Brand strategy is not a hack or tactic meant to create overnight sales. You need to have a long-term vision to enjoy the benefits of brand strategy. An effective brand strategy can help you build a meaningful relationship with your customer and turn them into lifelong customers who will continue buying from you. This article will go over the ten key advantages of having a solid brand strategy in place!
What is brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a long-term plan carefully designed to achieve business goals and influence consumer’s perception of your brand. A good plan defines desired outcomes and then creates an action plan to meet those outcomes by considering people, product, process, market, content, creative guidelines, information handling, and organizational decision-making frameworks.
A brand strategy will define:
- Brand purpose
- Brand objectives
- Brand messaging pillars
- Ideal customer persona
- Competitor analysis
- Go to market strategy
- Brand guidelines
Make sure to read my post on brand strategy for start-ups if you’re setting up a new business.
Marketers who are jaded with marketing messages might disagree with the concept of brand purpose and even claim it doesn’t help sales. It might be true in specific industries where all the players focus on functional benefits and consumers are trained to only look at the product features. However, they fail to see the indirect benefits: brand purpose gives your brand personality, keeps you ahead of the curve, and guides your employees. Brand purpose means considering all your stakeholders in every decision you make and facing difficult questions.
Brands that don’t have a definite purpose will find themselves struggling to find their place in a highly competitive market. A brand strategy gives you a clear sense of what your company stands for, creates a brand promise, and demonstrates your cultural values. It also provides direction for future growth opportunities.
Differentiate your product from your competition
Running ads without knowing what matters is not a marketing strategy. You can’t just walk into a crowded market and expect to win based only on your ad budget.
Your product or services need to stand out. The brand positioning step in the brand strategy will help you achieve this differentiation. To have a successful differentiation, you need to understand the key attributes that consumers value. It’s also essential to analyze what your competitors are offering.
Drift is an excellent example of strategic positioning. In a market where others focused on advertising automation and scaling, Drift coined the term “Conversational Marketing” and emphasized creating a real connection with potential customers by engaging in conversations.
The next step is to find a sweet spot and position your brand on benefits that matter to your consumer, but your competition is not going after. Correct positioning will help you avoid the costly mistake of spending thousands of dollars focusing on things that don’t matter to the customer. And it will help you build a reputation that your competitors can’t touch.
Reduced ad budget and focuses Efforts
A brand strategy also focuses efforts within marketing and advertising, which can lead to higher ROI. You can invest the resources in activities that further the company’s mission. Over time, focused efforts will translate into increased sales and profits for the company.
Krispy Kreme is an example of a global brand that focuses on word of mouth and customer experience over traditional advertising.
Stay ahead of the value curve
A proper brand strategy should demonstrate brand value for the consumer and emphasize the core attributes of your business. It is crucial to align brand values with customer values. Marketing communications written with these values in mind will be more appealing to customers because they connect with you emotionally. In addition, it helps differentiate your offer from your competitors.
A brand strategy is necessary for business because it encourages trust and loyalty from consumers, which leads to better profits. Branding is valuable in this day and age because companies are fighting for our time and attention on social media. A brand strategy will help you stay competitive.
Keeps Your Message and identity Consistent
You lose your consumer the moment you confuse them. Cohesive branding is not just about using the same logo and brand colors everywhere; it ensures consistency in communication and visual identity. Strategic brands stay consistent in their messaging across all channels.
Your customers will get confused if your key message keeps on changing every month.
For example, Nike’s key message is about breaking boundaries and expanding human potential. They maintain the core message but use various mediums and stories to convey the core message.
Consistency makes it easier for your customer to remember and identify with you as a brand. A strong and consistent brand strategy can help you cut through the noise in the market by creating a unique voice for yourself.
Build A Meaningful Relationship
A brand strategy helps build relationships between your customers and your company as they start recognizing shared values. When you deliver on your brand promise, it sets expectations and builds trust, which ties back to consistency. People will begin recommending you when they trust that they’ll get a good experience buying from you.
It turns one-time buyers into brand ambassadors who will bring more customers for you.
Dove demonstrates how brands can build strong relationships with their customers. Dove encourages all women to develop a positive view of beauty. It helps women and girls raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential with meaningful campaigns like their “real beauty” campaign.
Improves customer loyalty and retention
When you build a good relationship with the target audience, you win more loyal customers and retain existing ones. Customer loyalty has many benefits:
Brand storytelling is an excellent tool to connect with an audience who appreciates your core values and build an army of raving fans. With increasing positive sentiment and loyalty, consumers will develop their own unique story about how your product makes them different.
Curves gym is an excellent example of a company that built a following by focusing on consumer priorities — timesaving, lower costs, and privacy.
Increases Employee Engagement and commitment
An effective brand strategy increases employee engagement and fosters a sense of belonging. Having this sense of belonging and being valued makes employees more committed to their work, resulting in more productivity.
Employees who have a sense of identification with their company are not afraid of approaching their leaders with their questions or concerns, keeping everyone honest and accountable. They will also be more motivated to take on new challenges and find creative ways to improve the workplace. Also, a good strategy makes sure employees understand the company’s goals, target audience, and the way it wants to be perceived.
Works as a North Star that your employees can follow
Your brand purpose, brand vision, and core values will guide your employees to make decisions that impact your customers. Your brand strategy needs to be a North Star for your employees to know where the company is going and how their day-to-day work impacts customer experiences. Your brand values can play a significant role in shaping your company culture.
NatWest developed ‘Yes Check,’ a tool for employees to guide their decision-making. It contains a series of questions to ensure the decision is in line with their brand strategy.
Improves your bottom line
A good brand strategy improves the quality of leads and generates more sales for your company. Popular brands get more attention and don’t have to spend as much on marketing and advertisements to create brand awareness. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight, but with time, it pays off in spades if you do things right from the start when developing a brand or a new campaign.
It helps designers and creatives do better
The brand strategy encompasses many different perspectives that can help designers and creatives do better. It helps them understand the importance of their brand identity and what needs to be done to maintain the core identity.
A good brand strategy lays out guidelines for designers and creatives. It also serves as a compass for them when they have to make business decisions. A good brand strategy has guidelines but allows enough creative freedom for the designer to grow and change. It takes many perspectives, like marketing research, user experience design, psychology, and so on, making it a valuable resource for any designer.
An individual’s or a company’s brand is crucial to establishing their credibility and building their image. It establishes your creative voice in the industry, builds trust with your customers, and connects all the stakeholders.
You don’t have to compete on price
With a good brand strategy, you don’t have to compete on price. Instead, it will foster a brand positioning that focuses on attributes (other than price) that are important to buyers. It involves finding a gap in the market and owning it through your messaging and content strategy.
Starbucks is an example of brand positioning not focusing on price. A cup of Starbucks is more expensive than your regular coffee, but people still go there for the experience. People are happy to pay the extra to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
A well-crafted branding strategy will benefit you in the long run. When considering a new branding strategy, lead with your brand purpose, target audience, and product vision. Then, use your brand messaging to tell your story and share your core values and culture.
If you are a business owner, it is vital to ensure that your brand strategy is more than a logo and some colors. A strong brand strategy can turn your business into a top brand by creating a competitive advantage.