Four Essentials of a Powerful Brand Strategy
The four branding essentials sharp businesses need
Charismatic brands draw us in. They’re the businesses who have mastered the witty social media responses, who sprinkle in delightful details throughout their stores and seem to effortlessly earn followers and five star reviews.
These brands are colorful, lively, and driven by a deeper purpose, and creating a similar brand isn’t out of reach for most businesses, it just requires a little strategic planning.
An effective strategic plan sends an electrifying, energizing jolt through your business. It empowers your staff and ensures your entire team is heading towards the same goals – and when everyone is working in harmony, you’ll begin to create a cohesive brand experience that customers can fall in love.
So how do you create a powerful brand strategy? Here are the four essential elements your brand will need.
1. Find your passion.
a.k.a. why anyone should give a fuck
Why should anyone care about your business? This seemingly simple question can actually be tough to answer as it requires an empathy and deep understanding of your audience. Get it right and it will form the backbone of a powerful brand strategy.
Your business purpose and passion clarifies what makes you unique—not just in what you sell—but the legacy you’ll leave; the higher purpose your business serves besides profits. Answering this ‘why’ begins with your vision, mission and values.
Vision – the big, crazy way your business wants to shape the future
Mission – what you promise to do everyday to build toward the future of your Vision
When crafting a vision, imagine your business in 20 years time. If visiting aliens flew in to seek out the best and brightest and abducted your business, what legacy would you leave behind here on sad planet Earth? How’d your business be remembered? What lasting impact do you leave?
When writing your mission, ask what problem do you solve for customers? What can customers do now for the better after using your product or service?
2. Define your uniqueness
a.k.a. hanging where your faves can find you.
Why should anyone choose your business? We’re faced with a vast, sometimes overwhelming, number of choices on a daily basis and are bombarded with marketing that promises ‘lowest price’ or ‘better quality’, but these features become meaningless when every competitor is doing the same.
Instead, your brand must give your audience a compelling, emotional reason to choose you and provide something that goes beyond just a transaction.
Developing a brand personality that connects with your audience requires three elements:
Competitive Positioning – leverage your strengths to stand out from the crowd by comparing your brand’ s focus to the competition.
Brand Values – what characteristics should your brand follow in order to support your Vision & Mission?
ldeal Customer Profile – your window into the life and mind of your business’ ideal audience to deepen your empathy for who you’ re speaking with.
Getting this right will help you create marketing that feels like you’re talking to an old friend, not making a sales pitch, and will build a bond with your audience so strong, they’ ll think you’re clairvoyant.
3. Find your voice
a.k.a. knowing what to say & how to say it
Once you’ve determined who your ideal customer is and why they should care about your business, the next step is figuring out the right things to say and how to say them.
Brand messaging ensures you have all the right words at your fingertips so that you can say the right thing every time and is made of two key elements:
Brand voice – setting the tone so your copy sounds like a real, caring human, not a robot
Copywriting – speaking in your ideal customers’ kind of language with attention grabbing words & phrases.
Crafting a consistent brand tone and style adds personality to your brand and boosts your ability to be heard in the ratchet of ad noise. Developing consistent messaging is essential to build trust with your audience.
4. Express yourself
a.k.a. using design to keep your brand fresh and interesting
Design was probably the first thing you thought of when you heard the word ” brand”, right? But the best designs in Branding happen last, as they should reflect all of the brand insights you’ve discovered in the first three phases.
Impactful brand design requires two key elements:
Brand Identity – your family of logos, monograms, emblem, or whatever you use to identify your business visually when you’re not in the room.
Finishing Elements – the design details that support your identity and visually tell the tale of your brand via fonts, colors, patterns, artwork, icons, etc.)
To be effective, your brand designs must be more than just decoration, they should be used as tools to communicate with your audience and enhance enhance your brand story
These four phases are the building blocks of a powerful brand strategy, and while it is tempting to skip straight to design (just like it’s tempting to skip straight to dessert), all four-phases are essential to crafting an authentic brand, unique to you, that your audience can truly fall in love with.