Whether you’re a fresh startup or a well-known corporation, you need effective branding to secure your business’s future. Following some tips to create a winning brand strategy would help to create a positive brand image that contribute establishes your target market, build brand equity, nurture positive client engagements, and set you apart from the competition.
Many business owners equate their brand’s image to its visual identity: the name, colors, logo, message, and product design. However, the essence of your brand goes much deeper. Your brand is your company’s reputation. It’s what customers first think of your personality and values.
That said, a brand is only as good as the strategy behind it. Because customer perceptions shouldn’t be left to chance, you must pull all the stops to create an intentional, well-crafted, and carefully tended brand image. Without a unified character, everything from your content to your culture and core business will suffer.
That’s where brand strategy development comes in.
But building a robust brand strategy takes time, and it certainly isn’t something you can master overnight.
6 Tips to Create a Winning Brand Strategy
If you’ve yet to dig in and do the work, here are six brand strategy development tips you must use.
1. Identify Your Most Distinguishable Attributes
First, ask yourself this: why should consumers buy from you if there’s a similar business across town?
Think about the immediately recognizable benefits of your product/service. For example, maybe you deliver groceries in under ten minutes, or maybe your restaurant opens early to serve patrons working graveyard shifts- something few others would do.
Whatever the case, zero in on a few words that best describe your offerings, and more importantly, distinguish you from the competition. Unless you’re bringing something unique to the table, there’s no reason for customers to favor you over a similar business.
2. Create a Buyer Persona
By definition, a buyer person represents an ideal target customer. It has less to do with demographics and more with real people: what they do in a day, their likes and dislikes, and what social media channels they use, among other things.
Using a buyer persona can make it easier for you to create brand awareness strategies that successfully connect with your perfect customer. Remember, you can’t market to everybody. The narrower the focus, the more effective your branding efforts will be.
Generally speaking, here’s some of the data your buyer persona should include.
- Household Income
- Daily activities
- Possible reasons for buying your product
- Associations with causes
- Directions and frequency of usage
- Possible reasons for not buying your product
- Preferred modes of communication
Once you have all the data you need, utilize it to posit yourself as the best company your customers can come to for their needs.
3. Analyze Your Competition
Your market competitors are other companies who can serve the needs of your target audience. Usually, they are grouped into two categories.
- Primary Competitors: These sell the same product/service as you.
- Secondary Competitors: Also known as indirect competitors, these companies do not sell your product/service but provide something that can replace your offerings.
Simply identifying your competitors isn’t enough: you will also need to analyze their behavior. Take note of what your biggest market rivals are doing right- and what they aren’t doing yet. How are they presenting themselves to customers? What’s their reputation amongst customers? Answers to these questions can help you bridge the gaps in your brand marketing strategy.
4. Carve Out a Niche Brand Identity
In this phase of the brand strategy development process, you’ll have to build a solid foundation for your business’s personality. This usually involves fine-tuning your:
- Purpose: Why does your business exist, apart from turning profits?
- Vision: Where is your company headed?
- Mission: How does your brand plan to create that future?
- Values: What principles guide your behavior?
A word of caution though. Several small companies write mission statements that say they’ll ‘value’ their users and provide ‘excellent’ customer service. In most cases, however, this is just big talk.
Instead of making tall claims, think about how you’ll execute your brand’s promise and meet consumer expectations. Not only will this streamline your advertising campaigns, but it’ll also establish how your employees must interact with customers.
5. Focus on the Visuals
Our brains are incredible at remembering pictures. When we hear information, we’re only likely to retain 10% of it three days later. But pair a relevant image with the audio, and the fraction shoots up to 65%.
Given how images impact the human brain, it only makes sense to whip your brand’s visuals into shape. Everything from your logo and typography to your color scheme and web design can influence the way consumers regard you.
Need help? Here are a few ways to ensure your visuals are communicating the way they should.
- Keep it simple. It’s best to focus on one message at a time to let consumers take in as much information as possible.
- Tell a riveting story. Visuals might grab attention, but it’s the stories that draw people in.
- Balance consistency and contrast. If possible, chalk up well-documented brand style guidelines to ensure each visual element looks like part of the same brand.
- Know when to step back. Sometimes, less is more.
6. Launch, Track, and Adjust
Now that you have all your elements in place, it’s time to implement and monitor your brand strategy. It’s crucial to measure performance and see how your customers respond to your various metrics.
Do you need to make any changes? Is there anything else they’d like to see from your end? Only by tracking the entire process can you draw the right conclusions and make adequate adjustments.
The Bottom Line
There you have it- six standalone tips to create a winning brand strategy to drive the growth and profitability of your business. Remember, having a concrete, well-researched, and appropriately managed brand strategy can bring more leads and boost your bottom line. The more you focus on branding, the better your chances of outshining your competition and becoming a trailblazer in your vertical.
But brand strategy development is a time-consuming affair- something most business owners cannot accommodate on their plate. That’s where Wahha Design can help! Our expert brand strategy services will help you create and communicate a positive market identity that keeps you ahead of the curve. For more information, feel free to reach out to us today!