How To Develop A Brand Strategy In Just 5 Steps
Digital branding is one of our key services here at Iperdesign, and one major component of a good digital brand is a brand strategy. In our experience, many clients aren’t sure how to build a brand strategy or where to even start. We sat down with our team and built out a failproof guide to developing your business’s brand strategy. But don’t worry, if you need a little extra guidance, we’re still here to help.
Step 1: Establish your brand goal.
This could be your overarching business strategy if you are starting a new brand, or it could be a piece of your business strategy, like growing your website or launching a new product offering. Knowing what you want to achieve and where you want to go with your brand makes it easier to identify the steps to get there.
Step 2: Identify the target customers that will help you get to your goal.
One major red flag that we hear when asking clients about their target customers is “everyone.” If your goal is to appeal to everyone, you’re going to be over before you even start. It’s important to figure out who your customer actually is. This way, your marketing and branding spend is going to be honed in a specific direction, rather than spread across way too many targets.
Step 3: Research your target customer.
Once you’ve decided who your target customer is, the more research you do, the better. Here’s the reason: By researching your customer, you’ll know what they need, the things they prioritize, and even the times they’re most likely to be online and able to interact with your brand. You’ll be able to serve them options, rather than just tossing out spaghetti noodles and hoping they stick. (Please don’t do this when cooking pasta).
Moreover, when you research your target customer, you’re also confirming they are, in fact, your target customer. You may think that your target customer is single moms, ages 34-56, and discover that married moms, 50-65, are much more likely to purchase your product or engage with your brand. Research is key to establishing a brand strategy and avoiding any mistakes.
Step 4: Answer this question: Why your brand?
Brand positioning doesn’t need to be something fancy, but it does have to answer the question of why your target audience needs your brand. What do you do differently from your competition? Why should your customers pick you? Just a paragraph stating this information can help keep your marketing focused and grounded, and most importantly, it can help you deliver what you’re promising.
Step 5: Create your messaging.
You’ve got your audience, and you’ve got your brand positioning statement. Now, it’s time to talk to your audience. A messaging strategy looks at your audiences and determines how you’ll speak to them. Returning to the previous example, if your audience is married moms, ages 50-65, think of three ways you intend to speak to them. (See why we had you do brand positioning first?) Each message should answer a facet of your brand positioning statement.
Your brand messaging should be relevant, contain evidence of why what you’re saying is true, and it should answer the Why? for your audience. If you have multiple audiences, you’ll need to develop messaging for each of them.
Build Out Your Branding, Marketing, and Content
Once you’ve got your messaging in place, you’ve got the start of a brand strategy. Now, you have to execute on that strategy. That means if you’re starting a new business, you’ll need to think about a name for your business, logo, tagline, website, content and even photography. If you’re an existing business, you’ll need to create a place for your new product on the website, content, imagery and more. You’ll want to build out a marketing toolkit and assets for the launch of your product. And of course, you’ll want email marketing to follow up on your product or brand launch to ensure you keep customers engaged. This is a critical part of execution that is made endlessly easier by developing your brand strategy first.
From there, it comes down to tracking and adjusting accordingly. A lot of people forget this part, but it is critical. Despite all the research you did during brand strategy development, you can still miss the mark. By tracking your marketing against industry standards and your own goals, you can quickly adjust if something isn’t working. You can also adjust if something is working so well that you want to put your marketing dollars into one bucket instead of multiple buckets.
Need Help Building a Brand Strategy?
Sometimes, a helpful guide doesn’t cut it. If that’s how you’re feeling, don’t worry. We’re experts at helping clients build brand strategies, develop digital branding and digital marketing, and a host of other solutions. We can help you build a brand that brings your target audience in the door.
Interested? Let’s talk about your project.