Why does your business need a brand strategy?
What’s a brand really? And why invest in a brand strategy that seems to consume time, money and energy, especially when the business seems to be doing just fine? Are we really missing out on anything?
Today’s business landscape is changing faster than ever. The right way to success is constantly metamorphosing, and more and more companies are adopting a multi-channel approach to sales and marketing. It’s no secret that consumers like to associate themselves with recognised brands. So investing in a good brand strategy makes sense, since it will allow you to maximise your return on investment (ROI) over time. Like mutual funds, consistent investing is the key, for the returns to be favourable.
But first, what is a brand?
In the words of Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon, “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Did you know that the term “brand” comes from the ancient practice of “branding” livestock to signify ownership of something? While it has retained the essence of the original meaning for the most part, a brand is essentially a logo or symbol that identifies a company or product, represents its values and what it offers.
Everybody can instantly recognise a reputed name and would know what a particular global brand stands for. The world’s most successful companies have all worked hard towards building their brands and individual identities: Take Coca-Cola, Google, Walmart or Amazon, for instance. They will affirm that having an efficient branding strategy in place, would be an undeniable foundational pillar of business. In fact, the best brands have mastered their brand strategy so effectively that even without seeing their logo or which channel you are interacting with them on, you still know exactly which company you’re talking to.
In a broader sense, a brand is a company’s entire customer-facing identity. A brand strategy is therefore, coordinating the different elements of that identity, which could include your advertising, product packaging, website look-and-feel, workplace culture, and so much more. By the time your product hits the shelves and social media platforms, consumers should already start recognising it. Moreover, it must also encapsulate the problems you are trying to solve, in a way that will instantly resonate with people.
Moreover, they make their brand values clear and also encourage their customers to share their values.
‘Over a million sea animals lose their lives each year due to the plastic content in the sea.’ ‘Take a stand and choose a brand 100% committed to being cruelty-free.’
Your brand strategy should never leave anybody wondering, ‘so what?’
In fact, it should leave them thinking, ‘of course, that makes sense!’
Components of an effective brand strategy
The best brand strategies truly understand their audience: what makes them tick, what motivates them, what turns them off and what they’re likely to shout about. A brand often reflects in the way it speaks, its content created, the language used, the emotions they elicit or the philosophy it promotes. It is recognisable, undeniable and crucial for the success of your business.
Here are some of the important aspects that you must consider before you start out to build your brand strategy:
- What is the look and feel of your brand identity?
- What are your core values?
- What is the voice and tone of your brand?
- What specific messaging does it use and what are its channels of communication?
- What are your brand’s primary touchpoints?
- What is your strategic positioning statement?
- What is your ideal customer profile(s)?
- What is your brand committed towards?
Communicating a company’s value proposition
A company’s value proposition is more than just a collection of USPs. It’s the whole package of benefits that customers can expect when they buy from a particular company. These selling-points, which comprise the overall value proposition, are communicated in different ways through the logo, tagline, website look-and-feel, copy, and post-service customer care. Fundamentally, a well-developed branding strategy communicates a series of benefits across numerous touch points, enticing new customers and convincing them to forgo competitors. Here are the top three advantages of having a good strategy in place:
- “People don’t buy products, they buy brands,” is an old saying that pretty much sums up the core of what branding is all about. Eye-catching, meaningful, and memorable brand elements foster greater recognition and connection among customers, leading to trust and loyalty. Over time, this relationship develops into one of trust. Given that branding strategy is the catalyst by which customers understand, purchase, and rely on a particular company or product, creating a concrete identity and branding is what fuels the assumption that a product will reliably provide the same results time and again.
- Once you’ve identified your USP, reputed companies have forged out a clear market position while also leveraging an effective branding strategy alongside. This makes it easy for prospective customers to evaluate them in comparison to the competition.
- No building can stand erect, if it doesn’t have a solid foundation in place. An aspect that is often ignored when it comes to running a successful business is internal engagement. Branding attracts and keeps the right employees. When a company is clear about what it stands for, it will naturally appeal to an engaged and skilled workforce that shares the same ethos. What’s more, employees are more likely to stick with a company that aligns with their sense of purpose.
To sum it up, your brand strategy should clearly reflect why your brand exists, beyond the obvious aspect of it simply generating revenue. It should authentically empathise with your target audience, it should solve their pain points in a personalised way and it should set the foundation for how you communicate with your audience.
If you would like to discuss a particular aspect of branding, how to implement it or the many challenges that come with it, we’d be happy to catch up over a cuppa. Reach out to us on one of our social media channels or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org