Developing A Brand Strategy: Real-World Examples & Tips

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Developing a brand strategy is a necessary step that no business owner can afford to ignore. 

The fact is, having a good product or service is no longer enough to thrive. To be successful, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. This is where your brand strategy comes into play.

A brand strategy will help you communicate your business’s message and position to the world, as well as guide your marketing efforts.

But how do you develop a brand strategy?

In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of developing a brand strategy and share some tips for doing so.

But let’s start from the beginning.

What is a Brand Strategy?

A brand strategy is a set of plans and goals that help you define your business’s image, positioning, and messaging.

It refers to the process of creating unique marketing angles that:

  • Distinguish your brand from the competition
  • Resonate with your customers’ values and ideals, and 
  • Promote your company’s mission and vision.

Brand assets are also an important part of a brand strategy. 

They include your logo, tagline, taglines, slogans, and visual elements like packaging, websites, social media profiles, etc.

A brand strategy should help you create a cohesive and consistent brand identity across all these assets.

What is The Purpose of Developing a Brand Strategy?

Having a well-defined brand strategy helps you communicate with your customers clearly.   It also helps to keep you focused on your mission and company vision.

A good brand strategy will add recognizable personality and character to your business.

Having great products or services alone is not enough to keep your business afloat. People need to understand what you bring to the table that sets you apart from the competition.

So, why is brand strategy so important? How does one go about developing one? What are the nuances to consider? 

People do business with who they like and trust and a brand strategy will help you connect with them better.

The Four Stages of Brand Development

Developing a brand strategy is a multi-step process that is critical in determining how to improve the value of your organization. But what are the phases of developing a brand strategy? 

Well, marketing experts often use the following four stages to develop a brand strategy:

  • Identifying Your Target Audience
  • Positioning your business
  • Defining Your Brand’s Personality
  • Defining Your Brand Assets

Let’s examine each one of these stages in more detail.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Your target audience refers to the group of people most likely to buy your products and services. This group of people, also known as “ideal customers”, are the ones who will drive your business forward.

When defining your ideal customer, consider what needs your products or services solve that your competition neglects.

By doing so you’ll be able to develop unique marketing strategies around those issues. Remember,  catering to customers’ needs that aren’t met by other brands builds customer loyalty.

But who is your Ideal Customer and where can you find them?

Here are a couple of ways to do so:

Study Your Current Customers

Chances are you already have a customer base that you are seeking to grow. Your ideal clients will likely have a lot in common with your current customers.

Take a look at your current customers and try to determine their:

  • age;
  • gender;
  • geographical location;
  • interests, hobbies, and shopping habits;
  • lifestyle; and
  • economic status.

You can acquire this information through social media, surveys, emails, and blog forms.

With this data, you can then define your ideal customer avatar and personality.

By doing this it will become easier to develop your brand’s communication styles.

For example, a Newbie Affiliate Marketer is completely different from a “Marketing Guru”.

And the approach you take to connect with either group cannot be the same.

Think about it. 

Would a marketing Guru be interested in a $17 marketing guide? Probably not. That’s more suited for new affiliates and people just starting out.

Do a Competitive Analysis and Market Research

Your competitor’s brand strategies will help you understand how to distinguish your brand.

They have already done the work of building a brand that attracts your ideal audience so think about:

  • What are your competitors doing to uniquely position their brands?
  • Which of your customers’ needs are they targeting with their products?
  • How do their people react to your competitors’ marketing approach?
  • What marketing channels are your competitors using to reach customers?
  • Are they using social media or running paid ads etc?
  • Are there any trends developing in the market that you can make use of?
  • And most importantly, which of their customers’ needs are not being catered to?

Take all of this into consideration when mapping out your ideal customer avatar.

Determine Your Unique Selling Points (USP)

Identifying your unique selling points (USP) is an essential part of developing any brand strategy. 

A USP is what makes your product different from similar products out there. It functions as a hook to get customers through the door.

For example, Airbnb’s USP is “live like a local“. This benefit is what makes Airbnb stand out from other booking sites.

