Whether it’s a personal ambition or a business empire, all brands need a strong brand strategy to allow the brand to grow from idea through to maturity. In this article I’ll explain why brand strategy is important for all businesses.
A good brand strategy is the best sidekick
What is a brand strategy?
First, let’s take a look at what a ‘strategy’ is. Although the term sounds incredibly formal and serious, it is nothing more than a way to roll out a plan-of-action. As I click around the ‘interwebs’, I can see that good-old-Google has defined ‘strategy’ as ‘1. A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim‘, and, ‘2. The art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle.’ Whilst these definitions reflect ideas of planning and leadership, we’ll go with the first definition for now.
How is a brand strategy useful for business?
So far we understand that a brand strategy is a way to achieve successful business long-term goals in the development of a brand. So far, so good! It is also clear that a well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business. Because of this, the strategy can have a direct impact on its competitive environment and the consumer’s needs and emotions, as Amy Kasza explains, “As a result of brand strategy, people develop a particular feeling or opinion about a company — a feeling that drives their buying decisions. This feeling equates to brand equity. The stronger people feel about a brand, the stronger the brand equity.” (Amy Kasza, Study.com). It is this understanding that makes a good brand strategy the driving force behind the success of a brand.
It is worth noting at this point that a brand strategy not only comes to your rescue (like Superman to his Lois) when times are tough, but also when times are good! Whilst it might seem more logical for a brand strategy to be of use when times are bad, it is in equal importance that your strategy ‘sidekick’ avoids a business from becoming ‘distracted’ when the times are good.
The 5 most important considerations when writing your Brand Strategy
Now we’ve explored why and when a good brand strategy is needed, let’s explore the top 5 things to consider when creating your brand strategy.
1 – Understand your business
One of the most fundamental set of questions any business can ask themselves, ‘what is my business’ purpose?’, and ‘how can I stand apart from other businesses?’. Unless you are in the unique position of being the sole business to provide/specialise/sell a product that no one else can, then you might come across several competitors. This is not a problem. Understanding your business allows you to focus on what makes your business unique and great. There is a wealth of opportunity which allows your brand to shine through whilst standing apart from its competitors. This can range from your brand values, your brand personality and your brand story in ways that are unique only to you.
2 – Be consistent in everything
Your brand is the under-pinning energy that literally runs through everything you do. Being consistent though all of your brand touch-points not only allows for better consumer recognition, but also for better consumer retention. Doing so ensures that your business is the preferred and/or trusted first choice for consumers. Ensure you allow your brand to flow through all aspects of your business, including its staff, as this will allow for greater unity on all levels.
3 – Allow for brand flexibility
No one will ever know what the future holds, but the most successful brands know when to adapt in times of change. Keeping business goals that are no longer relevant will be disastrous to your business. Make sure you assess trends and stay current to allow your brand to always be at an advantage.
4 – Invest in your consumers & employees
It’s no hidden fact that a happy team makes for a happy and positive business. Celebrate, embrace and share what’s great about your company and consumers will take note. In a world where there is too much product choice, a consumer who is faced with an overwhelming decision between several similar products will look for any reason to pick one product over another – just to ease their decision process. A company that celebrates and gives back to its consumers might be all it takes for a consumer to say, ‘I choose that one!’. Not only will investing in both your consumers and employees build happiness all round, but it will also build a foundation based on loyalty. That’s what we call a ‘Win-win’.
5 – Be aware of your competitors
Being aware of your competitors is crucial. Allow for some valuable ‘pause-time’ every now and then which will allow you to check and review your brand against your current and new competitors. Reviewing your current brand positioning in your industry is beneficial. However, where you want your brand to be in the hearts and minds of your target group will steer the way for the future success of your business. This will allow you to see what changes need to be made in relation to your competitors.
As with all businesses, it is hard to know what the future holds. However, we do know that with a good brand strategy by your side, you will have all your assets in place which will allow your business to have a successful, unique and bold future.
We’re running a series of blog posts that offer advice on how to plan, implement and optimise your brand. Why not take a look.
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