12 Steps to Creating Your Brand Strategy
If you believe that your brand is your business’s most valuable asset, then creating a strong brand strategy should be on the top of the list, the priority of all priorities. By having a strong brand strategy, you are equipping yourself with the tools needed to promote your products and services and grow your business.
Still unsure? We have put together 12 steps to creating the perfect brand strategy for your business.
Develop your internal brand
Internal brands are extremely important and both the internal and the external brand must relate to one another. Your internal brand should portray your business values and company ethos. It needs to be something that you feel passionately enough about that you will not easily deviate from it.
Identify your target clients
Do you know who your target clients are? If not, then you need to start evaluating this. The narrower the focus, the faster the growth. You don’t want to market to everybody, the wider the scope the more diluted your marketing will be.
In order to create a great brand strategy, you must do your research. Carefully collected research allows you to understand your target clients’ perspectives, their needs, and their shopping habits. It also allows for you to advertise your business in a way that resonates with them. Making it easier to generate leads and land sales.
Your brand strategy should include brand positioning – what is your USP (Unique Selling Point)? Why should people use your business? How is your business different from other businesses? You should create a brand positioning statement that will capture the answers to these questions and touch on the aspirations you and your business hope to strive for.
The messaging strategy translates the branding positioning to your target audiences. Whilst the core aspects of the brand positioning and messaging strategy must be the same for all of your audiences, you will find that not all the audience will be interested in the same parts of the messaging – which is why you have to create compelling content. You will have to take into consideration that each of the audiences will have varying questions and your messaging strategy should address everything. It is about pre-empting what questions and queries people might have.
It is important to remember that your name, logo and tagline are not your brand, but they are a part of your brand identity so getting them right is crucial. The business presence will need to be shared externally in the marketplace, not amongst shareholders or internally. This is because the logo, name and tagline should not be picked based on how much staff love them but more importantly how much your potential customers like them.
Content marketing strategy
It does all the amazing things that traditional marketing does, it just does so more efficiently. Content marketing increases both visibility and reputation and is a great way to ensure that your brand is relevant to your target audiences.
Your website is the single most important branding tool. It is where your target audience will scope out your products and services. They will also be on the lookout for testimonials and reviews, so it is crucial to add these onto the website.
This is the area of your brand strategy that will depict sales, facts and figures. Something like an e-brochure about the business or a ‘sales sheet’ explaining how well the business has done in the last year. You could even record ‘a day in the life of’ your staff members so customers can see the before and after of a product and really get to grips with all that goes into the service.
As small business owners, we like to hide behind our business logo. Although it makes us feel safe, putting our face out there can feel daunting, and anxiety can soon creep through. We think about what others think, that we need to be perfect, the background needs to look just right, I need to rehearse my lines if doing a video., the list goes on. The important thing is that people see who you are as a real you; you don’t need to put on a front be yourself. People will like you for who you are and become to trust you as the expert in your industry; hiding or being someone else will slow you down.
Consistency is key and is crucial to creating a brand strategy that will stick and be successful. Your USP and brand messaging need to be consistent, you need to ensure your target audience are exposed to core messages and visual branding repeatedly to ensure you are solidifying your brand.
Implement, track and tweak
Implementation is crucial. If your brand strategy is great on paper but never put to the test, then you are already destined to fail. It is surprising how often a brand strategy is finely tuned during the developmental stages but is not implemented. People often get busy with client work that they forget to make time for brand development tasks. This is why tracking is so important, you can ensure that brand development is moving along and make any tweaks along the way.
To find out more on the different ways you can create your brand strategy click on this link
If you would like to know more about the benefits of branding, brand strategies and marketing for your small business, then why not have a look at one of our earlier blogs on ‘Branding for small businesses vs Marketing for small businesses.’ by clicking on the link below:
How did you prepare for your brand strategy? Perhaps you have some tips you would like to share? Maybe you are in the process of building a brand and have found this article helpful. We would love to know what you think about brand strategy – why not leave us a comment below.