One of the most critical aspects of developing and launching a brand is the creation of a brand strategy. But what is brand strategy, really? It’s a comprehensive plan that outlines a company’s objectives, positioning in the industry, target audience, storytelling, and competitive edge, coming together to make a rock-solid foundation that sets you up for success. But, we like to spice things up around here and have seen the most success for our clients when we take the strategy process a step further. Our signature approach takes into account your overarching business goals, your brand strategy, AND your marketing strategy. These three become the most iconic trifecta for your brand – like Hermione, Harry, and Ron, or your classic BLT sandy.
step 01. your goals
Why We Care About Goals
A business without a vision and goals is sort of like us handing you a t-shirt cannon at a baseball game and telling you only to send those shirts flying towards fans with birthdays in October, except before you start, we spin you around and blindfold you. How are you supposed to know where to aim, and how on earth would you know who has a birthday in October? When we get super specific and clear on what the goals of the business are, suddenly, it’s like the blindfold is removed, and you’re October birthday fans are holding target signs indicating who they are. Clarity.
Some CEOs want to scale and sell their business within 15 years, while others want to launch a passive income offering or hire a team. When we keep short and long-term goals at the forefront of strategy, there’s a sense of purpose and direction from the get-go. From there, we are able to get super specific about how to make those goals actually come to fruition.
step 02. brand strategy 101
The Basics of Brand Strategy
Many people explain brand strategy as your brand’s personality and competitive edge. But there’s a lot that goes into those things, so let’s get back to basics and look at what often goes into our brand strategy package. In our strategy sessions, we work collaboratively over the course of workshops, questionnaires, and deep dive documents to define things like:
- Target audience and personas
- Minimal viable audience
- Company mission, values, and tagline
- Competitive analysis
- Positioning, expertise, and focus
- The Golden Circle of your brand
- Unique selling point
But you might be thinking, all of that sounds like a good idea to consider, but why is it important to a brand as a whole? Well, understanding the target audience, for example, is essential in designing a brand that resonates with them. For instance, a brand targeting millennials may require a modern and minimalist design and would have a completely different unique selling point and set of competitors than, say, a brand targeting stay-at-home parents. When we truly understand the brand strategy, we then have a clear roadmap for how to align brand identity, messaging, and marketing initiatives to support achieving the business goals.
step 03. mixing marketing strategy in
Marketing is strategic storytelling
You may have heard the phrase “content is king,” and, well, that ain’t ALL wrong these days. But what kind of content is best for YOU? And where do you put all the content you come up with? That’s the beauty of a marketing strategy. We outline marketing strategies for a year at a time and get super nerdy about marketing initiatives goals, KPIs, measurable, etc. We want you to be able to know a year from now how your content performed and be able to adapt moving forward. Our marketing strategy process brainstorms and outlines how to tackle things like:
- Relationship building – events, emails, customer experience, collaborations, etc.
- Organic content and paid ads
- Digital and offline marketing initiatives
- Topics of expertise
- Social media
- A marketing timeline
- Content storytelling
- And even lists of our recommended experts for all things SEO, copywriting, paid ads, etc.
connecting your purpose with your people
Okay, so now we know what brand strategy and the iconic trio of business strategy are, so let’s chat about how it’s incorporated into your brand. At the end of the day, it’s all about building a trusting relationship with your people. A well-designed brand identity is one of the biggest ways to bridge that connection. Logos, color palettes, and other visual aspects communicate a brand’s values, personality, and competitive edge to its target audience via strategic marketing touchpoints. This is why we believe developing a comprehensive brand strategy before embarking on brand identity is essential to the transformation and success of a business. If you’re ready to see your vision come to life, we can’t wait to hear all about it! Get in touch today and let us help you design your story.
Many brand strategists talk about this process as a “must-have” if you want to succeed, but truthfully, a brand strategy might not be the best investment yet for certain businesses. We recommend implementing the iconic trio before you take a brand full-time, add or change services, launch into new markets, or implement new offerings. If you’re starting a side hustle or are nonchalantly testing the waters, it might be more worth your while to hold off on such a deep dive into your foundation. Should you skip it entirely? Definitely not, but you could start with some initial research and go from there. If that sounds like you, we recommend checking out our positioning workbook and premade semi-custom brands so you can dip your toes in without the high price tag.