Why Every Business Needs a Brand Strategy: A Guide to Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In today’s highly competitive business environment, having a strong brand identity is crucial to success. A well-crafted brand strategy can help you differentiate your business from your competitors, connect with your target audience, and build brand loyalty. 

But what exactly is a brand strategy, and how can you create one that works for your business? In this article, we will explore the key elements of a successful brand strategy and provide you with practical tips on how to develop and implement your strategy effectively.

What is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy is a long-term, evolving plan that details how your business needs to interact with customers, prospects, and stakeholders at every touchpoint to shape the desired perceptions and achieve your business goals. Essentially, it’s a roadmap that defines how your brand needs to look, sound, and behave to stand out from competitors and attract, retain, and inspire customers and staff.

A well-developed brand strategy provides clarity, consensus, and focus for your entire organization, from HR to sales and marketing to product development. It guides your business decisions and actions, ensuring that every touchpoint aligns with your brand identity and values.

bubble chart showing Evolution's brand strategy elements

Why do you need a brand strategy?

Your brand is one of your most valuable assets as a business owner. It’s how people perceive your company and whether they choose to do business with you or a competitor. A strong brand will help set you apart from the competition and create meaningful connections with your target audiences. 

When businesses have not established a clear brand strategy, they are left to improvise much of the direction and operation of their brand. This can result in inconsistency, confusion, and missed opportunities to connect with customers on a personal level. Without a well-defined brand strategy, businesses may struggle to differentiate themselves from competitors and fail to create meaningful connections with their target audience.  

Key elements of a brand strategy

The key elements of a brand strategy include:

  1. Beliefs & Purpose:  This defines what you stand for, why you’re in business beyond financial gain, and how that connects to your audiences.
  2. Vision & Mission: This defines your purpose for being in business, what you’re trying to achieve, and how you’ll achieve it.
  3. Positioning Statement: This defines where your company needs to exist in the minds of the market to achieve its business goals.
  4. Unique Value Proposition (USP): This statement summarizes the value customers can expect to receive by choosing your product or service.
  5. Core Values: These guide behaviours, attitudes, decision-making, and how staff goes about their daily work.
  6. Brand Promise: This is what your business strives to consistently deliver with every interaction.
  7. Brand Experience: This is how people feel after interacting with your business at every level.
  8. Brand Personality: This is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to your brand name.
  9. Brand Voice: This is the distinct personality your brand expresses in its communications.
  10. Key Messages: These are a hierarchy of short messages used to communicate your unique selling proposition and brand attributes to target audiences.
  11. Brand Narrative: This is a concise, authentic story that creates emotional connections by empathizing with audiences, putting the customer at the centre of the story rather than the brand.

 

brand strategy development process

How to create a brand strategy

Defining the brand strategy elements listed above is a comprehensive process that allows businesses to perform a deep dive into their entire operations, uncovering and resolving any brand deficiencies and disconnects.

Creating a brand strategy enables companies to strategically design every point of contact between the brand and its audiences to present the brand identity consistently with purpose and intention. This process also ensures that the brand’s values and mission guide every aspect of the business, from decision-making to staff behaviour, resulting in a brand promise that is consistently delivered to customers at every level of interaction. By presenting a unified brand identity, businesses can create emotional connections with their audiences and establish a strong and lasting brand presence in the market.

Creating a brand strategy can be a complex process that requires expertise and experience. An expert brand strategist will have a deep understanding of the processes needed to help businesses discover and define their brand and the skills necessary to articulate the elements of a comprehensive brand strategy. They’ll work closely with you to ensure that your brand strategy aligns with your business goals and values, and that it resonates with your target audience.

Brand Activation – Bringing Your Brand Strategy to Life

Once you’ve developed your brand strategy, it’s time to implement it. This includes engaging and activating employees, aligning content, materials and environments internally and externally with the newly defined strategic elements, and launching your newly-focused brand to the market. You’ll also need to create a brand management system to ensure consistency in the presentation of your brand at every touchpoint.

Using Brand Strategy to Drive Business Growth

Once your brand strategy has been created, it can also serve as a critical guidepost for other areas of your company’s operations.

For example, the brand strategy can inform the business strategy, ensuring that all decisions and actions align with the company’s overarching brand goals and values.

Moreover, the brand strategy can guide the customer service strategy, making certain that all customer interactions align with the brand’s desired customer experience and contribute to building a strong brand reputation.

In the same vein, brand strategy can be harnessed for employer branding. By aligning recruitment, onboarding, and employee engagement practices with the brand’s values and goals, companies can create a workplace culture that not only embodies the brand but also attracts and retains top talent, reinforcing the company’s reputation from the inside out.

Finally, using the brand strategy to guide all business operations, a company can create a unified and consistent brand experience for its customers and employees, building brand loyalty and driving long-term success.

In conclusion, a well-developed brand strategy is essential for any business that wants to succeed in today’s competitive market. It provides a roadmap for creating a unique and meaningful brand experience that resonates with your audiences and sets you apart from competitors. So, take the time to develop a brand strategy that aligns with your business goals and values, and reap the benefits of a strong, consistent, and recognizable brand.

If you’re ready to develop a strong and effective brand strategy for your business, contact Evolution today to get started.

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