Your brand is your business’s most valuable asset. It sets you apart from your competitors and tells your target market who you are, what you stand for, and why they should buy from you. So, it’s no surprise that an effective brand strategy is essential to the success of any business. But designing your brand strategy presents a challenge especially in its scope, cost, and execution.
But do you need to be your own brand strategist or branding expert? We know that it takes time and energy to build a brand positioning, or even come up with brand strategy ideas, and many companies prefer to hire branding teams for this. Luckily, we have brand strategy templates that you can try for yourself. We will also walk you through key concepts of branding and brand strategy process, to equip you with a better knowledge of what we do.
Let’s get started!
What is a Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is a plan of action that guides a brand's journey to where it wants to be. It’s the big picture, the overarching roadmap for what a company stands for, how it communicates with its audience, and how to differentiate itself from competitors. The brand strategy involves setting goals, determining target audiences, crafting messaging and positioning, identifying the core mission of the business, and building an emotional connection with customers.
Take note that brand strategy is different from brand tactics. While strategy is the overall course taken to build a brand, tactics are every step taken toward it. Tactics are the day-to-day executions that support the overarching goals of the brand strategy. Examples of brand tactics include:
- Logo - Designing the color scheme, shapes, messaging, and theme
- Website - Landing pages, newsletters, call to action content, website speed
- Social Media - Influencer audit, social media posts
Why is Brand Strategy Important?
A winning brand strategy helps you stand out from your competition, build trust and loyalty with customers, increase sales and profits, establish yourself as a leader in your industry, and make it easier to introduce new products or services. Additionally, having a great brand strategy can help make the development of tactical initiatives, such as marketing campaigns much more efficient and less costly.
If you know your brand, mission statement, and key messages, it becomes much simpler to develop a successful marketing campaign because you have a clearer understanding of who you’re targeting and what message will resonate with them.
For example, Apple's brand vision and strategy focused on providing top-notch products with a luxurious design, intuitive user interfaces, and excellent customer service. This brand vision, in turn, has enabled the company to achieve tremendous success year after year and become one of the most valuable companies in the world.
How to Build your Brand Strategy?
Here are the things to keep in mind first before building your brand strategy. Notes that this provides a brand strategy framework for your roadmap for building your brand..
Establish your Core Brand Values
The first thing to do is know the backbone of your brand strategy. Identify your core brand values by asking these questions: What are the things I commit to doing? Here are some of the things that established brands used as their value proposition and brand narrative that you might want to use for yourself:
One of the things you can be creative about is making the personalization of your products or services one of your brand values. Oftentimes, customers are looking for an experience and creative agency of the things that they can call their own.
You can think of this as your brand promise if you have found a way to make a service or product cheaper or more accessible without risking quality.
People are afraid of things they don’t know, and transparency is a welcome value in your brand positioning. People also want companies that are straightforward with their purpose.
Clients want to know if the services and products they have are consistent with quality and in their brand core values. Putting this in priority often builds brand loyalty.
People who invest in you see your growth potential. Put this in front and center in your brand positioning to make them see that you are confident in your pursuit as a leading brand in the market
Philanthropic and emphatic causes as your value proposition evoke emotional attachment, especially if you have a larger target audience. People want to see a business that runs not just for profit but for something bigger.
Development in technology is always something a lot of people look forward to. Let them know that you are willing to adapt to the progress.
This is when your investment in your values is for long-term development. This is often the case when you are seeking longevity or minimizing the negative impact of your operations, whether economical, social, or ecological.
No matter what you came up with, you have to ensure that they’re reflected in every aspect of your business, from operations to marketing. Consistency is one of the key aspects of building your brand value and unique selling proposition. After creating your core values, then you have to determine what sets you apart from the rest. Know your unique value proposition and identify what makes your product, service, or business unique; use this to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Identify your Brand Purpose
In extension defining your value and unique value proposition is to determine your branding purpose. Your brand purpose is a statement that captures the reason why your company or brand exists. Here are some advantages to keep in mind when you decide on your brand purpose.
- Your brand values should encompass what makes you unique and show customers how you can solve their problems or improve their lives.
- The purpose must encompass not just your customers, but the whole of society.
- Your branding efforts should just be beyond making a profit.
- Your brand purpose should elicit emotional investment from your clients.
Often the statement goes like “We believe in…”, “We want to…”, “We exist to…”, etc. Again, this has to be consistent with the brand's purpose and brand guidelines.
Perhaps the most well-cited existing brand example is Patagonia which centered its brand mission on taking care of the environment. Moreover, its founder Yvon Chouinard committed to donating his ownership of the company to address climate change issues. Your company brand position doesn’t have to be as grand as Chouinard did, but a purpose, especially things we deemed helpful and emphatic, is effective in building your brand.
