What is a Brand Strategy and how do I create one?
“Brand strategy is a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand — the combined components of your company’s character that make it identifiable.”
In short your Brand Strategy is what you plan to do with your Brand to grow and/or strengthen your business.
How to create a Brand Strategy
Step 1: What is your Brand? Ask yourself these questions to find your Brand
- What are your brand’s likes and dislikes… What would always be seen as your Brand? What would never be seen as your Brand? What is authentically always true about your brand.
- What can your followers expect your brand to be, stand or, sound like?
- What five words describe your brand? What 5 words will never describe your brand?
- What does your Brand do better, more uniquely & different from your competition: other brands in your industry?
- Does your current business mission statement match the answers above?
Create a Brand Identity Statement:
My Brand _____________ will always be seen as _________,
_________ and __________. Brand X’s followers expect Brand X to do
___________, be ___________ and never _____________. Brand X
promises its loyal followers to provide _____________ in the time frame of
________________with these qualities: ______________, ________________, and
You may not be able to or need to fill out the entire Brand Identity Statement. Take time to revisit this every few months to make sure your Brand is communicating consistently and staying true to itself.
Step 2: Get feedback from followers and rewrite your Brand Identity
Email, tweet or message to your customers announcing your Brand Identity
- What do they love about your brand? What do they expect?
- “Customer service “, retweets and comment sections are especially helpful with this.
Step 3: Create A Brand Location Check List
List everywhere your Brand is present
Social Media, products, other blogs, customer forums, trade shows, books, webinars, guest blogging, Public Relations, press releases, websites, flyers, online community groups etc. etc.
Ask friends, employees, & trusted colleagues to help you create this list.
Step 4: Using your Brand Location List, check how each interaction matches your Brand Identity
Are there areas that your message or image is not
consistent, needs update or rewriting?
This is a great opportunity to create a new logo that works everywhere, identify photography, design elements or writing style that is inconsistent and clean up any communications that stray from what you are trying to achieve as a brand.
Step 5: Find your Target Market
Now that you know who your brand is, what your brand stands for and where your brand is located… Figure out who your brand should be communicating with.
Who is your target market?
- What is the perfect customer for your brand?
- What problem does your product, Brand solve and who needs that solution?
- Who is actively seeking your Brand and loves your brand?
- Who else could become part of your target market that isn’t already?
Rewrite your Brand Identity Statement with all you learned from determining your target market.
Step 6: Create a list of Goals your Brand wants to achieve
Add these to the Brand Plan if it makes sense.
Step 7: Create your Brand Strategy
Answer the following in a few words to instantly create a Brand Strategy.
- What is your Brand?
- Who is your Target Market?
- What does your Target Market expect from your Brand? What does your Brand promise?
- Where will your Brand be found?
- How will you communicate with your target market? (social media, voice)
- What will your Brand’s communications consistently say?
- How will your Brand uphold the promises it has made to its target market?
Having a strong Brand Strategy and clear Brand Plan will help you consistently surprise and delight your customers, making them not only loyal users, but also advocates and promoters of your Brand.
Heather H. Bennett is a marketing strategist, personal brand coach, and author of Fun and Fulfilling Careers One Question at a Time. Heather lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and is passionate about helping businesses and professionals build strong brands to connect with their target market and reach their personal and professional goals.