What is a brand, and why the concept is important?In a recent article, we already mentioned that a brand is more than a logo, color palette, and brand name. It’s the entire experience people have with a company, blogger, product, or service. The right, well-thought-out concept can improve brand recognition, make a business more competitive, create trust with customers, support advertising.
What is a branding strategy?A brand strategy is a plan utilized by a business to achieve a particular image of itself in the minds of prospects and customers. When a business or an individual has created and executed a cohesive brand strategy, people know a lot about the company and its mission.
Do you need a brand strategy?No matter if you own a well-established big company or a small business, you definitely will benefit from a carefully created brand strategy. When you have a cohesive brand strategy, you can communicate with your customers more clearly. The more clear and consistent your messaging is, the more chances you have to attract and maintain loyal customers. In addition, it provides a focus for your employees. A clear brand vision helps make sure every team member is working towards the same objectives. Now that you understand why you need a branding strategy, it’s time to start building one. Below are the most important steps in this process. Keep in mind that failing at one of these stages can be critical to you and your brand. So let’s see what these steps are.
1. Find a dream teamIt’s not easy to build a brand strategy alone. Ideally, you need to have a strong team to create, revise, and bring that strategy to life. You will need a brand shepherd, marketing lead, communication specialist, someone who creates brand culture, creative teammates, etc. One person can cover several roles, but everyone must know their responsibilities.
2. Research, research, researchIf you want to be successful, it’s important to know the situation on the market, learn about customers and competitors. Many skip this step, assuming they already know everything. However, it’s better to spend a month on deep analysis than to do the wrong business the whole life. Does it really work? For example, after researching people’s preferences in global fashion brands, Nike decided to put an emphasis on fashion trends, infusing them in its sportswear.
- Learn your customers…
- ...And your competitors
3. Understand your brandImagine that your brand is a person with a distinct personality. Describe this person, then think about how you can translate this personality in everything you do and create. Write your brand vision, mission, values, and story. Then use this brand messaging throughout your company materials and while communicating with your audience.
4. Design your brandWhen it comes to design, keep in mind that it is an important tool in a brand development strategy, but not the main goal. Ideally, it would be best if you created value for the consumer first, and only then choose how to paint the logo: green or red. Those who don’t know how to build a brand from scratch, often make this common mistake: they start from creating things like a logo, colors, and typography. However, these elements are a visual translation of your brand’s essence. If you aren’t quite sure what you’re trying to communicate, it will not be easy for you to create a visual identity and embody it. So, be sure to get through all the essential steps we mentioned earlier first.
- Pictures and photos
5. Align everything in a brand bookCreate a guide centered around your brand identity and voice to help everyone in your company know exactly how to communicate your brand.
Things you shouldn’t miss out in your branding strategyTo complete the full brand strategy process successfully, you need to remember about:
- Being consistent
- Adding some emotions
- Staying ready for changes
- Involving everyone
- Thinking about customers
Building a brand. Learn from professionals.
- Apple’s design
source: developer.appleWhen it comes to the design of Apple stores, they maintain the same look in all locations. All are clean and bright. Their website content matches the brand concept and is carefully localized to please international audiences.
- Coca-Cola’s consistency
source: thedrumOver the years, they promote the same sustainable and versatile values, such as optimism, happiness, family, and friends.
- Starbucks’ atmosphere
- Ikea’s simplicity
- Airbnb’s care
- Uber’s convenience
source: slideshareIn their content and messaging, Uber continuously highlights how annoying it might be to take a traditional taxi and points out how Uber taxi is superior.
- Nike’s inspiration
source: mediumConclusion What makes Coca-Cola, IKEA, Starbucks, Nike, Lacoste, etc. iconic brands? How are they so well known that customers around the world instantly recognize them? A big part of the answer is found in their branding strategies. We hope that this article will help you understand the components of a successful brand strategy and learn how to create one.
Ostap is a marketing professional (PMM) with 5+ years of experience in the software industry (B2B and B2C). Having worked with email marketing products and services, Ostap has a deep understanding of various email marketing strategies and solutions.