Sometimes, getting back to the basics can re-energize your team and help your organization find alignment across every initiative. As foundational as it may seem, even the savviest of businesses re-visit their brand marketing strategy often to ensure it is serving their products, customers, and long-term goals. In this article, you will learn the basics and then some.
- What is a brand strategy?
- Why do you need it?
- How to build an effective brand strategy, step-by-step
Whether you are an established business or just starting, your brand strategy is crucial to your growth, product positioning, and messaging.
Without further ado, let's get into it.
What is a brand marketing strategy?
A brand marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan to achieve long-term goals that will make your brand identifiable and the preferred choice by your customers. At a foundational level, your brand strategy is the core of why you do what you do and who you do it for.
What is your product/service? Who is it for? What are its benefits? Why YOU over XYZ competitor?
A well-thought-through brand strategy should involve teams across your organization to contribute and bring ideas forward from brand equity ideas to product positioning. 1
The brand strategy process requires many intangible elements, making it difficult to measure success. That’s why it’s important to establish a strategy that outlines the steps needed for successful branding (short and long-term), product positioning, and outlined metrics to quantify progress.
Your brand strategy, from content to product development, should aim for attainable growth over time and, when done right, helps everyone in your organization understand the roadmap for the company.
Why do you need it?
Building a brand marketing strategy is essential for any business that wants to be successful. A strong brand strategy allows companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create an identity that resonates with their target audience. It also helps them establish customer trust and loyalty, increasing sales and profits.
A well-crafted brand strategy should include elements such as a mission statement, core values, target market, positioning statement, and key messaging. These components will help guide the company’s marketing efforts and ensure that all communications are consistent across all channels. Additionally, having a clear brand strategy in place will make it easier for the company to measure its success and adjust its approach if needed. Ultimately, a solid brand strategy is essential for any business that wants to stand out from the competition and achieve long-term success.
Without a brand strategy...
Without a brand strategy, and clarity on your purpose, vision, mission, and values, you can end up making marketing and business decisions that don't align with your product or customer's needs.
Without a unified approach to marketing, you risk losing time and money. Your team may also be divided on the best path forward, which can impact overall morale and energy for initiatives. Your content suffers and can appear to be scattered and sometimes even contradictory. Without a consistent message in your content, it can be hard to attract customers.
We could rattle off the negative outcomes, but the core message here is without a clear brand strategy, you're likely to fail, even if you have an amazing product/service and team to support it.
So, let's talk about what you need to drive growth. It is never too late to strip back your marketing efforts, re-establish your core message, and develop a foolproof strategy to help you push forward.
A comprehensive approach
We've established that building a brand strategy is important. You need one, plain and simple. But where do you start? First and foremost, developing a solid brand strategy requires collaboration between teams across the company to ensure that all aspects of the brand are considered. 1
To get started, assess where your brand currently stands. This includes looking at customer feedback, market trends, and competitor analysis. Once you understand where your brand is now, you can begin to make plans for the future. This includes deciding which channels to use to promote your brand, what kind of content you create, and how you measure success.
Long-term goals should also be established when creating a brand strategy. These goals should be ambitious but achievable. They should focus on increasing customer loyalty and engagement with your brand over time. Investing in research and analytics can help identify areas for improvement and provide valuable insights into how customers interact with your brand online.
By building a comprehensive brand strategy, businesses can ensure that their brands remain relevant and competitive marketplace. If you have a brand strategy in place already, conduct a brand audit to identify areas where your strategy can improve to better serve your customers and your brand.
Let's break it down, step-by-step.
1. Identify your target clients/customers.
Dive deep into who your target audience is and what problems you are trying to help them solve. By identifying these unique sets of customers, you'll be better able to market to them moving forward.
2. Research your target market.
The process does not stop by simply identifying your target market. You should research your target audience and learn about them in detail. What are their job titles? How do they talk about the solution your product solves? These personalization details will vary by industry, and in this step, you will want to get as specific as possible so you can better tailor your marketing to each group.
3. Research the competitive landscape.
You must know who your competitors are and identify the areas you need to compete in while identifying how you win against them. This should be ongoing but vitally important to understand before establishing your brand messaging strategy.
4. Develop your brand positioning.
What value does your product/solution bring to your target audience? Your value and the ways in which you benefit your target audience is a crucial element of your brand strategy. It is important to consider the benefits to your customers in the short and long term, clearly identify these, and craft messaging to communicate these effectively.
5. Develop your messaging strategy.
A messaging strategy is the way you will communicate your product/solution to reach your audience. Your messaging strategy should be crafted to shape your audiences' perception of your brand, product, or service while also building trust and loyalty.
A key element of a successful messaging strategy is for your core messages to be consistent and repeatable across all platforms and channels. Consistency in telling your brand story and consistency in communicating your product/solution to your target audience is vitally important in building brand equity over time.
You want sales, marketing, customer success, and beyond to be unified in the messages they share with your end customer. To do this, you need to think through your core message and develop clear language that can be easily understood and answers the key questions your audience will have about you.
What is it? Why should they care about it? How does it benefit them?
6. Build your pricing and sales strategy.
How will you structure your pricing, and how will you approach selling? Collaborate with your team. You can make a bigger impact when you align your approach, and you will see results sooner. Ground your strategy with research so you can engage in sales conversations confidently, knowing you are priced competitively and fairly.
6. Plan how you will share your brand story.
A brand marketing strategy should include the foundational elements of your product/solution and how you plan to share it. At this point in your strategy development, you should clearly understand who you are communicating with and what messages you plan to share with them. Identifying not just the how in telling your story but who can also set your team up to move with momentum. Who creates your content and can everyone be a brand contributor?
7. Identify your key performance indicators.
Your strategy should include performance markers that you can return to often. These measurements for success will help you adjust your strategy where needed and influence the marketing activities you do to support your brand. These KPIs should include specific measurements that you can follow over time, like organic website traffic, conversions, revenue, etc. Your brand strategy should drive growth for your business, and your performance indicators will help you ensure that you are on the right path.