Armed with the information from the brand audit, you will be able to determine whether or not your current branding is in line with your brand vision and strategic objectives.
Essentially, a brand strategy is a long-term plan for the successful progress of a brand in order to achieve specific goals. But like in any good strategy, it has to be specific, realistic and achievable, otherwise it’s simply pie in the sky! Your brand strategy – sometimes called a brand development strategy – is your overall plan, embracing what your brand stands for now; what you’d like it to stand for; and how you intend getting to where you really want to be. It is an essential component of any business, because it affects every area of your business.
Initially, you should factor every conceivable element of your business into your brand strategy – for instance, your distribution channels are part of your brand strategy and what you communicate visually and verbally are also part of your brand strategy. It affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.
Well, like everything else in life, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?
A Brand Strategy will deliver a plan for success, taking your business to where you really want it to be, ensuring you are moving in the right direction. It can ensure you deliver on your companies strategic objectives by giving your business and brand focus.
So you have to be clear on your objectives. What is it you are trying to achieve? Perhaps your objectives are to steal market share from competitors, or break into new markets. Perhaps your planning to add new products or services, build brand awareness or raise your profile. Your brand strategy for achieving each of these objectives is likely to be quite different, and that’s why goal definition is a fundamental starting point for any brand strategy.
Understanding brand strategies is important – once you have laid out a basic brand strategy template, ideally in written form, you’ll have a clear idea of where you want to go with your brand, key milestones along the way, a timeline and so on. Sales-winning brand development in the short, medium and long term, is built on planning – that’s why investing time and effort in a brand strategy is crucial.
Of course every brand strategy is unique, as is every client and every market, but generally it should clearly identify what needs to be communicated in terms of brand offering, positioning, values, key messages and unique selling propositions. It will highlight ways to transform these differences into a selling edge, giving you a differentiated and competitive stance.
It should demonstrate the most effective way to build and develop a positive and profitable connection with your target market, identifying how you intend communicating these important features to your target audience through the most appropriate marketing communication channels.
The choice of media is integral to your brand: how you express your messages, as well as where and when you express them, is as crucial as what you say – your brand is composed of countless details, every one of them reflecting your brand’s attitude. The brand strategy will investigate possible market segmentation as well as including all action plans and project timelines.
Our Brand Strategies map out the most appropriate way to penetrate your market and get your message out to your potential customers; we make recommendations to ensure the right message is communicated to the right people, at the right time, using the right tone and the right media. A specific, achievable brand strategy is an essential component of any business, because it affects every area of your business. It’s not always easy to do, especially if you are too close to the business to be truly objective, so that is where Darwin comes in.