When most people think brand they immediately think: logo. The truth is your brand is way more than your logo. And, your brand strategy – really – has very little to do with your logo. It has to do with something more profound and cerebral: clarifying and building the experience someone is left with each time they interact with you, your products or your marketing. By definition, brand strategy is a long-term plan for developing awareness and achieving specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects every aspect of business, for it derives from consumer needs and feelings as well as distinctiveness from your competitors.
Perhaps you’ve come to the unfortunate realization that your brand is all over the place and doesn’t say anything meaningful about you. So, you may be thinking: I need to a brand strategy. And, you may be panicking because it’s such an undertaking. Before you lose sleep over which font or color scheme you should use on your logo and how you should shape content marketing, consider these steps. They’ll at least help you get started.
Define who you are
If you could describe your business and what it stands for in one phrase, what would it be? At the end of the day, your brand should set you apart from the competition. That begins with a physical image and a clear message. Do you have your physical messaging i.e. your color scheme and logo clarified and consistent? In this step, create a messaging strategy that translates your brand positioning regularly. Then develop your name, logo and tagline.
Identify your target audience
When someone asks you who your “ideal clients” are and your response is “everyone,” you’re doing it wrong. There’s a difference between business you’ll take and business you’ll spend money and fight to get. The narrower your audience, the more you can tailor your brand and messaging to them, and, the more profits you can expect in return.
Align your brand strategy with your business strategy
Content marketing is king in the digital age. It incorporates all the elements of traditional marketing while providing insights, value and education to attract, nurture and qualify prospects. Once you define who you are, then it’s time to create marketing programs that go after your target audiences on platforms where they’ll be the most engaged. Then it’s time to deliver content that marries your message with what your audience wants and your business intent.
Build your marketing toolkit
Are you utilizing sales sheets? Do you send emails to prospects? Do you nurture those leads all the way through the funnel? Not only should you create a somewhat consistent regimen of promotional material development, you should also critically assess these and make changes as necessary over time. If one of your tactics is generating little to no leads or conversions, then go back to the drawing board.
Employee awareness and loyalty
Bottom line: employees should know how to represent your brand. If your social strategy is playful and fun and someone calls in and receives a grumpy, stern representative, that’s not really on-brand, is it? In fact, choosing employees from the get-go that believe and live out your messaging is a solid hiring tactic.
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As you can see, brand strategy is an ongoing process that requires a lot of work. That’s why many companies offload brand and content marketing to a trusted, full-service marketing agency with content creation, design and digital marketing expertise. If you’re ready to learn how to sharpen your branding tools, contact us today.