Your brand is the emotional connection people have with your business, it’s how your business connects and communicates to your ideal target audience.
Or as Jeff Bezos from Amazon famously put it: it’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
For your customers to understand what your brand is and what your business stands for, you need to have clarity on this yourself, so what is a brand strategy and why do you need one?
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is the goal you set yourself for how you want people to perceive your business. Of how all the moving parts will come together when your name, logo, product, service, marketing, team and reputation all add up to one simple truth that people remember about you.
A brand strategy is the plan for how you want to achieve that. It underpins all aspects of your business – from how you attract and retain great people to work for you; to the words you choose to describe your products and services.
Why do I need a brand strategy?
A brand strategy adds value to all parts of your business. Here are some of the top reasons you should think about investing in your brand strategy:
- You’re a start-up looking to clearly define your point of difference
- You want to engage with your target audiences in more meaningful ways
- You want to attract investment or are preparing to grow your business
- You want to explore a new market or different products
- Your current brand collateral (your logo, website or marketing materials) is crying out for a refresh (hey, it’s been a few years, brands deserve essential maintenance)
- You wish you could explain what you do (and why you’re good at it) without feeling lost for words
- Your customers shop around based on price and availability of products
- You want your marketing to be more confident and consistent
- Your competitors are doing things better and you need to adapt
Many people think that having a brand strategy is going to constrain their business. That having ‘brand police’ tell them how to use their logo is not going to deliver benefits.
A well-defined and cleverly delivered brand strategy delivers the opposite. It will lay the foundation for a strong and differentiated brand and liberate you from having to constantly make and review decisions without a clear objective in mind.
Why are strong brands built on emotion?
When we talk about brand strategy and brand identity, feelings come up a lot. Why? Because when people feel emotionally connected, they’re more likely to be loyal. This includes customers but also team and other stakeholders.
All the world’s top brands use emotion in their marketing. Emotions help us remember the good (and bad) things about our previous experiences. They are easier to recall than key selling points. Emotional connections are hard to break.
When you define your brand using emotional connections, you’ll find that your key messaging gets clearer, your website copy gets easier to write and your product descriptions flow with key benefits.
Yes, some brands fail. If you’ve tried to build something and it didn’t work, maybe you need to know these 3 ways to breathe life into a dying brand. When you have a brand strategy, it becomes an essential roadmap to try again.