Learn the basics of what is brand strategy along with how to create a simple brand strategy plan by asking yourself nine clarifying questions.
As business owners, we dream of having a brand that people know, like, trust and recognize. In fact, I often get asked some form of the question, “Okay, but how do I build a brand that’s recognizable?”
My initial response is always, “Give it time and be consistent.”
While I still wholeheartedly believe in that statement, I realize there’s value in diving into the explanation a little more. And as someone who also likes tangible action steps, patience and consistency are a little too ambiguous for my liking.
So, for all you action-oriented business owners, today we’re going to talk about brand strategy.
What is a brand?
Before we dive into brand strategy and what that means, first let’s get on the same page.
The definition of brand that makes the most sense to me is this: A brand is how people think, feel and act in regards to your business.
How you actually get people to think, feel and act towards your brand is through a combination of brand elements that all tell a consistent and cohesive story.
What is brand strategy?
Communicating those brand elements along with determining the experience you want to provide for your ideal client is your brand strategy. It’s the practical plan for building and growing your brand. The guide for communicating your brand in a clear and cohesive way. Without a strategy behind your brand, you’re shooting in the dark and risk inconsistent communication.
I think it’s important to note that having a solid brand strategy doesn’t mean your business can’t grow and change and evolve. In fact, just the opposite is true.
When you spend the time creating a solid brand strategy (I’ve referred to this as a brand foundation in the past), you’re giving your brand room to grow and evolve in a more fluid manner.
Why do you need one?
Picture a cake… Like a delicious molten chocolate lava cake.
The entire cake is your brand and each slice is a different aspect or element of your brand.
One slice is your brand identity. The visual elements that make up your brand. Think logo, fonts, patterns, colors and logo variations.
Another slice is your brand messaging. The words you use to communicate your brand mission, values and purpose.
Another is your brand story. The overarching narrative of your brand.
And another is your brand positioning. The key differentiators of your brand in the overall category.
You get the point, right?
Here’s the important part: Inside the center of this delicious chocolate molten lava cake and thus each slice, is the molten ‘lava’. This is your brand strategy. While it can’t be seen from the outside, it’s arguably the most important part of the dessert. Without it, you just have a plain, chocolate cake.
The same is true for your brand. Brand strategy is not something your ideal client sees but it’s the heart and soul of your brand. It allows you to stay focused on what matters. Without strategy, your identity wouldn’t have as much impact. Without strategy, your story wouldn’t be consistent. Without strategy, your messaging wouldn’t resonate as well with your ideal client.
The 9 components of an effective brand strategy
While having a strategy around your brand is imperative, that strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Yes, a long, all-encompassing brand strategy document would be impressive. But how effective would that be?
Remember, the whole point of creating a brand strategy is so that you can stay focused when it comes to communicating your brand. So, why not give yourself a leg up and keep it simple?
These nine components will get you started in the right direction and help you create an effective brand strategy that will allow you to stay consistent and cohesive when communicating your brand. Yes, it’s simple. But that’s the point – get something on paper and stick to it.
- Where is my business going?
- Who is my ideal client?
- What values will guide my brand?
- What transformation am I providing my client?
- What story do I want my brand to tell?
- How am I communicating my message?
- What makes my brand unique?
- What’s my brand promise?
- What is my brand’s purpose, mission and vision?
Of course, as your business grows and evolves, you can start to ask yourself more clarifying questions. Or, when you’re ready to hire a professional, you’ll dive deeper into each section, further illustrating your strategy.
And if you want to DIY this part, with a little help…
Announcing the five day Brand Strategy Challenge!
Ready to start 2020 with a solid brand foundation so that you can clearly and consistently communicate with your community?
I’m hosting a FREE five-day Brand Strategy Challenge, starting January 27 and I’d love for you to join in.
Over the course of five days, we’ll help you clarify your brand strategy basics:
- Who you serve
- Why you serve
- How you serve
- Brand purpose statement
- Brand mission statement
- Brand vision statement
And with that, happy branding 🙂
All my best,
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