Identify your Target Audience
Understandably, you want to attract customers as many as possible, but brand strategy keeps track of your core audience - the group of people who will likely take an interest and buy your product. Knowing who you want to reach with your brand strategy efforts is essential to developing an effective branding strategy, as it allows you to keep a clearer picture of how to create your brand personality. Take note of some of the factors in choosing your target audience.
- Interest - knowing this makes your brand personality messaging more personalized and relatable.
- Purchase Intent - knowing this know the specificity of products target customers are looking for
- Subcultures - knowing this allows you to keep track of how a person’s interest in life affects their purchasing decisions.
Establish your target audience by creating your customer personas, so you can visualize a certain group of people who are more likely to purchase your product.
Establish your Brand Visual Identity
Your visual identity is how your customers will see and remember your brand personality. So, it’s important that your visual identity accurately reflects who you are as a company and conveys the brand messaging you want to send. Elements like your logo, color palette, typography, and imagery should all work together to create a cohesive visual identity that accurately represents your brand identity. Here are some features that create a one-of-a-kind visual identity for your brand:
A brand’s visual identity must set you apart from your competitors. You have to be recognizable from a glance.
You don’t have to overwhelm your audience with a grandiose design. Mostly, a simple statement in your brand's visual identity is powerful enough to convey what it is trying to say.
In building a brand’s visual identity, you have to keep in mind how to make a picture out of your core values, make a statement in your brand purpose, and stay true to the interest of your target audience.
As much as possible, a brand’s visual identity must stand the test of time but rebranding is something companies have to look expect to in building their brand. Doing so keeps you relevant and tells a message in the market that you are willing to grow and adapt as a company.
Establish your Brand Voice and Messaging
One of the brand elements to let your audience know that you keeping up with their trends is to know your brand voice. This is the personality, your brand personality, of how you convey your messaging in your social media post, mission statement, content writing, advertising, etc. Here are some effective brand voice examples:
This is a common brand voice to use if your target audience is the type that only trusts companies that know what they are doing. They use highly technical terms and specific messaging in their content. You can expect brand personality in B2B companies.
This brand voice often use in rebranding, especially for brands that have a bigger target audience. Humor through knowledge from trends like memes and sass can be observed in social media posts from companies like Wendy’s fast food chain and language learning app Duolingo.
This is the common brand voice who have particular philanthropic advocacy like Patagonia, in its use of inclusive language and cultural sensitivity in its messaging.
Remember, whatever your brand’s voice and tone are, it must be consistent across all channels, from website content to social media posts. If you seek to change it, it must be done so to rebrand your brand position and company.
Templates to Build Effective Brand Strategy
Building an effective brand strategy isn’t as simple as creating a logo and choosing a few colors. You need to have a strong sense of who you are, what you offer, and who your target audience is. This can take time and effort, but luckily there are plenty of resources out there to help you create the perfect brand strategy for your own brand—starting with these sample templates!
Brand Strategy Template 1: Brand Strategy Roadmap
This free brand strategy template is a neat way to give a visual overview of the plan you are going to take to build your brand. It has sections of the core values like the brand’s mission, goals, and vision. It also has a section that gives a step-by-step course of action, with tactics in each, to give you an idea of what to expect after you accomplish your goals.
Brand Strategy Template 2: Brand Identity Checklist
Creating a successful brand identity requires more than just a logo. To make sure that your branding is consistent across all platforms, use this checklist to ensure that everything is in place. It includes sections on everything from consistent visual identity (like logos and colors) to website content and customer service standards.
Brand Strategy Template 3: Brand Personality Workbook
Your brand’s personality should be reflective of your company’s values and goals. To help you get started on defining your brand’s personality, this workbook walks you through the process of creating an “ideal customer persona” so that you can tailor messaging and visuals accordingly. It also suggests different tactics for building customer relationships—which is key for developing long-term loyalty.
Brand Strategy Template 4: Brand Story Outline
Telling a brand story is one of the most powerful ways to engage with customers and build relationships. This template will help you craft your own unique brand story by guiding you through the process of developing characters, plot points, settings, and other narrative elements. Once completed, it will give you the framework needed to tell stories that speak directly to your target audience in an engaging way.
Creating a winning brand strategy template is no easy task. But, with a few important steps and an understanding of the importance of branding to your success, you can create a powerful tool that will set you apart from the competition.
As mentioned before, creating an effective brand strategy template does not need to be a huge undertaking. Use these steps today to get started on developing and curating your own brand and strategy for success that resonates with your audience and drives growth for your organization. Take control of creating an unforgettable image through strong branding - Implement your brand strategy today!
For more information on how to build a strong brand strategy, visit our blog for helpful tips and guidance, in building power in your marketing efforts that keeps you ahead of a competitive lead!