How many times have you rebranded your business? How many times has your brand felt like it wasn’t you or properly telling your story? How many times have you gone back to the drawing board to create a new logo? Do you know what makes you different than your competitors? How many times have you been so confused and lost that you don’t know what to do or where your brand is going? (We’ve been there too) That is where brand strategy comes in. Brand strategy includes the steps every business owner should take before even looking at fonts, colors, and logos. However, most business owners skip over this part.
I’ve worked with many business owners over the years to help them brand their business and when we have a conversation with them or ask them to fill out a questionnaire about their brand, we would find that many didn’t have the answers to a question, or didn’t know how to answer it. This is because they haven’t done the work prior to creating a brand identity. This is when I knew that I had to create a framework that clients can walk through in order to get a solid foundation and understanding of their business before we started on the visuals.
What is Brand Strategy?
Your brand is what people think, feel, and say about your business. It’s the reputation of your brand. The goal is to create a brand that helps people think, feel, and say good things about your business. (We have a blog post explaining more about what a brand is and why it’s important). Brand strategy is the roadmap that aligns your target audience to your brand through strategy. It connects the dots and makes your target audience align with your brand. Your strategy should pull the heavy lifting and get customers saying “how did she know what i was thinking?” or “this is exactly what i needed.” Brand Strategy allows you to know your business inside and out, and know exactly how to show up and where to show up. We will breakdown our framework for you to see the step of brand strategy.
Why You Need a Brand Strategy –
Brand strategy sets the core foundation of your brand and messaging so you know how to move forward and make decisions for your business.
When don’t have a brand strategy…
- You don’t know your purpose, vision, mission, or values, so your brand can’t reflect them and attract an audience that aligns with them.
- You can’t clearly articulate your brand, and as a result, you can’t carve out a discernible place in the market.
- You don’t have a documented plan and try things just to see if they will work.
- You don’t have a structure to grow a team which leads to disunity, confusion, and conflict, because it’s hard for employees to be interested if there isn’t a clear purpose. This can be true even if you’re a team of one.
- You don’t have cohesive brand messaging or visuals, so your content tends to be inconsistent which leads to confusion.
A brand strategy gives you…
- Clarity around your purpose, vision, mission, and values, so you can make decisions that are better for your marketing, business, and target audience.
- the foundation to tell your brand story (including messaging and visual identity) to connect with your audience.
- A roadmap to know where you want your brand to be in the long term and to stay consistent with your brand identity and messaging.
- The opportunity to stand out from everyone else. The goal is to find the hole in the market and create a brand that is different than a sea of sameness.
How to Create Your Brand Strategy –
We’ve created our Story and Strategy method to help you create your own brand strategy.
Part 1 – Story
Story is the heart of your brand. This is the reason the business exists. People connect with the story of the brand and builds trust which leads to them becoming a customer.
- Origin Story / Brand Purpose – weave your story into your brand.
- Brand values / beliefs – the beliefs that your brand holds true.
- Mission statement – a clear statement of your mission.
- Vision Statement – a clear statement of the vision of your brand.
Part 2 – Specialty
Specialty is about what makes you different than your competitors and how you are going to specifically help people.
- Competitor Analysis – Know your audience and find out how you can do things different.
- Target Audience – Know who you are serving, what their needs are, and how you can help them.
- Unique Value Proposition – What is THE THING that makes you unique? What’s your IT Factor?
- Map out Customer journey & Customer Experience – Understand where your customer is on their journey and how to speak to them at each of those stages. Also map out their experience for when they come into contact with your brand.
- Core Offerings – What are your core offerings that make up your brand?
- Content Pillars – What are the core topics that you will create content for?
Part 3 – Style
Style is the way you visually create a connection with anyone who comes in contact with your brand. Whether it’s through a post on instagram, a video on youtube, or creating a TikTok video, these should all be the same style and visually look similar.
- Brand Mood – What’s the overall mood/vibe of your brand?
- Brand Archetype – Think of your brand as a person, what kind of personality do they have?
- Brand Personality Keywords – What keywords would you use to describe your brand’s personality?
- Brand Colors – Using color psychology and your brand vibe, which colors match your brand the best?
- Brand Typography – What kind of typography/fonts represent your brand the best?
- Photo Style – How are your photos going to look? Bright and airy? Minimal and moody? Modern and professional?
Part 4 – Sound
Sound is the what you say and how you say it. Sound involves the messaging which is the ideas, perspective and content of your brand and the way you communicate it to your audience. How can you keep your messaging and voice consistent through your entire brand.
- Brand Voice/Tone – How are you going to write and speak to your audience? Are you going to be casual? Professional? Humorous?
- Biz Bio/Elevator Pitch – What’s your business bio? The one sentence where you can tell people what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for.
- Tagline – Don’t overthink the tagline, this can be really simple.
- Name Services & Products – Using your brand voice to name your services and products. Are they going to be cheeky? Serious? An Alliteration? Rhyme? Etc.
- Call to Actions, Branded Hashtags, Branded Newsletter – Create all your call to actions to be similar across your brand, create branded hashtags for you and your audience to use, and if you have a newsletter you can create a branded name for it.
Applying Your Brand Strategy –
- Use it for all business needs: marketing, messaging, products, social media, etc
- Use it for your brand identity – if you work with a designer, they will need to know all this information to create an identity that truly represents your brand.
- Use it when onboarding a new team member so they know exactly what your business stands for and how to represent it.
- Use your brand strategy document as a living and breathing document that you always look at and keep updated.
The Story and Strategy Course –
We put our framework into a course that gives you step by step exercises to complete each one of these sections. We break down the importance of each item and how to create it for your brand. The waitlist to the course is opening soon. Join the waitlist now.