Brand strategy is all about crafting a game plan to build and maintain a strong brand identity. Imagine a brand as if it's a person with a personality—how it looks, what it says, and how it makes you feel. A great brand strategy ensures that all these elements are aligned and consistent across different platforms, from logos and taglines to social media and customer experiences. Having a solid brand strategy is important because a well-defined brand strategy helps businesses connect with their target audience, build trust, and differentiate themselves from competitors. It's like the foundation upon which all the cool stuff like marketing campaigns and product launches are built.
So what are the things you understand after forming a solid brand strategy?
Purpose, Vision, Mission
Understanding the purpose, vision, and mission for your business or organization enables you to form a proper origin story. It helps you to answer the question: "Why do you exist, and why should anyone care?"
Simon Sinek summarized why this is so important when he said, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
The fact is, many brands don't have personality, which means they aren't really brands at all. Because after all, a brand is just an audience's gut feeling about a business or organization. If you don't know who you are then how can you possibly convey who you are to others? When you understand your brand personality you can articulate your brand's values, beliefs, and personality traits.
The information you learn during the brand personality phase of brand strategy, along with what you learn about your target audience - directly influences your brand's identity, i.e. your logo, typography, color scheme, design language, etc.
Target Audience & Research
During the target audience & research phase of brand strategy you work to understand who your target audience is, and who makes up that audience. Narrowing your target in this way allows you to focus on a specific type of individual, along with their specific needs.
This information helps you to form a solid positioning statement for your business or organization, and create user personas for your ideal customer. A positioning statement defines 'what you do, and who you do it for,' and directly influences branding and messaging, which is how your business or organization is presented to the public. Your user personas work together with your brand personality to influence your brand's identity.
During the gap analysis phase of brand strategy you work to understand the different gaps that prevent customers from reaching your brand.
Visualize a trench (the gap) - on one side is your customer and on the other is your business or organization. Knowing where your customers are and the problems they face will inform you where you need to build bridges to close the gaps.
There are 3 types of gaps:
Brand Gap: Does your audience think of your business or organization the way you do?
Opportunity Gap: After you learn about a day in the life of your target customer, what are some ways you can solve their problems? Maybe they're on Instagram a lot but you're only publishing to Facebook. Now you can also work on your Instagram profile because you understand there's an opportunity gap.
Marketing Gap: How is your brand perceived compared to other businesses or organizations? How would someone rank you based on your competitors, and what can you do to be number 1 on their list?
The information you learn during gap analysis directly influences your marketing communication and business development.
Brand strategy is crucial for businesses and organizations because it serves as the compass that guides their growth and success. By defining and consistently communicating their unique brand identity, businesses and organizations can connect with their target audience, foster trust, and stand out in a crowded marketplace. A well-crafted brand strategy sets the stage for effective marketing campaigns, builds customer loyalty, and ultimately helps businesses achieve their goals. In short, brand strategy is the secret ingredient that propels businesses and organizations forward and sets them apart from the competition.