Think about what makes your products different from your competitors. 

  • What unique benefit will your customers gain from your products or services? 
  • Does your product or service address any specific need?

Your USP can be your price point, your product’s benefits, your brand personality, etc.

Remember, the USP should be unique yet simple and outline the main benefit of your products or services.

Brand Positioning 

Brand positioning determines how your customers view your product in relation to competitors’. In its definition, positioning refers to “the place a brand occupies in a customer’s mind”. 

It is all about perception and it can be something that you have complete control over.

To correctly position your brand ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my brand’s unique selling points (USPs)?
  • Why are customers going to choose my brand?
  • What benefits does my brand offer?
  • How does it measure against other brands available in the market?

Let’s say, for example, your brand’s benefits include better prices compared to competitors. You can use this USP to position your brand as a budget-friendly brand.

If your brand’s USP is innovation, you can position it as a brand with a strong focus on creativity and design.

Your brand message is equally as important. It should verbally communicate and express your promise to your target audience. 

When crafting your brand message try not to be repetitive. Also, remember to include words and phrases that your audience will relate to.

For example, use words like “ultralight” to express that you sell the lightest laptops on the market. You can also use words like “thin”, “sleek”, etc.

But let’s look at how this has been done with a real-world example.

Coca-Cola’s positioning statement revolves around the phrase “sharing moments”. 

This positioning allows Coke to stay relevant throughout the decades.

Why? Because people can use their product during many different social events.

Most of all, your brand positioning and messaging should be reality-based. 

It should not be a made-up idea of what you think your product is. It needs to represent the real value that it offers to customers. 

Otherwise, you will leave a lot of potential customers confused and misguided.

Building Your Brand Promise

The brand promise is an extension of your positioning and messaging. 

It outlines the main benefit of your product and the experience your customers will gain from it.

It is also an excellent opportunity to reassess if your USPs are still relevant. 

In most cases, it should be declarative, and it should avoid using words such as “will” and “may“. 

Your brand promise should be unique and simple. It should help your audience to quickly see the benefits of your products and services. 

Let’s say, for example, that your USP is that you offer a “quick meal“. 

In that case, your brand promise could be something like: “we deliver fast and healthy meals“.

You should not set too many promises as this will overwhelm customers. It can also dilute your message and reduce its impact.

Remember, one single benefit is often easier to promote than a list of promises.

Defining Your Brand’s Personality

Brand personality is commonly defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with a brand”. It refers to a brand’s attitude and the emotions it evokes in consumers.

The brand personality you identify should be appropriate for your brand. It should also be relevant to the target market and reflect the brand’s positioning.

To define your brand personality, you should consider brand attributes like:

  • professional;
  • relaxed;
  • modern; 
  • Traditional, etc.

You will also need to consider classifications like:

  • classy;
  • fun;
  • innovative;
  • sophisticated;
  • expert;
  • fun-loving; and
  • down to earth.

Then, combine these to achieve the brand personality you are aiming for.

Examples of brand personalities include:

  • outgoing and friendly (Apple);
  • sophisticated and elegant (Rolex); and
  • professional and driven (Mercedes-Benz).

Defining Your Brand Assets

What are brand assets? Brand assets are the brand’s physical properties, such as the logo and the slogan.

These should reflect the brand’s personality and positioning. 

You can also consider choosing visual elements that represent the brand’s USPs.

For example:

  • Apple’s logo reflects its brand personality (friendly), additionally representing creativity and innovation.
  • Rolex’s brand slogan (“A Crown for Every Achievement”) reflects its brand personality (expert). It also reflects its brand position (luxury brand).
  • Mercedes-Benz’s brand slogan reflects its brand personality and brand position (professional and luxurious). It also reflects its brand benefits (guarantee of high quality).

Creating A Logo

A brand logo is one of the most important brand assets. It is the brand’s visual representation and should be simple enough to be easily recognized by consumers.

To create a brand logo, you should consider other brand assets such as:

  • fonts;
  • colors;
  • shapes; and
  • symbols.

