When developing a brand strategy, business owners equate this strategy to choosing the logo design, font, families, and color palette for their website and package.
And since these tasks are normally outsourced to freelance graphic designers or a popular brand marketing agency in Bhubaneswar, few business owners will take time to develop and document a brand strategy.
In reality, so much more goes into developing and implementing creative branding ideas. You can build an online presence that will grab your audience’s attention.
Today, you will go through the steps to develop a perfect brand strategy for your business. But before discussing strategy, let us discuss basics too.
What is branding?
Your company’s brand communicates about your company and what it stands for. Besides that, it also communicates the aims of your company and what it can offer your audience.
Your logo, graphics, and the colors associated with your company comprise the visual aspect of your branding.
The words your company puts out and the causes it stands for makeup up the voice of your company. Even the products you are selling will tell a lot about your company.
Hence, presenting these things and creating a strong image of your brand in your audience’s mind will convert them into customers. It is what branding is all about.
Why does your business have to develop a brand strategy?
Creating a clear, powerful, and unforgettable image in the minds of your audience is not easy, and neither can this task be done quickly, requiring a clear-cut plan and well-planned execution.
With a brand strategy, you can create the image you want in the minds of your audience whenever they think about your company.
It will also convey actions and words to reflect what your company stands for. You want your customers to experience why your company exists.
In short, developing your brand strategy is all about telling your company’s brand story.
Your brand’s storytelling will tell customers about why you started your business and the journey to get where you are now.
Brand storytelling also includes the values and principles of your company. In this way, your customers can connect with you deeper.
It not only sends vital information about your company to your audience but will also help them remember your brand.
It also helps in keeps your customers loyal to your brand because they feel good about supporting a brand they can easily understand and identify with.
More importantly, your brand impacts the bottom line of your business. It is because customers are more likely to support brands that they can recollect easily and identify with.
Now, it is time to learn about the steps to develop a brand strategy for your company. So let’s start:-
List of steps to develop your brand strategy
Take a look at the steps that will make your brand shine in the eyes of your customers, are as follows:-
- Auditing your current brand and marketing strategy
Before planning your strategy, you have to know where your company’s brand stands now.
Since your company was made, you have already been busy building your brand. The first step to finding out your company branding is to ask yourself: What is the point of my business?
Your company exists for a reason. It could be as simple as ‘No other company is providing products like mine in the area, and my products and services are unique.’
The fact that you sell those products to people in your area already equates your brand with the message that you want to contribute positively to your community.
Note how you have communicated with customers on social media and other support channels.
Find out how your logo would make others feel. Find out what your customers feel and think when they do business with your company.
These are all those things that your customers already identify you with, and these are the building blocks upon which you can build or turn your marketing strategy to keep growing.
- Developing your buyer persona
Your buyer’s persona is your profile of ideal target customers. Beyond demographics, a buyer’s persona represents a real person, and it represents what they go through in a day, what they like and dislike, and which social media channels they often use.
A buyer’s persona will make it easier for you to make a brand strategy that connects with your real customers since your buyer’s persona will represent your actual customers.
Here is the list of the essential data that your buyer personas will have:-
- Specify the age of your customer.
- Specify if your customer is a man or a woman.
- Specify the location of your customer.
- Specify the household income of your customer.
- Specify the typical day of your customer.
- Specify any causes that your customer supports.
- Explain the reasons that make the customer buy your products.
- Specify the way the customer uses your products.
- Specify the frequency of your customer buying your products.
- Specify the reasons that make the customer avoid your products.
- Specify the way your customer communicates.
Develop the persona of your buyer that involves studying your customer data. It also includes the data of your competitors and data from market research.
Use all this data to target your customers successfully. Then make sure that you are the best company they could visit for their daily requirements.
A more favourable way of creating your buyer persona is by going through a free buyer persona template.
- Determining the vision and mission of your business
Your mission and vision specify the actual condition of your company. The mission and vision specify the aims of your company too.
They guide your company to ensure that your actions and goals are well-aligned and going in the right direction. These two statements are part of the unique value proposition of your brand.
Your vision statement shows the goals of all your customers, and it also helps them to decide if they have to help you achieve these goals.
It will be a bold statement for your company and what it can be in the future. A vision statement describes the aspirations of your company.
It also provides all the right directions for your company. It also provides the long-term goals and solutions your company wants to achieve through the current pattern.
The vision statement of IKEA is one of the greatest examples. Now when it comes to your mission statement, it should explain what you are offering to your customers.
Your mission statement explains what you are doing to achieve your mission’s objectives. Besides that, it must also describe the current status of your company.
