Being a Marketing Agency, we help businesses develop marketing tactics to help brands grow. And for brands to grow long-term requires a lot more than simply some funky creativity and a groovy one-off idea that helps them stand out in the noisy crowd.
At Neopitch, we believe in deep diving into our clients' businesses, firming up the directional piece that outlines who they are, what they offer, and how they wish their target audience to perceive them. This directional piece - Brand Strategy - provides the guidelines that help steer the mother ship on their brand adventure and influence future marketing tactics. Without this piece of the puzzle, we feel marketing tactics are developed in the dark.
So whilst going off on a marketing tangent sometimes can be very tempting and reactive, from our experience, investing the time and effort into developing a brand strategy that influences your future direction reaps brand growth rewards.
A brand is more than just a look!
I am sure you have already heard via socials, media, and articles that 'the brand is more than just the logo.' And while this statement is very factual, branding is far more than simply aesthetics; this does not help us understand all the elements involved in building a solid brand.
A brand is an experience a customer has while researching the product, buying the product, and while consuming the product. It is the perception the target market has of the company. Businesses develop brands to differentiate their offering from competitors, help them mold a unique customer experience, and influence the perception of the company.
To do this with a consistent look, feel, and message requires a solid brand strategy, a long-term plan that provides direction around who your brand is, why you are here, and what target audience will resonate with you.
The importance Of Brand Strategy
With so many brands in the market, consumers associate with brands that hold similar values to their own. A brand strategy helps businesses determine their brand purpose and objectives, build relationships with their target audience, and humanize the brand with personality, ideals, and experiences. All of this while creating a roadmap for the leadership team to follow.
A brand strategy is like a compass, a foundation, providing direction for decisions such as
How do we want our brand to look?
What are our core brand values behind what we do?
Who is our target audience?
What problem does our brand solve?
What is our brand personality, human persona?
What key messages will help shape consumers' perceptions and
What sort of work environment do we wish to create for all employees, current, and future?
So what elements help shape a brand and influence a brand strategy?
Many factors influence a brand; some are visual, while others are strategic. All are essential to building a holistic perspective of how the brand wants the target audience to perceive them. Below we touch on a 12 elements that need to be considered when developing a brand strategy.
Brand Purpose helps provide meaning to why the business exists. What is it here to do? What contribution does it want to make to the broader community?
Brand Vision & Mission outlines the brand's hopes and dreams and provides direction for future decisions on achieving this.
Brand Values help guide our behavior in the market, e.g.) the way we do business and the language and tone we use to market ourselves.
Audience Persona defines a particular audience your brand wishes to service. The more you understand the audience's values, problems, and goals, the more you can appeal to them in your marketing.
Competitive research is essential. You need to understand your competitors, what problems their products and services solve, and how your target audience perceives your competitors. Understanding what other options are open to your audience can help you identify a gap or niche for your product to position itself in the market.
A Differentiation strategy defines a clear difference that your brand offers. What differentiates you from your competitors will help shape some key messaging to build your brand profile.
A Positioning Statement is a clear statement to provide direction from brand personality traits to messaging and pricing. It explains where you see yourself placed in the market.
Humanizing the brand with a brand persona that resonates with the intended audience requires brand characteristics such as language, tone ideals, opinions, look and feel. This brand element is all about striking the right chord with the target audience through brand expression.
The Brand Name and the Tag Line are very influential components. They should be something memorable that aligns themselves with the positioning statement. Ideally, they will be unique and help solidify the brands' position in the market.
Core Messaging and Storytelling Framework influence how the brand is perceived and the types of stories told. These stories will help illustrate how the brand solves the target audience's problem/s.
The Logo, Typography, Colour Palette, Image Style, Graphics, and Illustration are all significant influences in the overall brand identity. These decisions will help capture emotion and impact consumers' beliefs towards the brand offering, personality, and traits. These elements help to create a distinctive, memorable cue for audiences to recall.
Brand Presence and Promotion are essential to inform, persuade and influence your target audience. The marketing tactics are employed to build your brand awareness and assist the target audience through the buyer's journey. Website design, social channels, traditional marketing, packaging, and store experience all play an important role in shaping brand perceptions.
Once you have developed a brand strategy, you cannot sit back, set, and forget. Brand building requires regular customer research and competitive analysis to see how your brand is traveling in the market. Brand strategy also requires agility depending on where your brand is in the life cycle and the external influences at play.
Brand Strategy has many moving parts.
You can probably now appreciate that developing a brand strategy that aligns with overall business objectives of revenue and market share can be quite a complex task. Not having one, though, does not allow all the different departments that influence the direction of the brand, including marketing, to be moving in the same direction, which can impact the overall return on your marketing investment.
If you would like to explore this deep dive exercise into your business and develop a brand strategy, book a discovery session today.