When you are setting up a brand strategy, how to convey what you want to say is not just about creating a logo and some catchy slogans and letting your audience parse through the text to get what you mean. You’ll be having trouble when they might think you have the wrong intention(believe me when I say that this happens more than it is supposed to). Oftentimes, it’s better to be simple yet clear than be interesting yet cryptic in your message.
But finding the correct formula for powerful messaging is a challenge. This is why successful companies would rather delegate the effort to branding experts as designing brand communications strategies requires a certain expertise that knows how to connect with your audience and let them know what you want to say, without misinterpretation.
Do you wanna know how we do it? In this blog post, we'll discuss the important elements of designing an effective brand communication strategy—from defining your values to embracing customer feedback. We’ll provide insight into how marketers and business owners can leverage their resources to get maximum results with minimal effort, setting their businesses up for long-term success in today's ever-evolving marketplace. So let’s get started!
What is a Brand Communications Strategy?
A brand communication strategy is your comprehensive roadmap outlining the branding tactics, tools, and messaging a company employs to communicate with its target audience, build brand recognition, and foster brand loyalty.
One of the key considerations in designing your brand communication strategy is to determine the three elements of brand communication:
- Target: This is for identifying and narrowing your target audience
- Medium: This is to determine the proper channel for your communications
- Message: The message itself, created based on understanding the two former elements
This brand communication strategy deals with the proper execution of advertising, public relations, social media marketing, influencer partnerships, and other forms of communication that reinforce the brand's values, voice, and visual identity. By developing a plan for brand communication for all your marketing materials, you can ensure that all brand communications are consistent, compelling, and aligned with the brand's overall goals and objectives.
What is the Importance of Brand Communication?
Do note that brands are already created the moment you make yourself public and your information accessible. What you put out there, whether intentional or not, is already considered your brand image. Brand communication strategies seek to refine your raw voice into something that best represents your core values, messaging, and overall identity to your target audience. Research has shown that effective communication can enhance brand personality, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.
For instance, Apple Inc. has built a strong brand identity through its consistent messaging and design aesthetic. The iconic Apple logo, minimalist design, and simple yet powerful slogans such as "Think Different" are all part of their brand communication strategy that helped establish Apple as a leading company in their industry.
What are the Available Approaches for Brand Communication?
Communication is key when it comes to marketing and building a brand, but the prominence of the digital marketplace has drastically changed the channels that marketers have available to reach their target audience. If you're looking for ways to get your brand's core message out there, you need to understand all of the different communication platforms and how they can be used effectively.
Email is one of the oldest digital marketing tools and remains one of the most powerful in terms of digital outreach strategy.
Greater control of the target audience allows you to directly reach your loyal customers with personalized messages, special offers, and other relevant information. Plus, it’s a great way to build relationships with existing customers by offering them exclusive discounts or updates on new products.
Websites often present as the very first impression of your brand identity, and thus an essential part of any brand communication strategy. From your landing page to your call-to-action page, your website should provide holistic access to all the important information about your company, such as its history, mission statement, contact details, and more, communicated in a brand voice that best suits your brand.
Maintaining an accessible digital presence is perhaps one of the most trending branding strategies for companies to this date. Having a closer brand-customer relationship as it addresses some key factors in brand communications like meaningful audience engagement, valuable customer feedback, significant growth in trust, and credibility as an industry leader.
Video format hits the right spot of several human factors that are critical in marketing strategy. First, we tend to give attention to moving objects quite easily - something videos naturally have. Second, we also learn and understand easily through visual cues and imagery. Third, the format readily adapts to shortening attention spans.
It can be said that video content is the best medium if you want to present your brand identity as a whole: from brand voice permeating the video to the images used that best represent the brand’s visual identity.
How to Design Your Brand Communication Strategy?
Do you feel overwhelmed when thinking about how to communicate your brand best? You’re not alone! So, whether you're just starting as a business or want to build on an existing success story, read on for our top tips for designing your standout brand communication strategy!
