Let’s say you’re buying a new computer for your business. You’ve got a choice between a Mac and a PC. They both essentially do the same thing, but people will come down hard on one side or the other.
Simon Sinek talks about the ‘why’ behind the choice to buy a Mac. Mac fans buy why Apple does things the way it does. They don’t buy what Apple does.
This concept is central to Apple’s brand strategy. It also explains why the brand is the behemoth it is today.
Have you found yourself asking “what is brand strategy?” Read on to find out—and how to do it right.
What Is Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy is your long-term plan of actions that will build your brand identity as the brand of choice.
This strategy needs to include:
- The brand values
- What promises it makes to customers
- How it communicates both of these
Some people think your brand strategy is your choice of colors, corporate fonts, or logo. These are your brand visuals, and while they’re important, they’re not your brand.
Your brand visuals may change over time, but the brand identity does not. The strategy aims to grow the identity, not the visuals.
This guide by Mango Signs will walk you through creating your brand identity.
Why Do You Need a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy is the best way to use your brand identity to reach, convert and retain customers.
Without one, you have no way of knowing if your marketing works. You don’t know what to measure or what to do next.
It’s easier for your team to buy into your brand when they understand what it’s about. Having a strategy sets out what your brand stands for in clear terms.
Because of this, they can then communicate that in everything they do. That leads to coherent and consistent messages.
Remember, customers often need to encounter your brand 5-7 times before they commit. If each of those seven encounters feels the same? Your brand feels more trustworthy.
A strategy is also part of a smart branding approach. This lets you carve your niche in your market. Once your brand becomes known for something, you begin to attract customers, rather than you needing to go find them.
How Do You Generate a Brand Strategy?
The previous section will give you some starting points, like being consistent.
Next, start by asking what your brand is trying to do. What problems does your brand solve? What benefits do customers get from using your brand?
The answers to these questions will help you to decide what to focus on in your branding and marketing.
Next, ask who your ideal customers are. Who benefits from using your brand? How do you want them to feel after using your brand?
This helps you to determine where to target customers. It also helps to shape the visuals you choose to create a ‘feeling’ about your brand.
Move onto your competitors. Who are they? How are they already serving your ideal customers? What makes your brand different?
This gives you ideas for your content.
Finally, ask how you’re going to engage your customers. Which platforms will you use? What is your brand voice? This will help you choose the right places to find customers, and how to talk to them.
Craft Your Brand Strategy
Being able to answer the “what is brand strategy?” question is helpful in small business branding. With the right brand strategy, you can find the perfect customers for you.
You’ll also carve out your own niche and become the leader in your field.
Keen to improve your branding? Check out our other articles for more advice.