How to develop Brand Strategy: A complete Guide

 22 Apr, 2021

Introduction: How to develop a brand strategy?

Well, the long list of such obvious questions and the search to find answers to these might end here! We are here to talk about some doable and cost-effective brand strategy and related tips which can work wonders for your small or medium sized business.

Let us understand more about Branding Strategy!

Do you know the old Norse word ‘brandr’ meaning ‘to burn’ and hence, your branding strategy is going to be fruitful only when you put efforts which are remarkable. However, to make it easier for you, we are here! We can guide you step by step and even help you with some branding strategy templates which you can customize for your business. Let us quickly look at some of the known brands and the story behind them and how they become industry leaders. 

When you are starting from scratch on brand development strategy then it is not just the strategy which is going to be helpful, it is the Brand building team which needs to be developed as well.  

For small business and start-ups, it is important to focus on the very first step as this is going to be the foundation step. Having the right set of professionals working for you brand development strategy is very crucial. You need to analyze as a business the pros and cons of outsourcing such a team or even having one in-house. This could be a decision which needs lots of evaluations done on various parameters. Understanding the role of various professionals in the brand building team is important such that the tasks are divided well and a good sync can be managed between as well. Brand Architect is the person who will play a pivotal role in developing the branding strategy from the scratch.  

Let us have a look at the technical definition of brand strategy before we try and answer the question of what is branding strategy and how to develop one based on our research.

“Brand strategy is a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand -- the combined components of your company's character that make it identifiable.”

Well, the list of the reasons can be long however some certain and direct benefits could be:

You can be one of the three following cases, in case you are looking for what is a brand strategy. Let us find out which is your category and then we can help you better with brand strategy development. 

Your brand strategy is much more than your logo, brand name or website! We are here to help you through the brand strategy development path.

Components of Branding Strategy: Let us Create brand Strategy Step-up-Step

When you ask how to create a brand strategy; you can surely come to the components which make the brand strategy such that you can easily go step-by-step.   

1. Purpose

Your business needs to define the purpose as this is one of the most important components of Brand Strategy. The purpose could be further broken down into two sets and it depends on the business to choose the one for their need. The purpose can either be functional or intentional. When you define your purpose, you are sure of what to offer above profitability. You create a brand value among the customers, who just choose you every time, as they know you sell what they look for and in the same budget range as well.

2. Consistency

Everything you plan to do after defining your brand’s purpose, should be consistent. Also it is important to understand if at all it is relevant to your brand or not. For example when you are working towards changing elements of your website, make sure that you are working only on those which are matching the intent or the newly defined purpose for your brand. Also, it is important to see that all your platforms, be it your website or social media are conveying the messages and are designed with the same intent such that your user is not confused.

3. Emotions

It is important to build an emotional connection with the customers which makes them believe that no matter what price they pay for your product(s) or service(s); they are getting the best of it. This could help you beat the competition and stay connected with your customers for long terms. It is not just customer acquisition which is important to the business but also customer retention which matters equally!

4. Flexibility

You have to be consistent and flexible at the same time! Sounds confusing? Well, you need to set a purpose for your brand and make sure to stay consistent to it however you need to understand the current situations and adjust accordingly so that you are flexible enough. Does this make sense to you?

5. Employee involvement

For a cohesive digital experience, make sure your employees are able to understand you and convey the same to your customers. They are the one representing your brand to your customers and hence every message they convey is highly important. You can involve them in many different ways such as training, conducting sessions, brainstorming sessions on defining some strategies and many more. You empower your employees and they empower your brands vision and value adding to the branding.

6. Loyalty

Loyalty counts in both long and short term! You can do it over a period of time, however every small and big step towards making your customers understand that you care about them is important. Create a customer experience which is flawless and makes them believe in you and your brand. Reward your customers for the love they have poured in for your brand. This also helps in new customers acquisition from word of mouth.

7. Competition understanding

To stay ahead of your competitors, it is important for you to understand them. Take their every step as a challenge and try beating them. You can even challenge your strategies and goals such that you stay ahead of what they are offering. You are most probably having the same customer base; make sure you make a difference which is noticeable by your customers.

How to develop a brand strategy?

Well, now we have a clear understanding of what components to have while we create brand strategy. Next comes the step-by-step process which can make sure that we develop a robust brand strategy.

