How to build a brand strategy an 8 step process. This video explains how you can build a brand strategy using an 8 step process to define yours.
Brand strategy is crucial for your brand’s growth and provides a roadmap to help you reach your ideal customer, achieve your goals and objectives and long term success. This 8 step process is what we use in our Brand Workshop and strategy sessions at Elements
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One of the things we do at Elements, Brand Management. Is help brands to build and shape their brand strategy. By the end of this video, we want to help you do the same.
What is brand strategy? Brand strategy is a plan of how you’re going to build shape and grow your brand.
You can see a bit more of a detailed explanation in a previous video that we did here. And in that video, it unpacks what a brand strategy is and gives you a few things to think about before you start building yours.
How do you build a brand strategy? There are eight key steps that you can take to build your brand strategy and I’m going to go through these now.
Step number one, defining your core brand or brand platform. So your brand platform or your internal brand is the thing that is the core of everything you do as a brand. Is sets out how your strategy is going to run on from here out. It’s gonna, how it’s going to progress. And it forms the basis of everything you do as a brand. So inside that internal brand, that core brand should be your, your why you exist or your brand’s purpose, what you aim to achieve or your brand’s vision. How are you going to achieve it or your brand’s mission and the way you’re going to act and the beliefs that you have, or your brand’s values.
There are some other things to fit into this. Internal brand as well. Things like your brand’s attributes and your brand DNA, but the focus of this is on your mission, vision values, and your why, I’ll put a link in the description below this video to a free guide that you can download, which will start to ask you some questions in order to flesh out your internal brand.
The reason why this is important is because if you imagine, brands without an internal brand defined a kind of like building a house on sand, the brand platform, the internal brand. Provides this solid foundation that everything else you do as a brand can be built upon. It’s also like driving with a handbrake on so brands that haven’t properly defined that internal brand, that core brand tend to be driving with a handbrake on.
They’re not able to grow as fast as they want. There are hindrances in place because they don’t understand what the brand’s all about. So this is a really crucial step. And the first thing you want to do in defining your brand strategy.
Step number two, defining your target audience and audience segments. So who are you trying to reach? Who is your ideal customer? If you’re unsure of this and you’ve not looked into this, I’ll put a link to a video we previously did, which you can see here in the description below this video. Now you don’t only want to define your audience, demographics and psychographics.
So demographics being age, marital status, education level, location. Psychographics being interests, hobbies, values, and beliefs, but you also want to define what problem you solve for your audience. What challenges are they trying to overcome? What are their needs in day to day life? How are you helping them to overcome these problems?
What is the solution that you provide and where are they headed? Where are they trying to head to? What is that aspirational identity? You want to flesh these things out to truly define your audience and your audience segments and your buyer personas.
Step number three is to research the market. So who are your competitors? Both indirect and direct. How are they set up? How do they position themselves? What does their brand feel like? What does it look like? You want to do a surface audit on each of these competitors and indirect competitors, and you want to look at their brand and you want to look at their strengths and their weaknesses objectively, so you can see how you can fit into this market. Where you can challenge where you can position yourself and how you can differentiate in a way that stands out from the rest of this market. And by doing this, this will give you a really clear idea of how competitive this particular market is. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, how they are set up, how they see themselves, and also where you can fit in.
Step number four, brand positioning and differentiation strategy. So by now, You should know who you are. You should know who your audience are, and you should know who the competition is. So you’ll have a really good idea on the gaps in the market, what the audience is looking for, how they’re looking to overcome a problem, you know who you are. So you can start to build out your position and your differentiation strategy.
You can do this with a few different tactics and a few different things. You can use an X, Y diagram, which is outside the scope of this video. But it will be in a future video. So if you keep an eye on that, that’d be coming soon. Other ways you can do this is by doing a positioning audit on on each of your competitors.
Usually a little tip. If you look at their website and then you look at their social profiles, they will, give you a really quick indicator as how they, they see themselves and how they’re trying to position themselves, whether or not they get this across in the right way or not with their messaging. If you look at social profiles, you only have a certain amount of characters to describe what your business is and does.