You can then incorporate these elements into your brand logo. Make sure to do it in a way that is relevant to your brand personality.

What if, for example, your brand’s personality includes professional and driven? In that case, you could use a sleek, streamlined font and a sharp symbol.

To choose brand colors, you should consider brand associations such as:

  • fun;
  • relaxed; and
  • modern.

Examples of brand colors include:

  • green (relaxed);
  • red (exciting);
  • orange-yellow (warm) and
  • blue-green (modern).

Creating a branded logo is quick and easy with online tools like Canva.

Creating A Slogan

The brand slogan is also an important brand element that should help you establish a unique brand identity.

Your brand slogan should complement the brand logo and capture brand values. It should also be short and catchy yet true to your brand’s core values and philosophy.

Pepsi’s slogan “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” reflects its brand personality (fun-loving). But, at the same time, it demonstrates the company’s brand position (a brand for young people).

To create a brand slogan, you need to carefully consider your:

  • word-choice;
  • sentence structure; and
  • emotional tone.

Let’s say your brand’s personality includes “relaxed” and “modern”. In that case, you could use a casual, conversational tone and short sentences.

For example, “Wine not? Sometimes you have to” for a brand of wine.

Bonus Tip: Be Consistent With Brand Assets

Consistency across brand assets has a positive impact on brand recognition and recall.

Brand logos that appear similar over time help build brand awareness among customers. They also promote brand loyalty.

Think of Coca-Cola’s and Starbucks’ logos. Both have evolved over time, but both remain instantly recognizable to this day.

Consider setting up brand guidelines to achieve consistency in your brand development process.

These brand guidelines should include brand design rules across all brand assets.

Email Automation And Brand Development

People seem to underestimate email marketing as a relic from a bygone era. Yet, email marketing persists as one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness.

Email marketing allows you to establish a two-way conversation with your audience. 

You can use this channel to broadcast valuable product and company information to your subscribers. 

Your subscribers, in turn, will let you know how your business is doing through feedback.

The best part is that your email marketing strategy can be automated. 

Affordable autoresponders such as Mailvio are great time savers. They allow you to send relevant information to groups of subscribers all at once.   

Sending personalized, targeted, and relevant emails to your subscribers will build brand authority. And with authority comes trust and long-term customer loyalty.

Email marketing also allows you to speak with your subscribers based on where they are on their customer journey.  Thus, each subscriber should receive content that matches their interaction with your campaigns.

This approach will help you generate potential customers for your business. It will also help you keep your existing customers.

Types of Brand Development Strategies

As you can imagine, there are many types of companies across the world. As such, no one brand development strategy will apply to everyone. 

However, there are 5 prominent brand strategies that you can employ. These include:

  • Product branding 
  • Service branding
  • Corporate branding
  • Co-branding 
  • Online Branding

Let’s take a closer look at each. 

Product Branding

Product branding is an approach that focuses on one tangible product. It creates a strong association between the product’s benefits and its visual identity. 

When done right, the company ends up being linked with what it has sold to customers over time.

Product branding is a successful marketing strategy for two reasons:

1. It encourages customers to purchase one specific product instead of a similar alternative.

2. People will spend extra money on items with solid recognition and presence in the market.

Product branding works exceptionally well with consumer goods such as food and clothing.

For example, Nike is known for its shoes. Customers are likely to think of Nike whenever they need a pair of new shoes. 

Why? Because they have created a strong association between themselves and footwear products.

This type of strategy has also been applied with great success in the software industry.

When you think of Apple, what comes to mind? The iPhone. Apple’s success is primarily due to the marketability of its flagship cell phones. 

Apple is a “Lifestyle” brand that ties its products with the concept of sophistication.

Service branding 

Branding for services is a bit more complicated than branding for products. Why? 

For a product, you can always control how it looks and how it performs. Every time a customer buys that product, they get the same thing.

Services bring a wealth of value to customers that cannot be measured by monetary value.

So how do you develop a brand strategy for a business that does not sell tangible products? 

To make use of this strategy, focus on the feelings you want your services to give your customers. 

