How do I create a brand strategy?A lot of our clients come to us asking us to help them build a brand strategy, which in their minds, is the logo, the tagline, colours to attract customers and a well-defined “difference” from competition. Brand strategy, however, is an elusive beast!
Let us break it down for you.
1. Brand Identity vs Brand Strategy
Your customers recognize your logo, love the funky colours you’ve used and are familiar with your website. Congratulations! You’ve created brand identity, which is the very first step towards creating a great brand strategy.
What else do you need?
2. Get 20/20 Vision
Only when you are clear about your purpose, can you expect customers to understand, and later spread, your narrative. Ideally, you should have a business vision – where you focus on bringing in the money. Along with this, you should have a broader, more inclusive vision – where you talk about the intangible benefits you bring to your customers. Are you making life easier with your product? Are you adding adventure to their lives every day? Are you creating a greener future for the planet?
3. Excellent Communication
Remember when rote-learning was a way of life for every student? It does have its benefits for your brand as well – when customers see you share messages aligned with your brand, you are subtly reiterating your vision (from point 2). Make sure that every piece of communication (visual, text-based, audio, face-to-face interactions) always adds value to your brand. If you share messages with conflicting communication, or with no clear strategy, you’ll get your customers confused about you.
4. Be Flexible
Yes, we just told you to remain consistent with your messaging, and no, we aren’t back-tracking on that. BUT, you need to know when to change your path to suit the trends, while still sticking to your communication. In today’s world where trends change quicker than Ranveer Singh’s looks, you need to keep up. Remember though, that you don’t have to jump onto every trend bandwagon. Pick trends that have something in common with your business, and use your excellent communication to work the trend to your brand’s advantage.
5. Tell a Story
This is the most important, yet hardest to attain, part of your brand strategy. As humans, we react emotionally before our logical side takes over. We also love stories and connect to them far more than we do to dry facts and figures. Why do you do what you do? Why are your products made a certain way? What impetus drives your business? Share your story with you customers, make them part of your brand and you’ve got a strategy which will last long, really long.
6. Customer Delight
Your customers are your best brand ambassadors. Don’t take them for granted, ever. Just crossed a significant figure in sales? Find an innovative way to thank the customers who made up those sales for you – it could be as simple as you and your employees spelling out a thank you in a fun GIF, or as cool as sending them an unexpected voucher or goody-bag. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a surprise from their favorite brand?
7. Be Big Brother
Big Brother is always watching, right? Keep an eagle eye on what the competition is doing. Especially on social media, fun repartee between competition increases respect for both companies. Combine this with wit, or some great visuals, and you’ll win your customers’ hearts as well. However, this one comes with a disclaimer – don’t get over-involved in what the competition is doing. Once in a while is okay, otherwise you tend to lose focus on your strategy and can come off looking childish as well.
Next Steps..Were you nodding along with some (maybe even all) of the points above? Because that’s just what we aimed to do. If you have any questions about strategy or brand, we’d love to crack them with you.
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