So it’s a really good indicator to kind of get a rough idea of how they are positioning themselves in their own market, because in their social profiles, they will tell you within sort of three or four lines, what it is they’re trying to achieve or what they’re doing, or they should do. And if they don’t, you know, that there is a competitor there that is missing a trick with regards to their brand.
Comment below. And let me know what your main differentiator is or what’s your USP.
Step number five, brand personality. So now we know who we are. We know who our audience is, we know who our competitors are, and we know how we fit into that market and how we can differentiate from those competitors. Now’s the time to double down on that differentiation and add a little bit of extra something with brand personality, some things to think about when building out your brand personality are, who would your audience engage with?
So if you think of your brand as a character and it can help to actually write. A paragraph about your brand as though it is a character, it is a real flesh and blood person, who would they be? Where are they going? What do they believe in? What do they stand for? You can write a paragraph or two on this. It really helps you to visualize and work out the character and how it’s going to relate in the story of your brand.
So if your brand was personified character, who would they be and who would they need to be in order to have a relationship with your audience? And be something that your audience will engage with. And the other thing to think about as we touched on the previous point is if you can a look at your competitors, both indirect and direct and see the character of their brands and what is their brand personality and see what they’re setting up as you have a really good indicator there as to the market in general.
Cause sometimes you’re going into a market and there will be all the brands with the same personality. And what they’ve done is the leaders lead the way. With their brand personality and everyone’s followed suit. So you can be a real different disruptor in that sort of environment and come in with a new brand personality and add something different to a sort of stuffy, stale category.
Another way to do this is to ask yourself the question. If my Brand was a famous actor or actress, who would it be? If my brand was a fictional character, who would it be? And if my brand was a band or an artist, who would it be? And what this does, it gets you thinking about things that are outside of the visual look of your brand or messaging or the history so far.
And what it gets you start thinking about is personifying your brand and identifying it’s a particular characters and what this starts to do. When you get onto archetypes is it can identify some of those, especially through the fictional character side of things. So if you identify your character as being similar to a Gandalf or Merlin or a Mary Poppins, for example, then you could be channeling the magician archetype.
As part of your brand. Whereas if you started thinking about your brand as being a Steve jobs type character or Iron Man, then you might be channeling the creator. So thinking about your brand as a character, as a 3d real life person can really help to build out this personality, which is really important step of your brand strategy.
Step number six, brand messaging and tone of voice. So if the character in the previous step was talking to your audience, how would they sound? What would they say? What words would they be using and how would they be coming across and the way that they present themselves.
These are some questions you can ask yourself to help define your brand’s tone of voice. Also, you can use things in this step. If your audience is a group of people that use the particular dialogue or some language that’s around their kind of group. For example, if you were talking to the snowboard community and your brand or products or services are aimed at that snowboard community, you might be able to use some insider language to help with your brand messaging things like get your edge this winter, or carve a new path, or are you stuck catching your age all the time? These different things, these different uses of language from that particular community can add to your tone of voice and your brand messaging and that kind of personality you’re building up. Based on your brand’s personality from the previous step and the archetypes we talked about, you can actually draw some inspiration for your tone of voice.
So does your brand sound transformative, caring, wise, inspiring, does it sound innocent, rebellious? All these different sort of styles and ways that you can use to get your messaging across can be harnessed directly from your brands, archetype and brand personality.
