A branding strategy is like a blueprint for your company’s brand identity. A well-thought-out plan ensures that you can differentiate yourself from the competition, win over your target audience, and launch your brand successfully.
This article will teach you how to build a brand that will last for years by teaching you the branding techniques and fundamental aspects of a branding strategy.
What exactly is brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a long-term plan that helps businesses create and convey a specific impression to present and potential customers. Your brand strategy is successful if consumers recognize your company and its products or services even when they aren’t explicitly mentioned.
Coca-Cola has been successful in building a strong brand strategy, benefiting the company and its customers. Customers feel more connected to the brand, which makes them more likely to purchase. A brand strategy is most effective when it’s developed and implemented throughout all areas of an organization. The result is a boost in the company’s bottom line, its position in the market, and the quality of service it provides to its customers.
You must outline your business objectives before developing a brand strategy. To reach your intended audience—and maximize the impact of your brand—you’ll need to categorize them according to age, income, location, interests, profession, and so forth.
The Building Blocks of a Successful Branding Strategy
We’ve outlined seven key components of a long-term brand strategy to keep your business competitive.
While knowing what your company offers is essential when creating your brand positioning, understanding why you chose this field and what drives you to keep working can help you define your brand and business’s unique selling point..
How would you describe the goal of your company? Business Strategy Insider states that there are two different ways of looking at purpose:
Functional: This idea focuses on measuring success in terms of practical and financial considerations. After all, the goal of a business is to generate income.
Intentional: This idea concentrates on success as it pertains to having the capacity to create profit and improve society.
While it is important to respect a company’s capacity to turn a profit, extra respect should be given to companies like IKEA, who highlight their determination to excel in areas beyond financial gain and translate it into effective branding.
IKEA’s mission is to “create a better everyday life” rather than simply selling furniture. Potential customers will be drawn to this strategy since it demonstrates the company’s dedication to providing quality beyond the point of earning profit.t.
Here’s some friendly advice: go a bit further than selling a product – sell a solution, an experience, a lifestyle.
To maintain consistency, stick to topics that are directly related and useful to your brand.
Added a new picture to your business’s Facebook Page? How does this affect your business? Is it relevant to what you want to say, or was it merely an attempt at humor that will leave your listeners scratching their heads?
Ensure your brand messaging provides a solid foundation for your brand. Consistency is key in building brand awareness, which leads to customer loyalty.
Let’s look at Coca-Cola as an excellent illustration of consistency. As a result of the brand’s dedication to uniformity, its various promotional efforts complement one another. To a large extent, due to this, it has become one of the most widely recognized brands worldwide.
The brand’s consistency is evident across all its social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
A style guide can help you make sure your company’s various components—such as ads, promotional materials, packaging, and content—send a consistent message to customers.
Sometimes customers make decisions on an emotional level, not a logical one.
How else would you explain the customer who chose to purchase a Harley over a bike that was equally as well-made but cost a fortune less? Somewhere in there, an emotional voice was whispering, “Buy a Harley.”
Harley Davidson uses emotional branding through the brand’s online community. It formed the Harley Owners Group, or HOG, to foster loyalty among Harley riders and enable people to socialize with each other.
Harley Davidson gave people who were interested in buying a motorcycle the chance to feel like they were part of an elite, special group.
The drive to form relationships is innate in people. The “belongingness hypothesis,” which is based on research from psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary, best captures this need: “People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.”
Not to forget that the desire for love, affection, and a feeling of belongingness lies squarely in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is a classification of the various wants that exist in human beings.
Find a technique to establish a stronger, more emotional connection with your audience. Different aspects of the business can evoke emotions – even logo colors. Utilize such emotional reactions to improve your relationship and promote loyalty.
You must be flexible in today’s rapidly changing world to remain fresh and relevant. This can give them more freedom to be creative when designing campaigns.
You might ask yourself, “Wait for a second, how am I expected to be consistent and flexible at the same time?”
Consistency establishes a benchmark for your brand, while flexibility allows you to make changes that attract attention and set you apart from your competitors.
Old Spice is an excellent illustration of this type of strategy. When it comes to modern examples of effective advertising, Old Spice is among the top choices. It was practically an unspoken rule for dads everywhere to wear Old Spice. It is currently one of the most well-liked brands among men of all ages.
The key is flexibility.
Old Spice collaborated with Wieden+Kennedy to establish its brand for a new customer base after realizing that it needed to take action to maintain its position within the industry.
By strategically enhancing its already powerful brand, Old Spice was able to capture the interest of a new, younger generation with new ads, a new website, new packaging design, and new product names.
If your old strategies are no longer effective, don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t fall back on the same old tactics just because they’ve worked in the past. Use this opportunity to forge a new connection with your audience.
5. Employee Participation
While a style guide can help with that, it’s just as essential to have well-versed staff members who can effectively connect with consumers and promote the brand.
It wouldn’t make sense if a consumer called in and was connected with a grumpy, monotonous agent if your brand is fun and lively through Twitter interactions, wouldn’t it?
Employees are the brand ambassadors of your business. They have the power to make or break your brand image and reputation, so it’s important to train them on how to represent your company in a positive way.
Take a page from Zappos’ playbook to avoid an encounter like this.
You will understand if you have ever spoken with a Zappos customer service employee. If you haven’t heard some of its most moving customer support stories, you should check out this SlideShare.
You can also apply this strategy to your business, not just to earn extra profit but to gain possible customers and take care of the existing ones.
If you already have customers who appreciate your business, don’t just sit there—show them your gratitude.
These clients have made a special effort to write about you, recommend you to their peers, and publicly represent your company.
Gaining these consumers’ loyalty early on will result in more repeat business and significant financial gain for your business.
Sometimes all that is required is a simple “thank you.” Other times, going above and beyond is best.Try to go the extra mile. Personalize your message and send some unique gifts.
You need to keep your existing customers happy if you want them to buy from you again. Showing off the great relationships you have with your clients is a good way to set a positive mood for potential customers.
7. Awareness of Competition
Let the competition motivate you to sharpen your tactics and build a stronger brand. You work in the same industry and pursue the same clients, correct? So keep an eye on what they do.
You need to know what they’re doing, what they’re saying, and how they’re saying it. This will help you understand the landscape of the industry in which you operate. You can also discover what consumers are looking for and make sure that you meet their needs. Then you can use that information to help guide your own strategy.
It’s important to keep aware of your competitor’s actions, but you shouldn’t let their plans dictate every decision you make. If you focus too much on what they’re doing, you’ll stop being unique.
Finally, the Value of Strategic Branding
Being in a highly saturated market with brands that all look the same makes maintaining and marketing a brand even harder.
Strategic branding makes your company stand out from the competition in a marketplace where businesses are vying for customers’ attention.
A well-executed and comprehensive brand strategy makes sure your company is in control of its future, and not just reacting to the whims of the market. If your company has a great brand strategy in place, then your customers know what to expect from you, which means that they’re more likely to continue buying products or services from you. It can help create a set of brand guidelines when you make decisions and take action in the future—and ensure that all of your efforts are working together toward a common goal.
It’s not just about having an idea of what kind of company you want to be; it’s about knowing how to get there.