It also explains what your company is all about and how it runs its business. It also explains who provides financial and logistical support.
Apart from that, they also explain why they do it all. The entire statement is short-term and only outlines your company’s steps to achieve your long-term goals.
The mission and vision statement work together to concentrate your brand in a few words. They must be clear and comprehensive enough that your customers can read them and know your brand.
- Stay clear about your why
Before promoting your products to your customers, you will have to think about why you have set up your business in the first place.
The “why” of your company is the main intention of every action you take for your company. More than 61% of consumers want brands to take a stand for the causes they truly believe in.
It does not mean you must change the world because of your beliefs. But the main purpose of your company needs to reflect who you are and what you can contribute to society.
For example, Johnson and Johnson never stated that their products would change the world.
They stated that they are responsible as a company to produce high-quality products at reasonable prices for the people who need them most.
The credentials of such a company showcase its purpose and responsibility to the people who depend on them, such as its customers, employees, and stakeholders.
This aim drives them to continue their company’s work and roots all their work moving forward.
When you are making your company’s intentions clear, you will find out what causes and beliefs you will promise to uphold every step of the way.
It is not just for your customers but also for your company itself. Whenever you decide on your company, it should return to the primary question, “Why.”
- Identify and analyze all your competitors
Your competitors are all those companies who can satisfy the needs of your target customers with similar products and services.
The most apparent competitors are classified into three specific categories known as primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors.
1. Primary competitors
Primary competitors are those companies who sell the same products and services as you. These are also called direct competitors because you sell the same products and services.
Hence, most customers must decide on your company or the other to satisfy their needs. If they chose the other one or your rival, your company would have to bear the losses.
2. Secondary competitors
Secondary competitors are also called indirect competitors. These companies do not sell the same product, but they sell a similar product that can also satisfy the needs of your product.
You can take Pizza Hut, for example, and it is in direct competition with Domino’s Pizza as they are both in the business of selling pizzas.
At the same time, you have indirect competitors like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
These businesses are not selling pizza but are restaurants in the business of selling and serving fast food to their customers and providing food delivery.
3. Tertiary competitors
Tertiary competitors are the least of your problem because they only sell products and services that are slightly related to your brand.
You can take the example of Pizza Hut again. A tertiary competitor like DiGiorno frozen pizza only serves pizza but does not satisfy the same needs as Pizza Hut does for its customers.
After identifying your competitors, you must analyze them to develop your brand strategy. It is important to note it in competitive analysis and how they present themselves to customers, and you have to figure out how all the customers comprehend them.
Furthermore, you have to take note of all your biggest competitors. Observe and understand what they are doing right and still are not doing.
Some enterprises have best practices in place. Hence, following all those best practices will be an excellent foundation for a long-lasting, effective brand strategy.
You can always stay comprehensive while scoping out your competition. Always check out their advertisements, social media, and customer service.
It will lead you to new and unique ideas for your brand and inspire you to create unique strategies. After seeing what your competitors are capable of, you can check out how their customers respond to them.
You can check out the news surrounding that company, including its sales performance. According to that, you can realize how much they are talking about.
There are several digital tools in the market that you can use to monitor the internet to keep track of your customer’s feelings about your rivals’ brands.
- Make an audit of your current brand and its media campaigns
The best way to stay aware of your company’s current performance lies with your customers and potential customers. Brand positioning is how your company influences against the influence of your business rivals in the minds of your customers.
When it comes to brand positioning, it is all about how your customers think and how you can solve their problems better than the other brands in the market.
Before the customers find out if your products can solve their problems, they have to be interested in your first, and that is where and when your brand strategy comes in.
The consistency of your brand is the first thing to audit for your brand and its campaigns. Your brand’s message might be clear to you, but if you don’t relay that message to your customers consistently, then your brand won’t stay in the customers’ minds at all.
The best way to modify the consistency of your brand is to pick a simple message for your company’s mission and vision. Then, you have to center all your branding efforts around it.
This message should and will be the core of all your branding efforts. The aesthetics of your brand, along with its voice, should be perfectly tuned to support the message.
Knowing what the general public thinks about your brand is always important. You have to use your social listening skills, and your company will discover what people on social media say about your brand.
And with 49.5% of the world’s population on social media, there is much data to go through. So you will not miss any valuable conversations about your brand.
Several tools like ‘Mention’ will help your social listening skills by compiling your brand’s mentions from over a billion sources, allowing you to go through and analyze them properly.
You can use social media listening tools of your choice that can help and give your company insight into the brand strategies that work and that don’t work for your brand.
