It’s part of the 101 of marketing – and absolutely something you should be using (yes, even if you think you’re a small brand). But what even is a brand strategy, and how will it work for your business? In this step-by-step guide, we take you through the entire process, with some great examples and tips thrown in!
What are brand development strategies?
Ok, we’re going to break it down to basics. A brand strategy (or a brand development strategy) is the document you’re going to use to build and strengthen your brand over time. This includes basics such as brand name, logo, mission statement, etc., but also variables such as buyer persona, messaging style, and content marketing strategy. You might already have thought of some of these as separate entities, but in the end, they all feed into one another – and need to be coming from the same place. With consistency implemented across all areas, you’ll soon build what’s known in the business as a Strong Brand.
What does the brand strategy process look like?
Though there are plenty of different approaches out there, the process of creating your brand strategy can be broadly categorized into three stages:
Each stage of the process takes time and effort, and you’ll no doubt find some easier than others. But if you’re willing to put in the hours, these brand development strategies are a failsafe way to ensure your business has a watertight, recognizable character. And that’s pretty essential for attracting – and retaining – customers.
So, first things first: let’s define your brand
1. Brand definition
You may think you know the core elements of your brand, but try putting them down on paper and you might just be surprised by the gaps. These key elements should include:
- Brand mission – what do you intend to do, and how will you help your potential customers?
- Brand vision – where do want to be in five years? In ten?
- Brand values – what shared principles do you and your team live and work by?
- Brand position – what is your USP? Where do you slot into the market?
- Buyer persona – who is your target audience? Who do you currently sell to, and who would you like to attract?
These are all essential elements that define who you are and what you do as a brand. It might sound basic, but getting them down in black and white will help you move on to the next, more colorful, stage.
2. Brand development
This is the creative (read: fun) part. Once you know what you do and where you’re headed, you can start getting those creative juices flowing to transport your message to the rest of the world. Remember, customers don’t want to read a dry set of missions and values. Instead, they will identify you (and with you) through:
- Brand name – obvious, but essential. It doesn’t need to encapsulate what you do but does need to be memorable. Some of the best examples are Google and Amazon: brand names that have become part of our everyday lingo.
- Logo – likewise, eye-catching and easily identifiable. Be careful here, as your logo will feed into your entire design palette.
- Tagline – says more than the name, but is also short and catchy. One good (and kind of relevant) example is Yoast, whose tagline is “SEO for everyone.” Does what it says on the tin.
- Brand style guide – this branches off from your logo, and includes all kinds of information about the look and feel of your products and messaging. Depending on what you do or sell, it impacts everything from written style to website and packaging designs.
- Content marketing strategy – over the long term, you want to plan how you’ll communicate with customers. Creating compelling, informative content at regular intervals will keep them engaged and lead to more conversions.
- Tool development – not so creative, but at this point, you want to be considering the tools you need. Would you benefit from an SEO suite or a CMS? Install now to save headaches later.
Related: Brand development services
By this point, you should have everything ready for implementation. But successful brand development strategies don’t stop at launching a website! We already mentioned an ongoing content marketing strategy (and dropped a hint about SEO). But the process also includes targeted strengthening and growth.
3. Solidifying your brand development
Growing and strengthening your brand takes time and effort. As the months go by, you may add new product lines. This might necessitate a different buyer persona or extra content marketing. You’ll need to regularly update your website, and after a while may even want a logo reboot. A successful brand strategy relies heavily on analysis – keeping an eye on your performance stats and listening to customer feedback. Your brand needs to be solid, but it’s also a fluid thing. In our fast-moving world, adapting when necessary is a key skill.
Brand development strategies have plenty of stages (believe us, we could have written at length here) but they’re founded in logic and include plenty of space for creativity. Think hard about what you do and what you stand for – and we promise, the rest should follow naturally.