You can either develop brand strategy from scratch or review your old one. It all depends on making sure if your brand strategy has the components or not. In case you were lacking defining the goals and values, it is the time to start afresh otherwise you can just rework your old brand strategy to turn it into something impactful.

How to develop brand strategies for your brand such that you can be one of this industry leaders in the coming future?

Here is a step-by-step guide which is simply designed and followed by the experts. Our team sat down, to pen down every minute step or process such that your brand does not suffer. Let us quickly dive deep into the process:

1. Brand Discovery

Brand discovery is one of the most crucial steps when it comes to defining the business goals and values. This helps in maximizing the long-term success of your brand. When you talk about brand discovery there are a lot of aspects to be considered such as brand image, communications, consumer perception, and competition. An extensive research could be helpful and it adds to understanding the brand better, defining the brand personality also becomes easier. Better brand and better delivering what you promise to the customers is also owning to the brand discovery at the right time in the right manner.

2. Competitor analysis

In this step of branding strategy, you play an important role in determining the competitive position around you. The competitive analysis involves several levels of checks and research, such as identifying major competitors, researching about the products,  sales, and marketing strategies of your competitors and much more. This would involve knowing every nook and corner of how your competition works, and identify potential opportunities such that you can out-perform them and stand out from the competition.

3. Target audiences

Don't be mistaken to say that everybody is your target audience. It cannot be everybody and you have to make efforts to make sure who comes into your target audiences from that everybody.  for high growth profit firms it is very important to make sure you are targeting only your target audience and not everybody with narrowing your focus on your target audiences you can directly increase the growth and make it faster. With a diverse target audience it becomes difficult that you can have a good number of sales order leads conversion.  with increasing the number of people you are targeting your efforts also get deleted and they make less impact.

In order to know if you have done substantial Research and if that is enough or not you need to know the brand voice and identify and research about it.

4. Brand Voice

Brand voices also known as brand tone. You might have to use different tones for different sets of audiences and hence it is important that you have a record of when to use which set of tones. When you are about to launch a product you might have to use the difference internally compared to another case where a customer complaints about your product or service.

5. Brand message & story

In order to make sure that your customers with a strong relationship with you will need to develop loyalty.  it could be easily developed with some authentic and emotional stories which are related to your brand.  This could in turn out to customer loyalty and long-term Association. You could leverage various platforms to convey success stories and talk about your brand.  These platforms could include social media content marketing, SEO, SEM, public relations, videos, organising events, delivering advertisements, Sales Collateral and many more. It is important that you have one brand positioning for all your audiences however when you are targeting a different set of audiences it is important to make sure you keep in mind their interest.  for a different set of audiences we need to emphasize on pertinent points.  it is important to address the issues, concerns etc. 

6. Brand Personality

When it comes to brand personality it is important that you identify your brand and imagine it as a person.  it becomes easier for you to communicate in this manner and make sure what kind of brand personality you would choose and the tone which perfectly voices your brand to your audiences. Identifying a brand personality doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have a mascot in your logo or in your branding website.  however it helps you choose the right tone and hence address the audiences in the right manner. World siding the brand personality for yourself make sure you try being as descriptive as possible this would help you come out with better results. 

7. Brand positioning

Brand positioning is also known as market positioning.  If you have followed all the above mentioned steps and have done your potential research you are at a good stage to determine your brand Positioning.  It helps you identify how your brand is different from others and why your potential clients should choose you to work with. A positioning statement is generally only four to six statements long and it makes sure to be Captivating enough for your branding positioning.  Make sure your branding strategy is sound with a robust positioning statement which would meet the promises of your brand. It must also be a bit aspirational so it should be aspirational such that you strive for something good.

8. Brand perception

Brand perception is nothing but the feelings customers have about your brand. These thoughts and feelings only come when the brand is known to your customers.  Additionally, a customer has brand perception when he or she sees contracts for something about the brand. The ultimate step of branding strategy should be creating the brand perception there are multiple ways of doing so and you need to research about what your competitors are doing such that you can do something similar not yet create a unique and everlasting experience. Do you know some of the brand perception and the strategies used by a known branch which have worked wonders for them? Do comment below, in the comment section.

After Brand Strategy

 

So when you have the branding strategy with you; you need to follow it. However, following branding strategy comes along with something else. And this forms the next level which needs to be understood. Along with competitive positioning understanding, your brand strategy should be able to represent your brand. It needs to be effective enough such that it helps in connecting your brand with prospective customers.

