Effective goal setting is an important factor when building a great brand that engages your audience.
But it is only half the battle. Your brand isn’t complete without a strategic plan and you can’t build a plan without a series of smaller goals or milestones you continually work towards and measure.
In this article we explain how you can set your brand goals and objectives so they form a strategic plan to help you build your brand.
The main short term and ongoing goals purely brand-related are:
Building brand awareness,
Creating an emotional connection,
Differentiate your offering,
Improve trust and loyalty
Achieve buyer preference.
It is important to continually look at these ongoing goals and also to consider the long term business and brand goals that will form your brand strategy.
Questions to think about before you start setting your brand goals
Before you jump straight in and define the goals you want to achieve for your brand you want to ask yourself the following questions to get clearer on what you are looking to achieve.
What do you want to achieve as a brand?
Think big, we’ll get onto brand vision shortly but this wants to be the ultimate goal you want your brand to achieve.
What does success look like for your brand?
For a SaaS brand, on-boarding X amount of new clients per month could be a success metric, for a construction company it might be landing 1 large government contract per quarter, for an environmentally-conscious brand it might be how much carbon have they offset. Different brands have a different idea of what success is to them and in turn, each of these will be measured differently and have different initiatives pushing them forward. in most cases, you’ll have multiple successes.
Who is your audience and what are they looking to achieve?
For you to achieve your brand goals you will need to understand who your audience is and what they are looking to achieve by interacting with your brand.
How does your product or service fit into their lives and help them achieve their aspiration?
Understanding the relationship your audience has with your product or service and how it helps them to overcome an obstacle, reach a milestone, become a better version of themselves or achieve an aspiration. Will help you to understand and choose the right metrics and quantify the goals you want to set for your brand.
These four questions should give you a good idea of where you are headed as a company, what success looks like and how your audience plays into the achievement of these goals.
What is the Vision for your brand?
A good place to start with brand goal setting is at the end and work backwards. If you have already gone through a rebranding or branding process you may have already defined a vision for your brand.
But if not then a way to define your vision is to dream big and think about the ultimate goal you would like your brand to achieve long term this can be something that is so big it might seem unattainable but it does need to be grounded in the realms of possibility you’ll see this in the examples coming up. Your vision wants to be compelling for you and your internal team and wants to be something that feels like it is always pulling you towards it to be achieved.
Here are some great examples of brand vision statements.
LinkedIn: Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.
Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
Each of these work as a motivating statement for the internal team, a guide to know if you are on track as a company, a business development qualifier (if it isn’t progressing towards the vision you don’t do it) and the top-level goal for your brand. You want to write a refined short vision statement that explains this ultimate brand goal. This can be a bit ambiguous and lofty in size maybe just out of reach but it should motivate and be something you can work towards daily.
Work backwards and get specific
Take your vision statement you have just put together, Now think about where you want to be in 5 years and use the vision statement as a guide. And work backwards so work out where you need to be in 5 years to be on track, then 3 years, 1 year This will build out a structured roadmap to reach your ultimate goal. You can if you like add another step to make it 10,5,3,1 and each of these milestones act like markers for you to work towards.
Each milestone you should write at least a paragraph of what you are aiming to achieve specifically, so how much turnover, number of employees or stores, product lines and then flesh out with details of how the business looks as though you are living it now. You want to be as specific as possible inside this vision for instance if you want to open 5 stores then how much does each store cost to run? How many employees do you need for each? What does the store look like?
This combination of specificity and visualisation is a powerful combination to flesh out a compelling growth plan. You should now have an ultimate goal and milestones set out in a roadmap for your next 5-10 years of the main goals you want to achieve.
Supporting Brand Goals and Objectives
Now you have a compelling vision and a 5-10 year roadmap of milestones for growth. Now it is time to look at your 1-year milestone and take that milestone and add supporting goals to it. What do you want to achieve this year that lines up with this milestone and can help you to achieve it?
