Developing a brand strategy can be a challenging task especially if you are doing it for the first time.
But it is a necessary step to stay relevant and competitive.
This article will walk you through the phases of developing successful brand strategies.
With these exact strategies, we’ve successfully grown our Kyvio Brand into a multi-million dollar entity.
Here’s what you need to know to do the same for your brand.
What is a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy is a blueprint of how you plan to present your brand to consumers. It should not only include what your brand represents but why. Your brand strategy will be the foundation of your entire business. So, make sure to take the time to put thought into it.
A brand strategy will include:
- your mission, vision, and values;
- The way you market your products (and even hire employees)
- How you differentiate your brand over competitors.
What is The Purpose of Developing a Brand Strategy?
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.
Developing a Brand Strategy
Developing a brand strategy is a multi-step process. It is critical in determining how to improve the value of your organization. But what are the phases of developing a brand strategy?
Then comes outlining your brand positioning and unique selling points.
Define Brand Vision and Identity
The brand vision forms the backbone of your brand. It should outline the purpose and goals of your brand in non-specific terms.
To start developing your brand vision, think about your logo:
Is it appropriate to the values you want to promote?
Does it fit in with what your company or organization does?
You will also need to define your mission:
What is the purpose of your organization or brand?
Once you have sorted out all these details, you will compile them into a single vision statement. ‘
Ensure it captures the essence of your brand and embodies what you want to be known for.
For example, if you own a store that sells organic and locally-sourced food, your vision might be:
“To provide nutritious and healthy foods to local communities while supporting local farmers.”
Identify Your Target Audience
It’s critical that you understand who your brand will appeal to.
Who is your Ideal Customer and where can you find them?
It’s important to know their common characteristics, traits, demographics, and behaviors.
When defining your ideal customer, consider what needs your products or services solve.
Knowing your target audience and their needs will make it easy to establish a brand that they can relate to.
Customer research is essential for your brands’ success.
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.
The USP should be unique yet simple and outline the main benefit of your products or services.
Brand Positioning and Messaging
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.
Your positioning should reflect the USP that you have chosen.
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.
And remember to include words and phrases that your audience will relate to.
Use words like “ultralight” to express that you sell the lightest laptops on the market. You can also use words like “thin”, “sleek”, etc.
Your positioning statement should not be too broad or too specific.
Ultimately, you want it to be clear to the consumer but flexible enough for your brand to adapt over time.
Let’s look at how this has been done with a real-world example.
Coca-Cola’s positioning surrounds people “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.
Build 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.
One single benefit is often easier to promote than a list of promises.
Identify Public Relations (PR) and Marketing Opportunities
The next step in developing a brand strategy is to look for PR and Marketing opportunities.
Analyzing your competitors is a great place to start. It could help you identify gaps in their marketing campaign that your product could fill.
If no gap is present in the market, you can create a new PR and marketing trend by introducing a unique approach.
But most of all, you should look at the potential PR and marketing angles that are available to you. To do so, you need to consider both your USP and brand promise.
Let’s take the example from the previous section. If your USP is that you offer a quick meal.
You communicate it through PR and marketing with phrases such as “Fast Food“.
Be sure to identify all available marketing angles. To stay competitive make use of
You can also use social media platforms to promote your product. and tell its story in the way that has the most impact on customers.
It is a good idea to focus on the same channels over time, as this will help you build a strong presence.
Establishing your brand on multiple channels can help you reach a larger audience.
This is best exemplified by two familiar social giants; Facebook and Instagram.
These two social platforms are owned by the same people.
Any content you upload to Facebook can be automatically be posted to Instagram.
Enabling you to tap into a wider audience without any extra work.
As you can see, the process of developing a brand strategy does not have to be complicated. All it takes is an in-depth look at your product and what value it brings to customers.
A well-crafted marketing campaign built on these insights will do the rest.
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.
There are 5 prominent brand strategies that you can employ. These are:
- Product branding
- Service branding
- Corporate branding
- Online Branding
Let’s take a closer look at each.
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.
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.
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. Eg. Panasonic
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 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.
It is easy to imagine the benefits of having a blog and social media accounts for growing your business. But how would email marketing help you build brand awareness?
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 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.
At the same time, brand consistency and message can be maintained.
That will free up time and resources so you can focus on how to develop a more effective brand strategy.
Sending personalized, targeted, and relevant emails to your subscribers will build brand authority. That is, your brand’s ability to influence your niche. In other words, what impact will your brand have on your customers and competitors?
With authority comes trust and long-term customer loyalty.
But far, the most important benefit of automating your email marketing strategy is…
The ability to speak with your subscribers based on where they are on their customer journey.
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.
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.
Automating your email marketing efforts is a great place to start.
Mailvio is one of the best email automation tools available. Check it out here.