Do you have a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a document which conveys your brand vision that will inform everything that your business does. “A good branding strategy lists the one or two most important elements of your product or service, describes your company’s ultimate purpose in the world and defines your target customer. The result is a blueprint for what’s most important to your company and your customer.” (Source)
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Get your free brand strategy worksheet here!
Why should you bother creating one?
It really is worth it, and it’s not too difficult. Here’s some good reasons:
1. It will help you to set yourself apart from your competition
2. It will help your brand to be seen as important and relatable to your ideal client, they’ll feel that they have a connection to your business.
3. If your customers love you then they will be loyal to you – they won’t want to go ANYWHERE else. And you want to keep your current customers right?
4. It creates trust in YOU because people know you and like you
5. Creating a strategy helps you make more money – creating a strategy helps you to build a more powerful brand that attracts more people and helps you build your business and means you can charge more for what YOU do.
6. A brand strategy is not about what you DO it’s about who you ARE which means that there are lots of possibilities for expanding on what you already do
Here’s what you need to look at to create one:
Who are you?
What is your business called? Do you use your own name? If you’re just starting your business then check that it’s not registered and also check that it’s not trademarked and that you can get a url with it. If not then you can always be creative and come up with a catchy phrase to use instead.
What do you do?
This is simply what it is that you do for others, but in only one or two sentences. So no waffle, just straight down to business. This is about defining your purpose. Working this out is a great exercise in clarity!
How do you do what you do?
This means looking at your values. Choosing words that represent the way that you do things in your business. So maybe you do things with joy or courage? What is important to you about the way that you run your business? You brand is really an intangible thing – it’s – as I’ve said SO many times before – all about the emotions, memories, experiences and perceptions that people have about your business when you’re not there. So..
- What emotions do you want people to have about your business?
- What memories would you like to create?
- What should their experience be like?
- What perceptions should people have about your business?
You should consider every touchpoint of your business – so every moment where a person comes into contact with your business (not just YOU, although you will need to be on the list, but things like your blog, your leaflets, your answer machine, your emails…) and think about how each one of these moments can be used to strengthen your brand. Connecting with people through their emotions, experiences, perceptions and memories will help you to strengthen your brand as they will feel that they have a relationship with you.
What does this look like?
How your business looks should encapsulate who you are, what you do and how you do that. This is the bit where you get to include your logo, bet you’re pleased about that! It’s more than that though, you need to spend some time thinking about how your business looks and why. So, is your business fun or serious, quirky or sensible, old fashioned or contemporary? Think of your business in visual terms too – is it hard or soft, gloss or matt, angular or round? At this point it’s a good idea to gather images from anywhere you can find them, anything that you think seems to feel like your brand. You can then pop these into different groups and see if they help you out. This goes for tone of voice too. Is your brand knowledgeable, aloof, friendly, authorative, funny? Find headlines and pieces of writing that sound like your brand and take a look at them, keep them in a handy place and use them to help you work out what your brand sounds like.
Who do you do what you do for?
This is a hugely important part of your brand strategy. Who is your ideal client? What is their age and gender? Where do they live? Do they have children? Do they have pets? Are they into running or tennis, or birdwatching or card games, or reading or live music? What magazines do they read? It’s a good idea to create a vision board for your ideal client, include all the things you can find that make them, them. Give them a name. Collect logos and packaging and images of products that they use, books that they read and places that they go. You need to really get to know this person – and then you can target EVERYTHING that you do at them.
What do YOU need for your business?
This is your wish list of business needs. Things like a logo, stationery, a website, social media graphics, a photo shoot, PR, copywriting… it’s a good idea to take a look at each item, and then take a look at each point above and think about how you can include the different aspects to ensure that you have strong branding for each item on your list. Being consistent with your branding will help your business to be recognisable.
Once you have all of this information you will have a basic brand strategy and be ready to go out and make it work for you.
If you enjoyed this and found the Brand Strategy Worksheet handy then you might find a brand review useful to help you look at what you need to do for your business. Check it out here > whiteacresdesign.co.uk/brand-review-60
Amy Purdie is the founder of Whiteacres (where you are now) she can help your business become irresistible to your ideal clients so that they can’t wait to work with you.
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.