It will also help the social media marketing of your brand. With social media becoming one of the best places to advertise your brand, you can keep up with your competitors.
The loyal customers of your company who are on different platforms will help you boost your sales and loyal customers.
- Developing your brand identity
Whenever customers think about your brand, they should get a clear, distinct, and unique message that should pop up in their heads instantly.
Your brand identity is that message, and it is a message formed by the name of your brand, its logo, tone, tagline, and everything else you have put out for your audience.
This personality sets the tone for your brand, and a constant effort to strengthen this identity will make your brand more influential in the minds of your audience.
You have to make your brand identity strong enough for your audience so that when they see the logo of your brand or even just something related to your brand, that will instantly make them think about your brand.
Develop your brand focused on what you want your audience to think about your brand. To ensure your brand stays on point with your identity, consider using free brand identity templates available on the net.
Sometimes, you can call it a brand-style playbook. The playbook details will include all the dimensions and specifications of your logo and other visual branding elements.
It will be prevailing enough that whenever your customer watches it, they instantly know that it is your brand that customers love and trust.
- Setting up your own website
Business owners have to make their websites very attractive and usable for customers.
It is because a user-friendly website will increase the direct sales of your company after the consumers are done with researching your product on your website after navigating thoroughly.
Possessing a complete website will inform your audiences about everything about your brand, and your website is an advertisement in itself for your brand.
Always follow all the best website practices to make a great website for your brand. It also includes using great photos and keeping a clean and unequivocal website.
Now don’t forget to make your website accessible on your smartphone.
Moreover, while building a website, you must have a website host that keeps your website up on the internet. It will allow your customers to visit and navigate your website whenever they want.
Several WordPress hosts on the net will allow businesses of all sizes to create and manage a website. They will handle all the needs of your businesses with the help of cutting-edge technology along with excellent customer support.
Once you have a host, you must hire a developer to cater to your website’s support needs.
With a reasonable budget, you can hire a team of WordPress developers who can build and optimize your WordPress sites. With the help of their services, you can pick a flexible plan that will work well with the requirements of your websites.
- Developing your content marketing strategy
Content marketing is about creating content for your brand that your audience will consider helpful and valuable. Every single piece of content you will create should motivate your audience to take action.
That action is none other than buying your product, and it is the actual reason for putting out all the content works because most consumers research a product or its service online before making a purchase.
There are several other reasons to do content marketing, including its low cost, the increased visits of customers to the website of your company, along with better search engine results.
Of course, the type of content your company produces should depend on the content marketing strategy of your company.
For instance, several case studies are useful for brand or content marketing agencies because they can creatively showcase their work for your brand.
They will tell the audience a story on behalf of your brand but also advertise their services while they are at it.
You can develop your content strategy to update the content you put on your website regularly. It ties in with the uniformity of your brand that needs to establish a strong brand identity.
- Tracking and monitoring your brand strategy
Once you have a brand strategy, make it run, and you have to see it influencing your customers’ buying decisions.
Hence, It is essential to keep tracking and monitoring your brand’s performance. Furthermore, you have to measure the awareness of your audiences about your brand.
You also have to figure out the value and accessibility that your customers have with your brand.
It would help if you also saw how emotionally connected they are with your brand and how they differentiate your brand from your rivals.
These factors will make it easy for you to watch if your brand strategy is working or not. It will help you to make any adjustments if required.
You have to ensure that your marketing strategy has a good ROI, which will help you know whether your branding strategy is working.
It is up to you to gather as much data as possible about your customers. So that you can further sharpen your branding strategy to get the perfect fit for them.
You can take the help of several brand monitoring tools to measure and analyze all these critical statistics for you so that you can track your brand’s performance at all times.
All such tracking tools can calculate and deliver the most important KPIs for your brand’s business and its continued improvement.
With the help of a tangible, well-researched, and adequately managed brand strategy will bring your company more customers and ensure the growth of the company.
Such a strategy serves as a perfect design for your company’s success. Investing in your brand strategy will pay off once your company gets closer to achieving its vision.
Your brand strategy will also affect all the other crucial decisions in your brand, whether related to purchasing, distributing, or making a new product.
Your brand strategy will always make your brand run more effectively and improves the likelihood of success. If you don’t have time to implement a perfect brand strategy, you can take the help of the best brand marketing agency in Bhubaneswar.
Always ensure that your brand is the foremost name among all the other companies offering the same products as you.
Hence, consider all these steps mentioned above to create a good brand strategy and watch your company leave all your rivals to dust.