Why we need a brand strategy

It’s no secret that a well-executed brand strategy can be the catalyst for growth for small businesses and solopreneurs. But what is it, exactly? And why do you need it? Here we’ll break down the basics of brand strategy and explain why it is key to your brand’s success.

What is brand strategy?

A brand strategy, in its essence, is a road map for how you want your brand to be perceived by the world. It takes into account the more abstract but important substance of your business that, when successfully defined and mapped, can take your business from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

If you imagine your brand as a building, brand strategy is its foundation. It is therefore something that business owners should execute the very first thing in their business journey (yes, even before coining your business name!).

While every business is unique, there are universal core elements that a brand strategy should cover. Here are a few examples of must-haves in your brand strategy:

  • Company’s profile – this includes the company’s background story, vision & mission and the overal raison d’etre
  • Target audience analysis – be very specific in identifying who they are and their pain points
  • Competitive analysis (you can use various methods here, for example, SWOT analysis, brand positioning method, focus groups, etc.)
  • Value proposition – identify what is unique about your company and how you can turn this into your unique selling proposition
  • Brand identity – which covers everything from your visual asset to brand voice and brand collaterals (this is the ideal stage where you create your visual designs & website)

The above is the very essentials you should be covering in your brand strategy. If you want to get more extensive and in-depth (a.k.a fancy!), it’s recommended to also cover:

  • Network analysis – this allows you to identify your network, from collaboration opportunities to potential leads & growth
  • Marketing strategy – which can be broken down into platforms
  • Launch strategy – very useful for when you’re ready to launch with a bang!
  • Milestone planning – to help you focus on your goals
  • Standard operation procedure – to help you stay consistent in your delivery

Now that you know more about brand strategy and what to include in your next strategizing sesh, let’s hop on to the reasons why brand strategy is key to your brand’s success. 

Brand strategy helps root the visual

When you go to a supermarket to do your shopping, have you ever picked up a product and thought: ‘What is this product all about? It has a weird-looking logo, bizarre choice of colours and what is that? I can’t even read the name.” (No? Just me?)

My point is that a well-built brand strategy can prevent your visual from being out of place. It provides a connection between what the business is about to the visual, so you won’t have a case of disconnected-looking logo and a hard-to-navigate, outdated website.

Brand strategy helps navigate & clarify

As a fellow entrepreneur and business owner, I feel like our brains are buzzing all the time with new ideas. Ideas that pull us in different directions. It can get overwhelming to keep all that creative ideas in our brains. Putting them out on paper (or your Microsoft Word doc) can help you navigate your ideas and provide clarity on which ideas are feasible and which are junk. By sorting out what’s inside our heads, we can proceed with our progression in a much clearer, well-informed manner.

Brand strategy helps to put you in your audience’s perspective

Most of the time we get caught up in trying to do our thing, so much so that we forget who we serve. In the audience analysis stage, we aim to take a step back from thinking about our business and start thinking about our tribe. How do they look like? What kind of lifestyle do they have? What language do they use to describe themselves? By exploring personas, you get to dive deeper into your target audience and understand how to make their life better.

Brand strategy helps you stand out from competitors

You know what they say, ‘keep your enemies closer’. This definitely applies in the competitive analysis part of your brand strategy. Since it involves researching who you’re up against, you’ll have to assess their strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. This means that you will be able to see where you’re best positioned for maximum impact and how you can outperform your competition.

Brand strategy provides a safe playground to compare (assess options) & make the right decisions

Treat brand strategy sessions like a playground. In there, you’re allowed to experiment. In there, you’re allowed to go wild and have a go at things you normally are worried about. Create imagined scenarios, play with different audience personas, and try out different launch plans. There are a lot of things you can do here and that is the strength of a brand strategy: To give you a safe space for you to spill your ideas out and play. By testing out different elements of your business and mapping out the potential & risks, you will be able to narrow down on the right decisions to make in real life.

In a nutshell

Brand strategy is a key phase you shouldn’t skip over when you’re trying to build a brand from scratch or when you’re trying to rebrand. It’s not easy to wing it in the entrepreneurial journey, so having a brand strategy is like having a fail-safe way to map out your moves before you execute them. Building a brand strategy doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort to develop a strong foundation that will stand the test of time. You may even have to adjust your brand strategy every now and again. But if done correctly, it can be an extremely valuable tool for growing your business.

On the audience analysis phase and not sure what to include? Check out this blog post on building client personas to help you get started!

July 6, 2022

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