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The Brand Strategy Framework, Simplified.

by | Jan 8, 2020 | Brand Strategy

Developing a brand strategy framework is like creating the roadmap for how you want your brand to show up. Here’s how to simplify the process and start attracting your ideal clients.

And as an added bonus, you can also pick up a Brand Strategy Workbook in the Brand Resource Library by clicking here!


A lot of the client inquiries we get start with something along the lines of, “My brand just doesn’t feel right but I can’t figure out why.”

Any time I hear (or read) something along those lines, I immediately know that we’ll have to dig into their brand strategy. 

Why? 

Because when we don’t have clarity around how we want to communicate our brand (aka the brand strategy), it’s nearly impossible to align on any of the other brand elements – like your logo and colors and message. When you’re not clear on how you want your brand to show up, it makes it extra challenging to figure out the fix.

Read on to learn about the Witt and Company brand strategy framework as well as how to put your brand’s strategy to work for your business.

 

IN THIS ARTICLE

>> What is a brand?
>> What is a brand strategy?
>> Why is brand strategy important?
>> The WCO brand strategy framework
>> How to use brand strategy in your marketing
>> Rather watch than read?
>> Additional brand resources

 

What is a brand?

Before we dive into brand strategy, let’s first take a step back and talk about the definition of brand.

Here at Witt and Company, we define brand as how people think, feel and act in relation to your business.

Branding is the collection of those elements that influence the thoughts, feelings and actions. So, your logo, your fonts, your messaging, your website – those are all branding elements that help communicate your brand and brand experience.

 

What is brand strategy?

We define your brand strategy as the communication plan for your brand. It’s the roadmap for building and growing your brand, consistently and cohesively. And, it’s the document tailored to attracting your ideal client.

Sounds important, right?

Well, that’ ‘cause it is.

I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that when you invest in your strategy, it makes the rest of the business-building/growing/pivoting process so. much. easier.

 

Why is brand strategy important for a business?

The challenging part of a brand strategy is that it’s all behind-the-scenes work. It can be heavy and hard to really nail down. And unlike a logo or color palette, it’s not something that you necessarily will show off on a regular basis.

Except.

That new logo and color palette? The aesthetic and layout and style was created with the strategy in mind. So, while your brand’s strategy doesn’t get shared outright, it touches every external-facing element that your audience and community WILL see.

Which is why it is so damn important. And necessary. And needed.

Just because your ideal client won’t see your strategy outright doesn’t mean it’s not important. Think about it as the heart and soul behind your brand, allowing it to stay focused and aligned on what matters.

 

The Witt and Company Brand Strategy Framework

When it comes to creating a communication plan for your brand, we start with four main brand strategy pillars as your foundation.

Yes, there are many more elements that go into creating a brand strategy but I honestly believe that in order to be effective (which is the goal, right?), you need to have clarity around who you’re serving, what you’re offering, why the work matters and how you want people to feel when they experience your brand.

Remember, the whole point of creating a brand strategy is to support you in staying focused in communicating your brand and doing so consistently and cohesively. So, why not start with the basics and then grow from there?

Who are you serving?

This is the ideal client profile – a detailed summary of the type of person that you would like to work with again and again. It can be based on a past client, or clients, or someone you have yet to work with.

The point of honing in on an ideal client is so that your brand and marketing efforts have direction. Think about it like this: every piece of content you share has a goal of reaching the dead center of the target – the bullseye. The bullseye is your ideal client. Sometimes, you’re going to miss and hit an outer ring. That’s okay, but the effort and intention behind the shot is to land in the center. Meaning, your goal is to always do your best at connecting with the ideal client, but it doesn’t mean you won’t attract others outside of that space.

Another note on ideal clients – you do not have to stick with your ideal client profile forever. You’re not marrying them – you’re just deciding who you most want to work with and going all in. Work with people, gain experience, learn what you like and what you don’t, and then come back to revisit this ideal client profile. There is no shame in updating the information because you’re doing it from experience – it’s an educated and intentional adjustment, rather than a guess or assumption.

What are you offering?

Yes, this means getting crystal clear on the actual service that you’re providing and its details. This is often referred to as the ‘features’ of a service, product or offering.

But I’d encourage you to dig even deeper into the version of success you’re delivering your ideal client. Because yes, as their social media manager you’re posting three times per week on their behalf. But. But what you’re really giving them is time to work on their business rather than wasting hours mindlessly scrollin’ their feed.

See the difference?

And this is yet another benefit to getting clear on your ideal client. Because clarity on who you’re serving will help you better identify not only their specific problem(s) but also your solution, tailored to their needs.

Why does the work matter?

The goal here is to clarify the belief behind what you do so that you can create an even deeper connection with your ‘right’ people.

I’m going to do something crazy and assume that there is at least a small part of you that has a strong belief, opinion or idea about the offering(s) that you provide and the transformation that offer delivers.

Yes, this is a deep question… but that’s the idea. Your belief as a brand is one of those strong ties that will help you connect with your community on an emotional level.

How will people feel when they experience your brand?

I like to think of a brand as diverse and unique as a human. Meaning, your brand has personality and characteristics that provide a certain experience. And articulating those personality traits is what this last piece is all about.

The benefit here is that you can be intentional about your brand’s personality. For example, when someone experiences your brand, do they feel fun and welcomed or elegant and refined?

The goal is to understand your brand experience so you can strategically use various brand elements (logo, colors, fonts) to enhance and reinforce the desired outcome.

When you’ve answered these four questions (the more in-depth, the better!) I’d recommend pulling your answers into a brand strategy document or guide. That way, you and your team can easily reference it when you’re creating content and showing up for your brand.

Other brand strategy elements to consider.

Maybe you’ve nailed down those four elements and you’re ready for more. Here are a few additional questions to ask so that you can show up even more intentionally for your ideal client:

  • Where is my business going?
  • What values will guide my brand?
  • What story do I want my brand to tell?
  • How am I communicating my message?
  • What makes my brand unique?

 

Why is brand strategy important for a business?

Once you have a strategy in place, what’s next?

Remember, the goal is to always reference your strategy so that anything you create is aligned, consistent and cohesive.

So, whether you’re creating a social media graphic, writing an email newsletter or pulling together a landing page, ask yourself:

  • Is this aligned with who my brand is for?
  • Is this aligned with what I’m offering?
  • Is this aligned with why I believe the work matters in the first place?
  • Is this aligned with how I want people to feel when they experience my brand?

Ideally, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes. However, there will be instances when what you’re creating isn’t aligned with all four and that’s okay. Sometimes you have to post that damn cute picture of your dog and that’s just gonna be the way it is. And that, my friends, is the beauty of being the owner of your business. You get to make those decisions. But the difference is that you’re intentionally making the choice, rather than flippantly posting this and that because you’re not sure what else to say.

And with that, happy branding 🙂

All my best,

 

Rather watch than read?

 

Need additional branding resources?

The strategy and creation of your branding mood board just got way easier when you follow this post step by step.

Want the full rundown on Seasonal Brand Theory and Color Psychology? Check out this post.

Not sure how to pick your brand’s season? This faux case study walks through the process.

This post is filled with easy-to-follow tips for picking the right brand color palette for your brand’s personality.

 

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