Your brand messaging wants to be simple. It wants to be to the point. It wants to be about the audience as opposed to your brand. So your audience is there hero your brand is the guide. I highly recommend building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. As a way to flesh out your brand story and also build out some of your messaging framework. There are a lot of other things you can do with your brand messaging that we can get to in a later video, but the brand story or his brand script, as he puts it is a really good way and a good starting point to building out a simplified brand messaging framework that you can use, that talks directly to your audience and is for your audience, it’s not all about your brand
Step number seven brand identity or visual identity. So now is the time to actually step in and do your visual identity. This is why it’s something you shouldn’t just rush straight into. And where a lot of brands make a mistake by jumping straight into the visual side of things, or just designing a logo and their identity straight away, but without doing any of this other work, because you see how much we’ve done development wise on the brand itself and we’ve also looked at your audience and we’ve looked at your competitors. So now you’re in a better position to be placed on understanding who you are as a brand, you know who your audience is. So you can actually design and build an identity that is tailored towards them, you know, who your competitors are so therefore you understand what’s already out there, what color potentially dominate the market, how you can differentiate your design, your personality, the way that your visual identity comes across from the rest of the market, you’ve built out your brand personality. So any of that nuance, any of that flavor, that feeling, that emotion that you put in on that layer, you can bring into your identity and build out as well. So you should never rush into the visual side of designing your brand because it should be something that is methodical thought over and actually makes sense with your internal brand. Your visual identity wants to be something that resonates with your audience is different from the competition, embodies your internal brand and takes that little bit of extra something from your brand’s personality to just add another layer of feeling to the design. As Sagi Haviv said, as a logo should be simple, distinctive, and memorable and appropriate. And this goes for the whole visual identity.
So if you look at visually identity of like Apple or Nike and the logos, they have created for those particular brands. The Apple logo has a lot of connotations to it. And it’s almost a call to the creator inside of you to be more creative. And they doubled down on this with our advertising campaigns and things like think different and things like that. But the Apple itself is meant to be a representation of the Apple from the garden of Eden that Eve took from the tree of knowledge and took a bite out of. So the idea is it’s almost like an opening up of your mind and it’s kind of a challenge to creatives to take on that mantle. And if you look at the Nike tick in itself, that is heroic symbol, it’s on a slant. It’s got that movement to it. It has a, the tick itself is almost like a to do. You’re done.
Just do it, just do it tick. And it’s kind of, it’s a challenge. It’s another challenge. It’s, it’s bringing out the personality of the brand that is asking you to be the hero. And the misconception with Nike is Nike is. A hero archetype brand, but they’re also, they challenge their audience. to be the hero all the time.
That’s what everything’s all about. It’s always about anyone can be an athlete no matter who you are, no matter what ability level you have, they’re challenging you to be the hero. And that Nike tick embodies all of that in one simple Mark and from the logo to the wider visual identity, you want to build this out.
So that it reflects your internal brand. It resonates with your target audience. It’s different from your competition. Has that sprinkling of something extra from the brand personality that connects it all together.
Step number eight, brand marketing and brand launch. So you’ve now got your brand into a position where you’re ready to launch a brand.
You want to, start thinking about how you can reach those ideal customers. How are you going to achieve those goals and objectives that you’ve laid out? And how are you going to continue to grow shape and build your brand? This part of your strategy is all about that brand awareness and getting out to as many people as you can, the right people so your target audience.
So first you need to think about where do your ideal customers hang out? What channels do they use? How can you reach them? What messages are going to resonate with them? We talked about that in a previous step. You can use some of these messages in this step to start actually pushing out those marketing campaigns, but it might be that you think.
Of other ways to reach them. This could be through affiliates or partners or business development plans. And all of this can build up along with traditional marketing, digital marketing, direct response, marketing, and brand awareness marketing can all go into this kind of mix and content marketing. Of your brand and brand awareness and your marketing to build out this brand and get this brand out there.
Some other things you might be able to do or influence marketing. So you might position yourself with a couple of influencers who can start to spread the word about your brand or your product or your service, and get it out there to their audience.
For each individual brand. This step is going to be different because it depends on the platform we’ve just created, your target audience, your competitors, how you are going to differentiate, your brand’s personality, your brand’s messaging and your visual identity is all going to play a part in where you market, how you market and who you’re marketing to.
So for every brand that goes through this step, there’s going to be a different set of tactics, a different set of strategies and a different set of plans, campaigns, and messages that you’re going to use to reach your ideal audience.
And there’s no right or wrong scenario in this. And. It’s all about finding the right balance for you and your audience.
So now, you know what a brand strategy is, and you’ve got the steps to develop your strategy. There’s a link in the description below to a downloadable PDF that will help you define your brand’s platform.
So it’ll start you at question one, step one, it’ll start asking those questions that will help you to build out your internal brand.
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Have a great week. Catch up soon and keep those brands unified.