Simply defined, brand strategy entails everything that goes into communicating and delivering your brand and your company’s message. Two things go into strong branding: consistency and strategy. Think about Sprite versus lemon-lime soda. Because people are exposed more to the brand, Sprite, they find it intrinsically more valuable. Other ways to build value into your brand is by associating some emotion or persons with the brand. For example, makeup ads regularly use actresses to advertise their products. So how do you develop a brand strategy? Where do you even start?
Answer Some Basic Questions
Before you start figuring out how to represent your brand or how to market your brand, you have to determine what your company stands for. How do the services and features of your products appeal to or benefit your prospective clients? You need to determine how you are unique from your competitors, because that will be an important consideration in how you sell yourself. What do customers already think of your business? How does what customers believe relate to what you want them to think of your business? For example, consider the car manufacturer, KIA. At first, customers saw KIA as nothing more than an economy car. KIA responded to customer belief by launching an ad campaign that featured KIA as a car associated with a luxury lifestyle. They addressed a customer belief by shifting their ad themes.
Fabricate the Definition
Once you’ve defined your brand, your job is to put it into material form. You need a good logo and good key words that you can use as catchphrases you want associated with your brand. Even on your blog, make sure that your brand is coming through. Forbes.com uses Warby Parker’s blog tagline as an example: “Musings, inspirations, and fun stuff from your friends at Warby Parker.” The tagline shows their fun and creative spirit, which is part of their brand.
Once you have your brand keywords, teach them to your employees. Make sure they are constantly using those words in order to create a cohesive vision of what your company is. Integrate your brand into everything that your business does. Include it on what employees wear; include it on e-mails; include it on all literature created for the business. In short, make sure that your logo gets out there. A logo needs to be recognizable.
Next time you think that branding doesn’t matter if you have a good product, check out the difference between Coca-Cola’s product sales and the generic brand sitting next to it in the grocery store. It’s not enough to offer a good product or service anymore. Clients are drawn to brands they understand, relate to, and desire. Determine your mission statement and turn that into a provocative logo and appealing catchphrase. And that’s not enough. Make sure that you incorporate your brand into every single aspect of your business.