Starting a business is a wild ride. You spend weeks and months (maybe even years) getting ready to launch your new business – it’s your baby!
You’ve written and rewritten your plan, developed and perfected your product or service, created your logo, and printed out business cards to give to everyone you know. Your website is up and running and your social media following is already starting to grow.
Launch is a HIT! Everyone wants a piece of you and, before you know it, you sell your first 100 products or find yourself booked for the next month. You’re in a state of bliss…but the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever.
After a few months, you notice your bookings slow and sales drop. The excitement and momentum of a new business begin to wear off. Less people are sharing your promotional posts and your inventory starts collecting dust. Your once booked calendar gets emptier and emptier with each passing week.
Starting a business is challenging and no matter how phenomenal your product is or the amount of amazing client reviews you have, creating a community of raving fans in love with your brand is no small feat.
If you find yourself going through these ebbs and flow with your business, I get it – I’ve been there! Developing a brand takes time and requires a lot of hard work, strategic thinking, and thoughtfulness. Oh, and a bit of magic!
In this post, I will help you develop a stellar brand strategy by answering these three questions:
– What is a Brand Strategy?
– Why do you NEED a Brand Strategy?
– How do you create a Brand Strategy?
What is a Brand Strategy?
What is a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy is a thoughtfully crafted strategic plan designed to position a brand for optimal awareness within their target audience resulting in identification and preference of the brand by consumers. Put simply, this means a brand strategy ensures your target audience recognizes your brand, identifies with it, and chooses your brand over your competitors.
It goes beyond web design, color palettes, and logos. With a successful brand strategy, you are creating a community of raving fans rather than one-time customers.
Why Do You Need a Brand Strategy?
Every Successful Brand Needs a Strategy
Personally, I believe every brand needs a strategy. The most successful companies go beyond their individual products and service offerings by creating a brand their customers love.
It’s why there’s always that one kid decked out in a Nike hoodie, t-shirt, sweatpants, socks, and sneakers. They might as well have “Just Do It” tattooed on their chest. Their identification and loyalty to Nike has become so engrained into their personality that they wouldn’t be caught dead in an Adidas tracksuit. Chances are they’re first in line for any new Nike product drop, too.
Swap out Nike for brands like Hot Topic, Victoria Secret, or Carhartt, and we all know someone who has completely bought into a brand. You likely have bought into a few brands yourself as a consumer.
Establishing brand loyalty is the number one key to long term success.
Even though brands like Nike and Victoria Secret are major companies with lots of disposal capital, you can develop a solid brand strategy without breaking the bank.
How To Develop A Brand Strategy
The Components of a Brand Strategy
There are 6 key components to consider when developing your brand strategy.
1. Brand Story
2. Brand Promise
3. Brand Mission
4. Brand Voice
5. Brand Audience
6. Brand Presence
1 – Brand Story
Your brand story tells people who your brand is, how your brand came to be, and why you do what you do.
The story you create for your brand will create a connection between your brand and your customers. When successfully executed, your brand story will illicit an emotional response from your customers and help foster a relationship and loyalty to your brand.
Life is about stories, and if you can tell the right one the rest is easy…kind of.
2 – Brand Promise
If the brand story is the what and why of your brand, the promise is the how. Your brand promise is the promise you make to everyone who interacts with your brand.
Consider Geico. Their slogan is “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the slogan and likely associate Geico with fast, efficient service. Consistently, they have delivered on their brand promise.
Fulfilling your brand promise consistently is essential to creating a community. When you build trust and deliver on your word, customers become raving fans and part of your brand’s larger community.
Include your brand promise in your marketing and make it forward facing to your customers. The more aware they are of your brand promise, the more they’ll notice when you fulfill it!
3 – Brand Mission & Vision
A brand mission and vision are the goals your brand plans to achieve and the position your brand hopes to have as it develops and grows.
Any marketer will tell you a brand’s mission and vision statements are central to its long-term success. In addition to helping your customers know who your brand is and what it promises to deliver, a brand mission and vision statement keep YOU motivated on the goals you set for your brand.
To learn more here, check out this resource.
4- Brand Voice
Brand voice is how you communicate with your audience. You will want the brand voice to come through as authentic and consistent across all channels. People want to connect with the real people behind the brand and will quickly disconnect if they don’t feel your brand speaks to them.
5 – Brand Audience
What you know about your target audience can make or break your strategy. Developing a strategy without knowing who the strategy is directed towards is not only foolish and a waste of time, but it can put your brand’s weeks and months behind in developing your product/service offerings.
While your brand audience will change and evolve with time, having a solid idea of who your target customers are will help you put yourself in their shoes. Being able to take their perspective means your marketing will better address their needs and speak in a language comfortable to them.
It’s important to note your customers aren’t a monolith. When defining your target audience, you’ll want to identify 3-4 customer avatars who encapsulate the traits of your customers in that demographic.
Some traits to include are age range, gender, education, income, special interests, and family size. You’ll want to get as specific as possible without making your avatars unrelatable or out of reach.
When executed well, your customer avatars will help you focus your product development and marketing strategy. You can consider how an avatar would think or feel about your product/service and make changes as necessary.
It helps to give these avatars names. For example, your 18-24 year old female customer avatar could be Sydney. Whenever you’re developing strategy, you can consider how to add value directly to Sydney.
6- Brand Presence
The final thing to consider in developing your brand strategy is your brand presence, also called brand positioning.
Your brand presence is where you establish your brand to been seen by the right people to build your audience. When establishing your brand position stick to 2-3 platforms (excluding your website). These include Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. You can expand these later as you grow, but it’s important to hyper focus before spreading yourself too thin.
Choose your platforms by considering your customer avatars. Knowing who your customers are will help you identify which platform they are investing time on and allow you to reach them better!
For midsize and larger brands, it’s strongly recommended that you invest in a content automation system to streamline your process as posting consistency and frequency are important to keep your brand in favor with the ever-changing algorithm.
Start Developing Your Strategy Today
Getting started on developing your brand strategy can be daunting. Start small, but think big! Consider where you want your brand to be in a few weeks, months, and years. Envision your brand’s position in your industry and establish who you want associating with your brand.
Considering who your audience is, what they need, and how your brand can bring value to their lives is going to put you ahead of your competition in reaching your target audience, increasing your profits, and keeping your own eyes on the prize!
If you are mindful and thoughtful in the process, success is inevitable with a dash of magic!
A Dash of Magic
A good strategy is only as good as your intentions and follow through. Once your strategy is developed, set your intentions under a new moon and manifest your brand’s ideal future.
Include household herbs and spices such as basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mint in your rituals or burn a green candle imbued in prosperity oil while visualizing your future and meditating on your brand’s coming success.
Developing your brand strategy can feel like a monumental task. I won’t bullshit you and say it’s easy.
Developing a brand strategy takes meticulous attention to detail and the ability to take the perspective of potential customers. A solid brand strategy is rooted in creating a value-added brand that your customers can effortlessly build their identity around.
To reach the notoriety of top name brands, it’ll take dedication, hard work, and a dash of magic!
If you’re still stuck, check out this free download to get you started, and be sure to subscribe to receive weekly tips, tricks, and a bit of magic to take your brand to the next level.