As business owners, we often focus on and become very good at servicing our core business. We know our products and services back to front, and we’re passionate about what we do. However, while we’re busy focusing on our business from the inside – it can be easy to forget how our brand is regarded from the outside. This is why a brand strategy matters.
A well-defined brand strategy is a formal plan describing the place you want to occupy in the minds of new and existing customers. This plan directly relates to your customer’s needs, emotions and interactions with your brand. When executed correctly, a brand strategy provides clarity and cohesion, and helps you to connect with people more authentically. In short, an effective brand strategy will drive the way that customers perceive you.
Brand strategy is sometimes confused with ‘branding’ – however, a comprehensive strategy extends beyond items such as a business name, logo and colour palette. At Powered PR (formerly Plant Powered Press), our approach to brand strategy will clarify what your business stands for, and will help identify and convey your promises you wish to the market.
Our team will work with you to develop and execute a successful brand strategy that enables your business to occupy a specific place in the mind of consumers. There are four core elements that constitute a brand strategy – including your brand purpose, position, identity, and alignment. Here’s how we can approach each aspect together:
Identify your brand purpose
The first step in developing a successful brand strategy is to identify your overarching purpose. A brand purpose describes why your business exists – and the reason should go beyond simply making money. It’s not uncommon to hear brand purpose referred to as the ‘North Star’ for successful businesses. This is because a clearly defined brand purpose will provide you with greater direction, and help to guide future decision-making.
Brand purpose is also a powerful force in driving real connections with your market, because it brings your customers along for the journey. For example, our client Made With Plants has a simple yet powerful brand purpose: To bring people together through good food. The Made With Plants brand purpose is impactful because it’s inclusive, and it engages customers on an emotional level. Your brand purpose has the ability to transcend sales, marketing, and advertising – it can actively unite and inspire people.
Increasingly, consumers are consciously looking for something more than just products or services. These individuals wish to know the brands they support embody a decent ethos, demonstrate integrity, and make a positive impact on their communities. In fact, Forbes magazine recently reported that 75% of consumers worldwide expect brands to contribute to their overall wellbeing and quality of life. This is particularly true for millenials – with 71% of this market actively favouring brands that drive social and environmental change.
Determine your brand position
If brand purpose is the heart of your business, then positioning is its lungs. Brand positioning can be described as an organised system for understanding and driving where your business sits in the market. The team from Powered PR can determine your brand position by:
- Pinpoint your unique selling proposition,
- Reveal insights about your target market,
- Highlight what sets you apart from competitors.
To understand your unique selling proposition, we start by listing all your product features and their functional benefits, and begin to discern the emotional value that customers associate with those features and benefits.
Next, we use data and research to develop an accurate idea of what will be engaging for your target market. The team from Powered PR can uncover insights about your ideal customers using analytics, social listening, customer surveys, trend reports, and other forms of real-time market intelligence.
The final step in our brand positioning process involves evaluating your competitors. If there’s a problem in the market that your industry is trying to solve – how is your solution unique? What type of sales tactics are your competitors using? What type of content seems to resonate with their audience? Our team can help you answer all these questions, and more.
Establish your brand identity
Brand identity refers to the expressive elements of your brand – it’s often the creative embodiment of your brand’s purpose and position. When crafted correctly, brand identity helps to consolidate your business in the mind of consumers, and should appeal to them directly.
In short, a brand identity is the sum total of how your brand looks, speaks and feels to people. (You may even be able to add sound, taste and smells to this list!) The team from Powered PRcan bring your brand identity to life, by developing your:
- Brand story (a cohesive narrative that shares the history of your brand, and explains its journey today.)
- Brand voice (a uniform selection of words, attitudes and values that consistently speak to your market.)
- Brand personality (in reference to the Twelve Brand Archetypes that underpins modern sales psychology.)
Assess your brand alignment
The final step in our approach to strategy is to assess your brand alignment. This process ensures that customers have a consistent experience throughout every interaction with your brand. In today’s world of omnichannel marketing, brand alignment is critical because there is a greater number of touchpoints between your business and your customers.
Brand alignment means that your messages are conveyed to the market with continuity, cohesion and impact. For example, does the content on your website relate to your recent social media posts? Do you have a standardised set of answers to frequently asked questions? Is your brand identity recognisable and familiar, even across multiple channels? These brand alignment crosschecks help to promote consistency and trust – and customers won’t buy without trust.
Adapt your brand strategy when required
In an ever-changing market, brands must be able to grow and evolve. For example, the booming interest in plant-based proteins shows just how quickly mainstream brands have adapted to capture Australia’s growing vegan market.
Building an agile brand means that you are able to stay relevant when the market changes – while still remaining true to your overarching brand purpose. Our team is here to ensure your brand strategy remains agile, relevant, and successful.
An effective brand strategy is the key to ensuring your business success. Contact us here, to find out how the team from Powered PR can assist you today!
AUTHOR: Jessica Cotton
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