So far in the Introduction to Brand Strategy series, you learned what a brand strategy is and how to identify brand strategy stakeholders. Now, it's time to learn how to develop your actual brand strategy and bring it to life. It starts with a vision and permeates through all aspects of your business until your brand ultimately becomes a valuable business asset.
Your brand strategy must include some core components which define the strategy and set the stage for how the business will reach its long-term goals for the brand. In addition to providing a written definition and road map for your brand, the brand strategy must explain how the brand will come to life.
First, let's focus on the core components that should be addressed in a brand strategy document. For a great example, follow the link to check out the Purdue University brand strategy document.
The American Marketing Association defines vision as "A guiding theme that articulates the nature of the business and its intentions for the future." Your brand vision should be rooted in your overall business vision, but it should specifically address what your brand promises.
It's essential to do your competitive research and analysis and identify how your brand will be positioned in the marketplace. That position must be well-defined in your brand strategy document.
3. Unique Value Proposition
What does your brand bring to the table that consumers either cannot get from other brands or cannot get as well from other brands? What is the unique selling point for your brand? Define it very specifically in your brand strategy document.
Define brand values beyond the unique value proposition. In other words, it should bring more value to the market than that single unique selling point. Describe them in detail within your strategy.
What is your brand personality? Every brand has a unique personality. Is your brand the life of the party or a wallflower? That personality should be well defined before you try to implement any part of your brand marketing plan.
There is no more important part of branding than identifying and living your brand promise. It should be the cornerstone not just of your brand strategy but of your entire business, too.
The strongest brands are built on brand emotion developed by consumers as they experience the brand. You can cultivate those emotions through your marketing, but first, you need to identify the emotions your brand should evoke.
In Part 2 of the Introduction to Brand Strategy series, you learned about identifying brand stakeholders. That information should be included in your brand strategy document so everyone who works with your brand understands the far-reaching effect their work has on the brand's success.
9. Consumer Audience Segments
In addition to identifying stakeholders, your brand strategy should breakdown the specific target consumer audience segments that your brand appeals to and will be marketed to. The marketing plan and tactics you create to support the brand strategy will be very dependent on these audience segments.
10. Messaging and Voice
How will you communicate to consumers? You need to identify the style and voice that your messaging will use to best connect with consumers, and that voice must be consistent with your brand promise. In other words, the voice needs to evoke emotions, create perceptions, and meet expectations. That voice also needs to be used to create powerful messaging that drives results. While specific messages will vary based on the audience and marketing initiative, a strategic plan for what the overall voice and core message are should be included in the brand strategy document.
Next in the Introduction to Brand Strategy series, you'll learn about how to move from brand strategy to brand tactics in order to drive business. In the meantime, if you missed previous parts of the series, follow the links below to read them now:
- Introduction to Brand Strategy - Part 1: What Is a Brand Strategy?
- Introduction to Brand Strategy - Part 2: Identify the Brand Stakeholders