ensure every single person involved in your marketing efforts has a copy and adheres to it. Your branding guidelines should include everything from the tone of voice to use when writing social media posts, to how, where and when to use the logo.
3. Be emotional
While it might sound odd, being emotional in business is a game changer. Learning about your customers’ emotions and leveraging that knowledge is a massive leap towards creating brand loyalty. And that loyalty creates sales, repeat custom, and advocates for your business (think referrals and free exposure).
How do you encourage an emotional connection? Be authentic – across the board. From how you respond to customer service enquiries to the copy on your About Us web page – it’s important to be sincere. Your brand will appear more relatable and accessible if you use a conversational, friendly tone of voice in all of your communications. Highlight those things/issues/views that are important – when your values and your customers’ values align you are likely to create a connection.
4. Keep an eye on the competition
When you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ brands then you can apply those findings (both good and bad) to your own brand. Example – if something is lacking in your competitor’s customer service, perhaps that’s where you can step up. If your competitor is doing something great, then perhaps you could become better, fantastic at it.
How do you keep an eye on your competitors? Undertake some competitive analysis – pop onto their websites, scope their social media accounts. If they have a physical shopfront – go in for a visit. Try to understand how their brand makes you feel and the quality of their customer service offering.
A clear brand strategy can be an integral part of improving the success of your business. A definite plan will easily communicate what your business is about and where you’re headed. For help with creating your essential brand strategy, contact the team at Digibrand.