Let’s look at Disney for example. Disney has built its brand around providing happiness for children through family-friendly content. 

Think of how someone feels when they are watching a Disney movie or playing with Disney toys. They are most likely very happy. 

Targeting specific consumer emotions has allowed Disney to sell countless premium services.

Let’s say, for example, your company offers cleaning services. How would you create a service brand strategy? You make one around how great it feels to have a home that is free from dirt and dust. 

Service branding might be challenging to implement, but it can pay off in the long run if done right.

Corporate Branding

This type of branding is used to promote a company’s image rather than that of its products. 

Many large corporations are known by their corporate names rather than their products. 

For example, when you hear of Google, you probably don’t think of how awesome their search function is.

Likewise, when you think of Apple, you don’t think about how well their computers function. 

Instead, you probably associate these companies with how innovative they are. 

Or how much money they make. Or how well-designed their products are. 

Corporate branding can grow a company’s market presence well beyond its competitors. When done correctly, that is. 


Many times two or more brands combine their marketing efforts to create a synergy effect.

With this approach, each brand maintains its own identity and separate branding strategies. They just work together to promote a common goal or message.

Let’s say you have two different companies that sell very similar products. Company A sells office furniture, and Company B makes bookshelves. 

The two companies might team up to create a co-branded marketing campaign. Showing how their products complement each other. Or working together will make their products more affordable to customers. 

Co-branding is a great marketing strategy for new or small companies. It allows them to expand their market share in a short period. 

Online Branding

Online branding uses the internet as a tool to turn visitors into customers. It is vital for companies with a primarily virtual customer base.

Online branding is not just for companies that primarily sell products online, though. Any company can benefit from an online branding campaign.

The key is to focus on how your brand’s message will come across digitally. But how do you develop a brand strategy online?

An effective online branding strategy should include:

  • A blog to communicate how the company’s products and services can help customers;
  • Social media accounts where customers can easily find and interact with your brand:
  • An email marketing strategy to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects.

Common Brand Development Mistakes

1. Brand Fatigue

Brand development will always be an ongoing process as people’s needs tend to change over time.

Your brand needs to evolve with the markets otherwise, it will be forgotten. This is known as brand fatigue.

To avoid this you can update your brand strategies on a routine basis or as the need arises.

For example, you can take a look at your brand’s performance every  3 months and see what needs improvement.

2. Marketing To Everyone

If you fail to define and connect with the ideal customer it will be impossible to scale your business.

There is no product or service that suits everyone’s needs. And trying to sell to everyone is a common pitfall that will burn your pockets.

3. Expanding Too Fast

Slow and steady wins the race. Initial success may motivate you to expand your brand into different markets quickly. But is it the right time?

As your brand expands you will have to:

  • Consider overhead costs and employee budgets;
  • Develop new brand strategies;
  • Hire new people;
  • Improve your management team; and
  • Improve customer support systems

It’s more than just selling more products to more people.

Without carefully considering the above you may dilute your brand’s impact and authority.

4. Ignoring Analytics

A brand can’t afford to ignore analytics. That would be like ignoring your sense of sight.

It’s easy to neglect crucial data such as market trends and brand performance.

That’s why most people rely on tools like Mailvio to help highlight important data.such as:

  • brand asset performance;
  • conversions;
  • brand performance vs. competitors;
  • brand sentiment;
  • awareness; and
  • engagement.

As a business owner, you can use these metrics to identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats.


Developing a brand strategy is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a journey filled with pitfalls, stopovers, and detours. 

But the importance of creating a strong brand cannot be overstated. So take the time to create and implement a strategy that will work for your business and suit your audience. 

But remember, staying relevant as a business depends on how well you distinguish your brand.

To that end, ensure that your company values speak to your customers and address their concerns.

Also, try to remain consistent in your effort to refine the whole process and learn from your results.

Work to establish your brand on multiple channels and social media platforms and tell your story in the way that has the most impact on customers. 

Oh, and don’t forget to add email automation to your marketing arsenal. Do all this and success will not elude you!

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