Analyze your Target Audience
It is a no-brainer that you have to determine who gets to hear your messaging - knowing your target audience is critical to brand strategy as a whole. It is ambitious to make your audience as wide as possible, but having a narrow focus ensures a much quicker ROI and saves costs in marketing campaigns. Here are some target audience identifiers to consider when narrowing your core customer groups:
- Age - this identifier affects the tone of voice that you want as a medium of your messaging - older demographic tends to trust companies who seemed to sound professional while the younger demographic tends to prefer a casual voice. Moreover, age also affects what channel to use - email, videos, or social media platforms.
- Gender - gender differences become much more inconsistent as your age demographic goes younger, but looking for what they care about is something that you have to consider in identifying your potential customers.
- Location - convenience is a key factor, and also an identifier that is affected by location like culture, beliefs, and language.
- Interest - it is preferable, and cheaper, to accommodate interest in your target audience research rather than encouraging interest based on your products and services.
- Profession - this is much more important for B2B brands as their service often targets professional pain points.
Develop a Buyer Persona
You can also narrow down your potential customers much further by creating an idealized customer profile that is most likely going to purchase your product and services. You also have to consider the aforementioned demographic identifiers but instead of just making a description of a group of people, you have to make an individual persona and tell a story based on them; which means that you also have to make a name, personality, internal motivations, and their reason why they purchase your product.
Now, why not just settle with just a group? Why do we have to create a person out of our imagination? Here is why it is important to your brand communication strategy:
- Closer conversation - Knowing who exactly is your customer allows you to formulate your talking points effectively, allowing an individual user experience.
- Personalized customer service - having a measurable buyer’s persona allows you to create a set of services, offers, and recommendations that fit well with your customer
- Correct the gaps - having a buyer’s persona makes it easier to identify and revise your brand communication. Knowing that you are willing to address feedback allows you to develop loyal customers.
- Updated to changes - a created buyer’s persona isn’t going to last and having a tangible profile allows you to make changes to your messaging to adapt to your persona’s changing interest.
Determine the Pain-Points
Understanding your customer's pain points—or the major challenges they face– is one of the key performance indicators to developing a compelling brand communication strategy. Just like how you base your marketing for your product or service, you also have to hit the right mark in creating your messaging based on what compels your customers for their purchasing decisions. Here are some phrases that you can take a look at as examples of customer pain points:
- No one visits our company website.
- We aren’t selling much to keep up with our operating costs.
- We spend too much time on our marketing campaign.
- Your administrative department is disorganized.
- Our brand strategy doesn't work
From these statements, alongside your identified buyer’s persona, you should be able to create a solid framework for your brand communications strategy
Define Your Goals
Once you’ve identified your target audience, it is to set up what goals you need to achieve in your brand communications strategy. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t set yourself with broad goals like “I want to sell more!” - we have already settled that at the beginning of the article.
Here is a viable goal that you can consider:
“I want to increase our lead generation by 25% for this quarter.”
Why is this a much better goal?
- You can track your progress based on the given time frame to see if the goals can be met. Moreover, having a set amount of time gives you a sense of urgency and accountability
- Having a specific goal, “lead generation”, allows you to focus your efforts on a smaller scale, leading to a better chance of success
- Having an achievable goal sets expectations for your team based on their current capabilities and capacity.
Determine your Unique Selling Proposition
You can base this according to your target audience research, but determining your USP depends on what you answer from these questions: which part of your company do you want to make a voice out of? Why does your target audience prefer your product or service over your competitors? Your edge in the competition can be one of the following:
- Addresses particular customer problems
- Cheaper products or services
- More convenient location
- Supports a particular advocacy
- Exceptional customer service experiences
Keep your unique selling proposition short and simple, and make sure your marketing efforts are communicable to as many people as possible(avoid technical and esoteric terms or details, or at least provide a simple explanation).
Check for Market Trends
It’s important to keep up with current market trends so that you can create content that is relevant and timely. Having a different perspective in your research provides valuable insight for your brand communication strategy:
- How do they design their brand communications?
- How do they present their brand messaging?
- What channels do they use that seem to be the most effective?
