What's missing?

A brand strategy is the most important thing in your business – it’s probably what’s missing. 

When you start working on your brand, what tends to happen is you’ll decide on a business name, create a logo and decide which fonts and colours you’re going to use. All of those things are really important. 

However, you’ll forget about all of the other stuff that makes these things so much better – and that “stuff” – that missing thing – is your brand strategy. 

When you’re creating these beautiful assets that will make your business look brilliant, if you don’t have a strategy behind that, those assets are not going to be as effective as they could be and your brand isn’t going to be strong because you haven’t really thought about it.

A brand strategy gives you the clarity that enables you to do better. 

It gives you the clarity to know more about what it is that you stand for. To know what it is that you are about, to realise what makes you different, to understand what your strengths and your weaknesses are, and identify the issues that you need to be aware of that maybe you’re hiding from – you maybe haven’t thought hard enough about. 

A strategy enables you to dig deep into what it is that your brand is about and what matters, what you were hoping to achieve so that you can get there.

If you haven’t done that work, if you haven’t thought about the goals that you want to reach and all those obstacles in the way and how you can overcome those and what you need to do, what you need to put in place and what you stand for. Then you are lacking in that clarity. You are lacking in that understanding of what is actually behind your brand and what makes it different to other people’s businesses.

What makes your brand stronger and better than other businesses who do a similar thing? 

What it is that you are actually all about – what do you stand for? 

You don’t have all of that information. 

This means that those graphics, that logo, the font and colours that you choose, the business name you choose – they’re not going to be as good. They’re not going to be as powerful as if you’ve thought about your strategy and built your visuals from there.

The other thing is that your brand strategy isn’t just for your visuals. So, you don’t just create a strategy so that you can make a really fantastic logo, you make a strategy, and then you use it in multiple ways within your business to help you continue to strengthen your brand as you go and to help you continue to reach those goals.

Creating a logo alone isn’t going to help you meet your goals. 

It’s a step in that direction, but it’s not on its own going to help you get to where you want to go. You need to know what your values are. You need to know what your positioning is. You need to know what your challenges are. You need to figure out what your strategies and tactics are so that you can get from where you are to where you want to be.

And that’s what your strategy helps you with. Your strategy gives you the clarity to be able to do better, to create better, to know what you want things to be like. But it also gives you the clarity to help you with your direction so that you know where you are going and what you are aiming for. And it also gives you clarity to help you communicate all of that, not to everybody and not all at once, but the bits that are important to the people who need to know them so that you can get to where you want to be.

Because your brand is something that you stand for, that really matters to you. That you want to make a difference with, that you care about. An idea that is underpinning everything else. And it’s really helpful if you can communicate that to the people that matter to help you reach that place where you want to be, to reach whatever goals you have for your brand.

When you create a strategy, it’s not just so that you can make something look good, it’s so you can use it every single day in all the decision making that you have for your business. So all of that clarity you will pop that into your strategy – you’ve got it – and then you can refer to it whenever you want.

And that’s extremely helpful because you don’t want to forget any of that important information that you spent time and effort putting together. When you refer to this, it will filter through and feed into absolutely everything else that you do. Any marketing that you do, any advertising that you do, any time that you speak to a customer, any touchpoint that you have within your business, those decisions that you need to make, it’ll help you.

It’ll guide you to make the right decisions. When you have a decision to make you can think: “Does this tie in, does it align with my brand strategy?” If the answer’s yes, then you go for it and if the answer’s no or you’re not quite sure, then you either say no or you find out a little bit more so you can make a more informed decision.

If you’ve got that brand strategy, it’s going to help you keep going in the right direction, help you keep doing the right things to help you get to where you want to be. So having a brand strategy is really a map for you to follow for your brand, that helps your business perform better, do better, and have more meaning to the people around you, the people who are hopefully going to buy from you, the people who you might get help from. It’s going to give you and them more understanding about your business so that you can get where you want to be.

That’s why brand strategy is really important and why you should have one. 

Get started by downloading your 12 Steps to Brand Bravery – it’s free and it will guide you in the right direction. 

Amy Purdie, The Brand Explorer takes you on an Adventure to discover what your brand is all about, helping you with your brand strategy, brand visuals and content ideas. You can join Amy’s Brand Success Club or join her in your very own Private Brand Adventure.

Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.

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