“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”
– Seth Godin, American author, and entrepreneur
A close look at what marketers do will reveal that their focus is on telling brand stories. What drives them is a reliable brand strategy that clearly defines the image an organization wishes to showcase to its target audience.
It takes time and resources to come up with the right brand strategy and this is where a lot of businesses falter. An introspection of failed marketing campaigns often reveals a poorly executed brand strategy.
What exactly is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a long-term plan to achieve goals that can result in the identification of your brand by consumers. An example of a brand strategy is the “Think Different” campaign that helped Apple build its brand identity from the inside out. Through the campaign, Apple was able to gain significant loyal customers and widespread brand awareness.
Why do you need a brand strategy?
It’s not easy to create a compelling, clear, and memorable image in the minds of your target audience. You need a plan and careful execution to create the image of your choice in their minds. Develop a brand strategy if you are keen on showcasing your brand’s story to the world.
Through an efficient brand strategy, you will be able to convey why you launched the organization, the journey you have had so far, and the principles held by your organization. This helps existing and prospective customers connect with your brand at a deeper level.
Before you create a brand strategy, it’s important to identify a niche for your business. This will help you reach out to specific audiences with customized marketing messages. Here are some simple yet effective tips that will help you create a brand strategy:
- Define your marketing and business goals (if you don’t have them already)
The purpose of your brand strategy is to help you plan marketing campaigns that drive you towards a goal(s). Determine short-term and long-term goals and where you want your business to be in a few months or years. Keep your goals and objectives in mind while creating your brand strategy.
- Perform extensive brand research on all competitors (big and small)
What are your competitors doing to woo their audience? And how is the audience reacting to their marketing messages? Get inspired by their marketing methods without copying them. Learn from their mistakes and only take the best ideas from them.
- Highlight what makes you unique
Let’s face it – it’s difficult to introduce a product that’s truly unique. But this shouldn’t prevent you from choosing unique messaging. Find an uncommon yet useful characteristic the target audience looks forward to while searching for products similar to yours. This characteristic can be a differentiator that you can use across your product messaging.
- Create memorable customer experiences
Pricing is just one piece of the puzzle – you need to treat your customers right. Satisfied customers can further promote your business, writing reviews, and recommending your brand to family and friends. Make sure that you have a friendly customer support team in place to keep existing and potential customers happy. You may need to distribute useful promotional products as freebies to keep them happy.
- Embrace the local community
Get known in local circles as the business that supports the community. Be visible and support needy charities, people, and other local businesses. The goodwill gained through this will help your business in the long run.
- Maintain a high-quality website and blog
How good is your online presence? Make sure you have a top-notch website and blog so that potential customers can explore what you have in store for them. Have relevant topics hosted on your blog to project your business as thought leaders in the industry.
- Invest in visual branding
The colors you use in your marketing messages should appeal to your target audience. Harsh colors are a big turn-off and customers are likely to steer clear from your brand.
- Have consistent messaging on your social media accounts
Your social media profiles are your biggest brand ambassadors! Ensure that there is no conflict in messages across these accounts. Be friendly and resolve complaints at the earliest to win the confidence of your followers.
The 8 tips featured here will serve as a foundation for your brand strategy. Sit with your team and brainstorm to come up with a strategy that can serve your brand for years to come.