Some general goals and objectives to focus on would be sales, profit, leads to customers, sign-ups, downloads, repeat customer percentage, lifetime customer value and website leads. Make a list of supporting goals and things you want to achieve with specific outcomes that can be measured with a realistic deadline.
You also want to set some brand-specific objectives to track some important ones to measure are:
Brand Identity and image
This is how your brand is perceived by the market and lets you know if you have established a memorable identity. The way to measure this is with surveys to see how the brand is viewed by your audience.
Percentage of customers who can recall your brand when given a product category.
Percentage of customers that can recognize your brand name, logo, packaging, tagline or visual symbols related to your brand.
How often customers interact with your brand. Interactions are defined by you, including website visits, location visits, or product reviews.
The number of customers who recommend your brand to others.
The estimated value of your brand. This can be measured in a cost-based valuation, market-based valuation, or income-based valuation.
The percentage of your target market that are customers.
You can measure all of these or initially in the early stages pick 4 -5 of the most important ones for your brand to track and then add the others over time.
Tasks to achieve goals
Now you have your big year goal or vision, supporting goals, targets and objectives for your brand, you can now focus on the tasks you need to accomplish to hit these metrics. For instance, if you want to increase sales by x amount this year but don’t yet have an online store this is a fairly important task that is needed to reach that goal.
Or if you want to increase repeat custom and improve brand loyalty then maybe by introducing a points-based reward scheme or loyalty scheme or introduce perks of repeat customers could help this. So a task would be to first decide what you are going to do then action that e.g design loyalty scheme, email customer list etc A great way to prioritise these smaller tasks is a technique from Chris Do of the Futur, and is great for prioritising tasks and goals, we’ve modified it slightly to incorporate month and quarters
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With headings from left to right
Task or goal
To break down these columns and explain further – If your year 1 goal is to get 5000 subscriptions to your SaaS product a task that might need doing is creating (or improving) your onboarding sequence, reducing churn, improving usability to increase customer use of the product, create an effective marketing funnel, create a pitch deck and sales collateral or add in a refer a friend functionality to the platform for extra features (like Dropbox did).
All these are important but you need to work out which is the most important to do first, this is where this table comes in.
Let’s take the task ‘create an effective marketing funnel’ and we would add that to the left column, we would then score the impact this would have in getting to our goal out of ten in the Impact column, then we score it out of ten for how urgent this task is in the Urgency column, then we score how important we feel this is out of ten for the company to thrive in the Importance column. Add this score up and put it in the total column. Once you’ve done this for all the tasks that you need to do to reach your goal, sort by the total column highest scoring at the top then designate a quarter in this column for when you aim to work on this I like to split the list into 4 by colour 1 for each quarter.
And these are your year quarters so if you had 16 tasks you’ll have 4 in each quarter or 1 per month to work on. Label each task with what quarter they are in and what month/s you are going to work on this task.
You can also assign a team member or department to the task and add any additional notes in the spreadsheet to track, once the tasks have been ordered you can use collaboration tools like Asana to handle the task workflow with your team.
Why is this important now?
2021 has been difficult for a lot of businesses and brands, it has changed consumer buying habits, the way we work, the way we interact with our employees, colleagues and audience.
Now as we approach the ‘New Normal’ we find ourselves in a place of rapid change and uncertainty.
Building a strong brand now is crucial to navigating this turbulent time, building relationships with your audience and crafting effective but adaptable strategies to combat short term and long term change.
It will also allow you to pivot quicker, adapt easier and make smarter strategic decisions.
If you have a strong brand that understands why it exists and the role it plays in your customer’s lives then serving that audience and being something reliable in an uncertain time can build a strong connection with your audience.
If you would like to find out more about our Unified brand Methodology and brand building process you can download the guide below.
Alternatively, you can book a free brand consultation call where we can dive deeper into your brand and begin to help you unlock your brand’s potential – Schedule a call