You’re going through your social media and realize that your brand is disorganized. Or worse, you have a strong brand image but it doesn’t resonate with who you are and what you do.
Do not panic!
It’s important to understand that your brand isn’t just putting together teal and white to create a logo. Your brand identity requires strategic thinking- design, communication, and a deep understanding of your company; and just like Rome, it can’t be built in a day.
What is Brand Strategy?
It is a framework to develop your brand in alignment with your business strategy.
Your brand identity should reflect how you want your audience to perceive you. It is a blend of how your brand looks, feels, and talks. It is how you set yourself apart from the competition and encourage people to speak to you.
In this guide, we have compiled everything you need to create a successful brand strategy and Simplified into a step-by-step process…
- Understand who you are and make decisions that will push your people, your business and, your future in the right direction.
- Attract the right customers to build strong, lasting connections.
- Communicate effectively and consistently in every piece of content you make.
- Position your brand to compete and win against your competitors.
CORE VALUES + BRAND MESSAGING + VISUAL IDENTITY = BRAND GUIDELINES
How do you build your brand identity?
Step 1: What Drives You?
There are values and principles that your company operates on and sets itself apart. Making money is important but your values are what set your brand apart.
Purpose: Why does your brand exist?
Vision: What future do you want to help create? What future do you envision?
Mission: What are you here to do? How do you move towards that future?
Values: What principles guide your behavior?
LinkedIn knows its purpose and articulates its vision and mission concisely. It shows how it intends to help professionals in their careers.
Step 2: Ideal Buyer Persona
Who are you trying to sell to? What do they want? How are their needs not being met?
Your target audience needs to be focused. The narrower the focus, the faster the growth. You should conduct regular researches to identify the changing needs of your target clients. Ask the following questions about your ideal customer:
- Channels (where you can connect with them)
- Pain Points
- How your product solves their problems
- Other Interests
Gather this information by conducting surveys, holding focus groups, etc. and build your buyer persona.
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
Who shares the market with you? Who will you be competing against for attention? How might they surpass you?
Research how your competitors are branding the product. Knowing how competitors act, perform and brand will help you form a strategy that is grounded in the real world.
Get the following information for competitor analysis:
- Names of the competitors
- Split into two groups- current and aspirational (NIKEs, BMWs and Apples of your industry) competitors.
- Values, Strengths, Weaknesses
- Value Prop
Below is an example of a competition analysis:
Step 3: Get The Messaging Right
Next step is to figure out how you want to communicate your message to your audience. This is the essence of your brand. Make sure your brand speaks consistently, honestly, and authentically.
Three key things to define are:
- Personality- Are you gracious and sophisticated? Are you innovative and modern? Your personality is your brand’s human attributes. It is a reflection of your values.
- Voice- This is the way your brand sounds and speaks and it is influenced by your brand’s personality.
- Tone- This defines your brand’s attitude. It defines how you want to make people feel when they read your messaging.
When you have the above you can move on to writing your brand tagline, value proposition, and other messaging pillars (strengths and differentiators).
Step 4: Design Your Visual Identity
When you think of brand you think of the visual elements that define the face of the brand.
Visual identity is meant to be powerful and unforgettable. A great example is Apple. They set the foundation with their artistic campaigns and designed for the brand’s future. Thus, a good visual identity is flexible, comprehensive, and intuitive.
The 6 important elements of your brand’s visual identity are logos, typogyaphy, colour palette, imagery, illustrations, and photography.
Remember, it’s important to be inclusive while using these elements and not alienate your audiences.
Here’s a blog that will help you be inclusive in your branding
Now that you’ve completed the brand strategy process, next step is to create a guideline based on your findings. It’s important to keep tracking the effectiveness of your brand strategy and experimenting to maintain long-lasting relationships with your audiences.