Decide on your Core Message
Underneath the presentation developed by your branding experts for your messaging lies the key statement that resonates with your target audience the most. It should be simple, clear, concise, and reflect your company's values accurately.
It doesn’t work on its own, but it can be considered the heart of your communication and where you build around your brand voice.
All the accumulated research and data-gathering must be leveraged for this to work. Moreover, this message must permeate all your communication channels consistently.
Choose Your Personality
Humanizing the brand communication strategy isn’t just by your target audience via buyer’s persona, there must also be a human aspect in your communication. You must base your brand personality on your target audience's perceived preference as well as your core values as a brand. Here are some brand personality examples that you can consider:
- Casual - this type of brand personality appeal to millennials who prefer a much more personal conversation with their brands, rather than having a distant customer-company relationship
- Professional - this personality appeals to target audiences for B2B companies to signal that they have the expertise and appropriate corporate attitude for their services.
- Humorous - this appeals to a wider audience. Can be applied to social media as well as video content
- Rugged - this appeals to audiences with outdoor or rural lifestyles.
- Sporty - not only this appeals to the athletic target audience but also the automobile market.
Branding experts can find the perfect balance between personality in the messaging as well as competence and confidence in your communication. Don’t feel compelled to maintain your personality if you think that it doesn’t suit your core values or maintain brand consistency. Like the rest of the brand communication strategies, revise and reevaluate accordingly.
Determine Your Marketing Channels
The process of choosing the correct communication channel goes the same with the aforementioned strategies. They depend on the following:
- What goals have you set for the roadmap?
- The target audience research, particularly do they often visit for content
- The insights you’ve gathered from your competitive analysis
Keep in mind that you should be open to multiple communication channels, and make sure that the brand messaging must be consistent and appropriate according to your USP, core values, and your ideal brand identity.
We have a much more comprehensive article that focuses more on content marketing strategy. Essentially, effective content marketing strategies have the following benefits:
- Target audiences look for solutions for their pain points online and having content that addresses their concern increases the visibility of your brand.
- Website traffic directly translates to lead generation.
- High-quality content tells your target audience that you are trustworthy in the industry and you claim to be an expert.
- Thought leadership through content marketing increases your authority as a market leader.
Effective communication strategies manifest in actionable content like blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, infographics, press releases, online ads, and more. Once you’ve developed your content, use a variety of channels to promote it and ensure maximum reach.
Emphasize Meaning and Emotion
Content should be not only informative but also meaningful and emotionally engaging. Proper target audience research and appropriate brand personality should be your basis for this. With the right formula and a touch of empathy, your messaging should evoke an emotional connection from your target audience and resonate with them on a deeper level.
Keep your Core Message Clear
As mentioned, if we peel off the niceties and complexity of your marketing communications strategy, you should see your core message. Make sure that the focus of your messaging delivers the values your brand embodies. Not only that the core message is clear as the bottom line of your message, but it must also be consistent and relevant to your value proposition as well as to the concerns of your audience.
Set Your Metrics for Success
Delivering your message to the world isn’t a one-way ticket. Setup your success metrics based on the following points of interest:
- How wide is the reach of your messaging - this can be analyzed through measurable metrics like shares, views, website traffic, etc.
- How do your target audiences react to your messaging - this can be measured by reviews, comments, inquiries, and customer insights.
- How it affects your lead generation - check up on your sales funnels and see if the messaging affects it (customer calls, newsletter signups, etc).
Gathering data after the deployment of your messaging is critical as reevaluation must be on the table for your brand communication strategy. Revise and revisit to fix any gaps as much as needed.
Effective brand communications strategy begins with a strong understanding of the audience and an analysis of the current competitive landscape. From there, it's important to establish key messaging that accurately represents your brand’s value proposition and is appropriate for your desired communication channels. When done right, a comprehensive brand communication strategy can help take your business to the next level.
Partnering with the right team ensures all campaign elements coordinate effectively and your message resonates with target customers. Utilizing the services offered by Evolv can help you avoid any pitfalls you may experience in designing a successful brand communications strategy – leading to successful campaigns that generate results. Activate your website and get started on your journey toward creating an effective brand today!