The next step one needs to focus is Marketing strategy.

So when you have the branding strategy with you; you need to follow it. However, following branding strategy comes along with something else. And this forms the next level which needs to be understood. 

Along with competitive positioning understanding, your brand strategy should be able to represent your brand. It needs to be effective enough such that it helps in connecting your brand with prospective customers. 

The next step one needs to focus is Marketing strategy. However it is important to make sure that your marketing strategy is not exactly the same as your branding strategy. Here we have tried to learn some of the important aspects of marketing strategy and the differences between two. 

Undeniably marketing and branding are the front aspect which you need to consider for your brand. There is over one area which is very common in both of them. The images related to your brand have an important role to play in both marketing as well as branding strategies. When you start either with a branding strategy or marketing strategy selecting the right images is important. 

The colours graphic logo everything represents your brand and it is important that you use them rightly in either branding or marketing strategies.  These images play a substantial role in your ongoing campaigns.

Let us talk more about Branding and marketing:

Though most of the experts think that differentiating between branding and marketing strategies is quite difficult and there is a very thin line between these two. However understanding this difference could help you perform better. Both the strategies are aimed at helping the brands become profitable, however each has a distinct role and individual goals. In order to succeed, you along with your employees should be able to understand the difference between these two.

In case you are starting new, and so is your business. Here is a list of questions which can help you develop brand strategy.

Brand building examples Nike

Just Do It: It is well known to all you us! The reason behind the fact that we all know it well, is owing to the impactful branding strategy. However, the mission statement of Nike might not be something that we all know. The mission statement for Nike is  “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world“. Everything which the brand does, aims at meeting the mission. And we all see this mission everywhere around us. Every type of athlete is in the list of Nike and they have a product for every Nike user or athlete. 

Additionally the brand mission of Nike goes on adding “If you have a body, you are an athlete“. Now can you understand how they have lended emotional touch and tried to connect their mission with the emotions of customers. The width of the targeted customer bases instantly gets increased with this simple statement. The brand added immensely to the reputation and brand following over the years and now we all can see how their target audiences has increased to literally everyone out there. 

While you start on how to develop branding strategy; start with smaller steps and then you know the researched audiences which need to be followed. With time, your brand loyalty may grow enough to expand your reach.

Along with all this, the brand has also focused on determining who is your exact customer base. And it becomes very important for you when you are starting your business. As already mentioned, start small, you need to know your niche very well and focus specifically on it initially. This could be a robust foundation step working in favour of you. 

Let talk about one more brand strategy; the brand building of Apple.

Apple has grown way beyond than just being known as yet another computer company.   Their clean design and easy-to-use devices which they have been designing makes them stand out. 

Apple makes sure that every new launch is announced in such a way that it feels out-of-the-box to the customers. Right from the packaging to selling and to user experience everything is made in an awestricking manner. Well, back in 1997-2002 Apple came out with the slogan:“Think Different“ and even now they believe in the same notion. They have been putting in efforts to make sure this still holds true and not just they but also their customers feel the same. 

Final thought on how to develop a branding strategy?

Your branding strategy is solely based on your research and understanding of your customers as well as your competition. Understanding the brand story and conveying the same to the audiences is important. Your strategy could be defined with the help of including all the components in the right manner, and this could surely be worthwhile. There is no shortcut to research which you perform for your brand, however a guided direction can help you be more effective and efficient. You can focus on the emotional and loyalty building with customers too. Also, make sure you speak a secret language to develop trust and loyalty with your customer base. 

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Caden Thomas
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Caden Thomas

Earlier I considered brand strategy as the synonym of marketing strategy. After going through this blog, now I am able to differentiate both. Thanks, team!

Maximiliano Jackson
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Maximiliano Jackson

Having a business website is not enough for making a stronger online presence,I realized this after experiencing it personally. I never focused on brand strategy, and that’s where we lack.

Holden White
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Holden White

After going through this blog, I understand the importance of brand strategy, now I am going to focus more on brand strategy for my own business for its stronger foundation. Great job guys!

Paxton Harris
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Paxton Harris

I want to start a business, but due to budget constraints I can’t afford higher web development services for a good business website and I found some online platforms for starting a business. Is it worthwhile to go for a long go?

Nash Martin
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Nash Martin

Like others, I also considered logos, website themes as brand strategy, thanks to this blog now I understand what is a brand strategy and why it is important? Also explained well how to develop it.