Building your brand strategy and identity is the key to improving your competitiveness in your industry. Strategic branding differentiates your business and builds customer loyalty.
However, branding involves more than your logo, name, or colors. It is about the entire experience you create for your customer.
A successful brand strategy will generate higher sales and profits. Brands with a superior customer experience generate 5.7 times more revenue. In addition, over 73% of customers say a good brand experience influences their brand loyalties.
To help you build a brand that fosters customer loyalty and generates maximum sales, understand the following elements to include in your brand strategy and the role each plays.
What is a Brand Strategy and Identity?
A brand strategy is a plan that details how your business will build relationships, identification, and favorability within the market. It includes the specific long-term goals you will focus on to achieve growth.
A successful brand strategy contains components that make it recognizable to your target audience. It also connects with the customer's needs and emotions. It offers a solution to some of the challenges they face. For example, Starbucks has a recognizable logo, and it is known for quality coffee.
On the other hand, a brand identity is a collective element that your business creates to portray the right image to your customers. The elements detail what your brand says, your values, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when interacting with your business.
Brand identity is about what you think about your business and being able to make your customers feel the same about your brand. It covers all the familiar things customers remember and can associate with your brand.
Why You Need a Branding Strategy & Identity
A sustainable brand strategy and identity are valuable assets to your business. But what specific value do they add to your company? Here are some:
It differentiates you from the competition- your brand identity should be memorable and distinguishable to your customers.
It helps you win loyal customers- a powerful brand strategy will help you create a community of fans who are devoted to your brand. A successful brand strategy will also help you build trust with prospective customers.
Guide your business decisions - a brand strategy is part of your business plan. It helps you determine how to market your products and communicate with your customers.
Creates consistency in your marketing efforts – a brand strategy establishes a defined plan for your marketing activities.
And now, we talk about the crucial elements of your brand strategy.
1. Brand Story
Savi Sharma once said, "Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books, and some are confined to hearts." Your brand, too, should have its story.
That story needs to be evident in your brand strategy. Your brand story entails the narrative you use to communicate important moments in your business's origin story, values, core beliefs, and purpose.
A brand story aids in your efforts to develop connections and relationships with customers. It is easier for customers to trust your brand when they know its story.
A good brand story triggers an emotional connection with your target customers. One of the techniques you can employ to achieve this is by sharing a story of what inspired you to start the business.
For example, ClickUp has a fantastic brand story. Zeb Evans started Clickup to solve the productivity problem he was experiencing in his business. Evans always shares the brand story differently by telling customers how a near-death experience as a kid shaped his whole entrepreneurial career.
A brand story doesn't have to be limited to how your business began. Your brand story could be based on what your company stands for in society. For example, one of Nike's brand stories is how it uses its products to promote equality for positive social change.
2. Brand Purpose
You wake up every day and sometimes spend sleepless nights working towards a specific purpose for your business. Describing this purpose to your customers could be a game changer in distinguishing yourself from the competition.
Describing your business purpose to your customers equates to making a promise to your customers. And that purpose should always weigh heavily on every brand decision you make.
Your customers will always judge you based on the brand promise you made to them. In that respect, there has to be a balance between your functional and intentional business purpose.
A functional business purpose highlights your business objectives to maximize sales and profits. However, your intentional brand purpose highlights your ability and willingness to operate a business to make money and still do good in the world.
When describing your purpose, remember modern customers know and prefer to associate themselves with brands with a track record of operating ethically and giving back to society.
3. Brand Positioning
It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that most of these brand strategy elements are interlinked. For example, your brand purpose is essential in defining your brand positioning.
A brand position describes what your business does, who it does it for, and the unique value you offer. It is an opportunity to inform your customers why they should care about your products and services. Tell them the benefits they should look forward to by using your products and services.
Your brand positioning allows you to occupy a unique place in your target market. It is vital in your brand strategy as it informs customers how your brand differs from competitors. It will influence a customer's decision to classify your brand as favorable, credible, and unique.
Your brand positioning will also help you control how your brand is perceived in the industry. For example, Apple has effectively managed to position itself as a premium brand that is a leader in innovative technology. You will rarely find customers complaining about the premium pricing of Apple products.
4. Brand Consistency
It has been over a century now since Coca-Cola was founded. And every generation that has lived through this period probably knows Coca-Cola the same way.
Surprisingly there is no recognizable difference in the taste of their products over the years. As you can imagine, the brand has continued to amass billions of loyal customers all these years.
That's what a consistent branding strategy can do for your business. You know your branding is consistent when customers can recognize your products or marketing campaigns whenever they encounter them.
Your brand strategy should create harmony in all your marketing activities. For example, the brand Logo you use in your business website should be uniformly applied to all your social media pages.
Moreover, when designing your marketing campaigns, ensure the message is uniform. How you present that message depends on the needs of each marketing channel. However, the message should be consistent on all platforms your business uses.
Use visual identity to make your brand stand out in a room even when you’re not there. Some of the elements to help with this include:
Colors that align with your brand personality
Graphics that represent your brand
A logo that stands out
5. Brand Personality
Humans are naturally social beings. Therefore, you have to personify your brand if you want customers to have a relationship with your brand.
For example, some of Apple's loyal customers will tell you they fell in love with the brand because of Steve jobs. On the other hand, most customers associate Nike with their favorite champions or sportsperson.
A brand can also have traits that define its personality. For example, Disney's brand personality is defined by its fun, adventure, excitement, and family outing traits.
Establishing a solid brand personality makes developing a voice for your brand easy. For example, Tesla has a strong voice in defying the status quo. Few people doubted when Elon Musk promised that Tesla would develop an innovative Rocket that would land in space.
Need Help Developing Your Brand Strategy?
Developing a brand strategy can be challenging, especially for a new entrepreneur. It is no coincidence that the same brand examples are continually used when giving examples of the best brand strategies.
Every memorable journey starts with a single step. Start your first step today. Get in touch for a consultation about how to build your brand strategy.