Brand Development

Building a brand strategy: Essentials for long-term success

When it comes to having a brand strategy, it’s not enough to simply have a few bullet points of what you want to do. Brands today need both a thorough understanding of why they choose certain strategies and a detailed outline of what their strategies will be.

Because the more detailed you are in your branding strategy, the easier it will be to succeed when you execute those strategies.

Here are three things every brand needs to define:
  • What is your brand’s objective?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How does your brand define long-term success?

Knowing the answers to each question will help determine what your goals should be, how you should approach your customers and how you’ll measure your success in meeting your goals.

What is a brand strategy?

When it comes to having a brand strategy, it’s not enough to simply have a few bullet points of what you want to do. Brands today need both a thorough understanding of why they choose certain strategies and a detailed outline of what their strategies will be.

A brand strategy can be hard to define but encompasses:
  • What your brand stands for.
  • What promises your brand makes to customers.
  • What personality your brand conveys through its marketing.
Developing Intuition

Branding strategy definitely involves the intuition side of your mind. But you can also use data to guide your direction. One way to understand if your brand is on the right.

Define your brand and objective

Your brand’s objective is simply its purpose. Knowing why your brand exists, what purpose it has in the world and what it stands for is what defines it from the very start.

When you want to define your brand, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:
  • What problem does my brand solve
  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • Who is my competition?
  • What does my brand make my customers feel?
  • Why do my customers trust me?
  • If my brand was a person, what would their personality be like?
  • What is the story behind why my brand was created?
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Target market research

Once you understand your brand strategy, you may be ready to jump right into executing your marketing. But before you get started, there is another important step you need to do first: target market research.

Researching your market and understanding who your audience really is and what will grab them emotionally is a big part of executing your brand strategy correctly. There are some things you’ll need to do in your target market research, including creating a customer persona.

A customer persona is a detailed description of the ideal buyer who would not be able to resist buying your product or service. This persona helps you understand what type of person you are targeting with your marketing. You can’t have an emotional impact if you don’t know who it is you are trying to connect to.

Understand the consumer journey

The next thing to understand about your ideal customer is where they are in the consumer journey. The consumer journey is a map that shows how a consumer is connecting with your brand at any given moment. It can range from “not connected at all” to “loyal brand advocate and repeat customer.”

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Where is your audience?

Finally, another very important thing with your market research is to know where your audience is, both physically and in the digital world.

You need to know where your target audience will be most likely to connect with you. Are you targeting online shoppers who primarily hang out on Instagram, or are you targeting people who want or need the experience of in-store shopping?

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Invest in creative brand guidelines

Once you understand your brand and your audience on a very deep level, it’s time to think about how you will deliver your message. This is where you’ll start to get creative with things like the logo design, the fonts you use on your website, the colors you choose to represent your brand, the general tone of your advertisements, the imagery you use and so on.

These elements are very important for creating a long-term recognizable brand. Once people have connected to your brand, they’re no longer considering your values because they know them. Now they are just recognizing your brand’s colors and logo and font and instantly adding you to their basket. So you need to ensure that these elements are chosen carefully and that they truly relate to your message.

Competitive analysis

Another thing that brands need to research before executing marketing strategy is the competition.

Competitive analysis is extremely important because it helps you understand what specifically differentiates you from the competition, and that is something you’ll want to focus on in your marketing message.

If you attempt to execute your marketing first, you may end up saying the same thing as every other company out there, which doesn’t inspire the customer to shop from you over them.

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