Create an effective brand strategy fit to your grow your business

December

Create an effective brand strategy fit to your grow your business

As a growing business, you know that having a strong brand is crucial. It helps you stand out from the competition, build trust with customers, and guide all your marketing and communication efforts. But developing a brand strategy can be overwhelming, especially if you're not sure where to start.

Let me walk you through the key steps to creating an effective brand strategy that will set your business up for long-term success.

Step 1: Conduct a Brand Audit

Before you start developing your brand strategy, it’s important to take stock of where you are currently. This is where a brand audit comes in. A brand audit is an assessment of your current brand, including your messaging, visuals, and overall presence.

To conduct a brand audit, start by collecting all your current brand materials, including your website, social media accounts, and marketing collateral. Then, review these materials with your target audience and brand personality in mind. Are they consistent with your brand message and values? Are they effective at communicating your unique value proposition (UVP)? If not, it may be time to make some changes.

Step 2: Understand Your Competitive Landscape

Before you can differentiate your brand from the competition, you need to understand who your competitors are and what they're offering. Research your competitors' branding and marketing efforts, as well as their products or services. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can you differentiate your brand from theirs?

Step 3: Define Your Brand

With a clear understanding of your current brand and competitive landscape, you can now define your brand. This includes identifying your target audience, your UVP, your purpose or mission, and your brand personality.

To identify your target audience, consider who your ideal customer is. What are their demographics, interests, and pain points? Understanding your target audience will help you create messaging and positioning that resonates with them.

Your UVP is what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s the reason why customers should choose you over other options. To define your UVP, think about what you offer that is unique or superior to your competitors.

Your brand purpose identifies the unique role your brand plays in the world and the impact it aims to make. It involves answering the question of why your brand exists — beyond just making a profit.

Your brand personality is the set of characteristics that define your brand’s identity. It’s how you want your brand to be perceived by your customers. To develop your brand personality, consider what values and attributes are important to your business and how you want to be perceived by your customers.

To identify your target audience, consider who your ideal customer is. What are their demographics, interests, and pain points? Understanding your target audience will help you create messaging and positioning that resonates with them.

Step 4: Develop your core brand idea and message(s)

Your brand idea is the core of your brand strategy. It’s the messaging that you use to communicate your UVP and brand personality to your target audience. To develop your brand message, consider the following:

  • What do you want to communicate to your target audience?
  • What makes your brand unique or superior to your competitors?
  • What are the key benefits of your product or service?
  • What is unique and motivating to your people and attractive to potential hires?

Your brand idea should be clear and concise, and it should be reflected in all your marketing and communication efforts. This with your UVP should be the source and inspiration for key messages to market (your messaging pillars).

Step 5: Create a unique and memorable visual identity

Your visual identity includes your logo, colour palette, typography, and any other visual elements that represent your brand. It’s important that your visual identity is consistent with your brand message and personality.

To create a visual identity, start by considering the following:

  • What words, imagery and visual style will best represent your brand personality?
  • What will help communicate your brand message and UVP?
  • How can your brand’s tone of voice help engage and differentiate you?
  • How will you use your visual identity across different channels and materials?
  • What visual assets can be created to help aid recognition and distinctiveness in your competitive space?

According to Forbes, ‘Your company's visual and verbal identity is the face you show to the world, and it's an essential part of your brand. A strong, cohesive identity can help you stand out from the competition and attract new customers.

Step 6: Implement your brand strategy

With your brand message and visual identity defined, it’s time to put your brand strategy into action. This includes creating brand guidelines that outline how to use your brand consistently across all channels and materials.

It’s also important to communicate your brand strategy to your employees and ensure that they understand and embody your brand values and personality. An effective brand strategy can help build a strong internal culture and enhance employee engagement.

According to a study by the University of Glasgow, ‘there is strong evidence that a strong corporate brand is positively related to employee satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty.’ And a HBR/EY study found: ‘80% of executives said organisations with a shared purpose command greater customer loyalty. 89% said such businesses will have greater employee satisfaction.

‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results’
Step 7: Evaluate and adjust your brand strategy

Execution of your brand strategy is not a one-time effort; it's an ongoing process. As your business grows and evolves, it's important to regularly review and evaluate your brand messaging and underlying strategy — in particular your positioning to ensure it's still relevant and effective, not least because others in the marketplace will adapt and react.

-

Creating a strong brand strategy is essential for the success and growth of any business. By following the steps outlined — conducting a brand audit, understanding your competitive landscape, defining your brand, developing your brand message, and creating a differentiated visual and verbal identity - you can establish a brand that differentiates you from the competition, builds trust with customers, cohesion within your organisation, and guides all your marketing and communication efforts.

By investing in a strong brand strategy, you can set your business up for long-term success and establish a positive internal culture that enhances employee satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty. So, take the time to carefully consider and invest in your brand strategy — it will pay off in the long run.

-

If you need a little help, that's understandable. Effective brand strategy requires an unusual and particular set of skills. Read more here on the benefits of an independent consultant, or get in touch to discuss what we can do together to achieve your business goals.

More articles
The power of brand in building a cohesive company culture

The power of brand in building a cohesive company culture

When you think about branding, you probably think about how it impacts your customer relationships. And yes, of course that's a key benefit. But did you know that a well-crafted brand strategy has a huge impact on your company culture? Let’s break down some of the the internal benefits of an effective brand strategy and how it can drive employee engagement, increase retention, and improve overall business performance.

Read—
The power of brand in building a cohesive company culture
Get the best from your brand.
If you want to discuss the issues and opportunities you face…
get in touch