THE BASICS AND IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A BRAND STRATEGY

What is Brand Strategy?

A successful business is one that has a smart branding strategy. Let’s start by defining what a brand is. In simple terms, your brand is what customers think of when they hear your brand name. A branding strategy ensures that those customers have positive views of your brand, and that it is something they can connect with. When you successfully execute this strategy, your sales and revenues go up because customers are happy with what you offer them.

In other words, a branding strategy is an architectural plan that helps transition the business's potential into a success. It touches on every part of your business and utilizes the untapped resources. This in return attracts the right clientele, hence boosting sales.

Why is Brand Development Important?

A brand should have a voice that dictates its meaning to the customer. Brand development helps to distinguish your business from competitors and convince buyers why they should choose you, as well as encourages a bond with customers so that they identify you as a unique name on the market.

Brand development also helps to increase awareness for your business. It lets people know that you exist, and they can come to you if they want a specific need fulfilled. Unlike other companies without branding, your brand development strategy will help potential customers know what to expect. They will be more likely to buy from you because they know and trust what you can offer them.

HOW TO DEVELOP A BRAND STRATEGY

A brand strategy is like a road map. It dictates the direction of the business and the ultimate goals that need to be accomplished over time. Developing a brand strategy requires an in-depth analysis of the enterprise. Here are steps that you can take to come up with a working plan that suits your brand:

Consistency

Consistency is crucial to a successful brand strategy. From your messaging in your advertising and marketing, to the type of customer service you deliver on a day-to-day basis, you must remain steady so that your customers know they are receiving a consistent experience each time they engage with your brand. If you pivot too frequently or are inconsistent, you are signaling to your customer base that you don’t believe in the brand strategy you have created. 

When developing your brand strategy, you have to create a positioning statement that explains how you’re different and what you promise to deliver. When you market your brand across multiple platforms, the message should be consistent with the positioning statement. For example, 90% of consumers expect that their experience with a brand will be similar across all platforms and devices. They expect a seamless transition between web and device-native applications through color, flow, and overall quality of content.

The Who, What, Why, and Who For

The first W, “Who,” is directed towards your customers. Who are they? Be as specific as possible. You can limit the who to a specific geographical area to make the market research more manageable. Narrow down their age. Then, find out their occupation and preferences. It’s easier to please a small population with shared interests than focus on a big one.

“What” is a question that points to the product or service that your brand has to offer. Your product or service needs to be specific in the objective. What does your product do differently from others in the market? What values does your brand represent?

The ‘why’ is answered in the positioning statement. Why did you settle on that product? Why are you so sure that the product will deliver on the promise? Why should customers buy from you instead of other brands?

The ‘Who For’ should be included in all communications. Remember who you are posting for on social media channels. If you’re posting for potential clients, you should always tell them the reason they should choose you. If you’re sending an email newsletter to an old client, tell them about the latest offers.

This will make it easier for your brand to attract the right customers. Brands that target and acquire customers are in a better position to promote loyalty. 56% of customers stay loyal to brands who they feel understand them, and 89% stay loyal to brands who share their values.

HOW TO MAKE BRAND "VOICE" PART OF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY

Now that you have a clear sight of your target market, you need to develop the right voice for your brand. What is going to be the mood and tone you present on the various media platforms? Do you want your target audience to see you as passionate or informative?

Find the Brand Voice

You should start by doing an in-depth analysis of the industry and brand voice used by competitors. For example, if your audience is young, you may be tempted to challenge the status quo and use informal language. Such a strategy could possibly work against you if people are used to a certain language in that industry. In other industries, however, this strategy could be very successful.

A brand that effectively creates an emotional connection with the customers is likely to obtain their business in the long run. This can easily be overlooked. The main point is not necessarily what your brand says, but how it is communicated. 

Before you voice your brand, establish an identity. This requires you to determine the brand vision, mission, and values. There are various approaches you can take to voice your brand. Some of them include website updates, emails, press releases, ads, social media platforms, and packaging. 

The process of finding a brand voice is continuous. While you want to remain consistent, you shouldn’t rule out changes completely. You should conduct a content audit to know what your customers and readers like. The audit can be monthly or after three months. Look at the conversion rates of email marketing. How many people made purchases through the email link? If the number is below what you expected, you may have to tweak your brand voice a little bit so that it connects with the customer.

WAYS TO STAND OUT AGAINST COMPETITORS

Now that you understand the importance of finding your brand voice, and establishing your brand's identity, let's look at some strategies to position yourself above the competition. 

Be Honest and Transparent

They go hand-in-hand: building your brand requires the highest level of honesty to deliver transparency. It isn’t difficult for a customer to spot when a brand is being dishonest. The traditional way of doing business has always been to tell customers what they need to know, not what they should know, but this method is becoming outdated.

Stay ahead of the competition by being honest. According to research, 73% of people would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency in all attributes. Thus, you need to ensure that your brand message is truthful and straight to the point. This is a virtue that needs to be shared across all parts of the business.

Be Creative

A smart brand employs creativity at the front-end customer level. Your brand needs to be as original as possible to promote authenticity. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to copy their competitors strategy, as it will put off customers and give them a reason not to choose you.

Creativity means doing something in such a way that it is unique to the competition. For example, during your market research, you may have discovered that there is no one in your industry with an app. If you can create an app that meets and surpasses customer expectations, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

Having additional content on your website is also important. Companies that have blogs generate 67% more leads per month than companies who don't have blogs, and 61% of customers said they are more likely to buy from companies that have custom content. The quality of this content also matters significantly. Research your competitor’s websites heavily. How many have a blog section? For those that do, how many update their content often? You need to update your blog content regularly so that you improve your organic search rankings. Also, incorporate pictures and infographics in your blogs to make them more interesting.

Visibility

Take advantage of social media to improve your visibility. Engaging with your customers on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can make them feel like part of your community, which can be a huge help in building brand loyalty. In a recent study, it was discovered that 38% of moms are more likely to buy products from brands that other women like on Facebook. As you build up your customer base, other people take notice as well.

37% of U.S. adults say they mostly use a smartphone when accessing the internet. You can reach this market by building an interactive website. In simple terms, an interactive website changes its layout according to the screen size. When you build a site that functions well on all digital devices, you increase your brand’s visibility and accessibility.

Video marketing is another way to increase visibility and stay ahead of the competition. According to research conducted by Wyzowl, 87% of all video marketers claim that video has helped them to increase the number of visitors to their site. Out of those, 80% said that video helped them to make a sale; that’s the power of using video to promote your brand.

If you fully understand what your brand stands for and what your client base looks like, building a corporate brand strategy can be relatively simple. Implementing this early on can save you money and time, and make your overall marketing strategy a lot more effective.

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