I got a call early last week from an entrepreneur wanting to start a high-end luxury service driven by technology. As she spoke over the phone, I envisioned the kind of service they were wanting, it was very exciting and innovative. I could tell she was very passionate about the business idea.
She went on to describe why she believed that the new business needed, not just an identity, but a brand strategy. After listening to her reasons, I promptly agreed with her. She proceeded to mention that they needed to define their position in the market, to ensure they aligned with their ideal customers and their needs, and to determine their place in the market as they planned towards launch, long term engagement and growth.
This entrepreneur’s experience, surprisingly isn’t new. We’ve had business owners and entrepreneurs, varying from those who have just launched to multi-year old businesses. They had at some point, missed building a long term plan for their brand and had reached the point where they’d had an ‘Aha’ moment and needed to pause, or turn around, to ensure they had a solid foundation, before launching and progressing.
So what is Brand strategy and why do many business owners miss executing one in their first years or at all?
Brand strategy is a long term plan for how your brand aims to successfully engage with all stakeholders.
Brand strategy speaks to what your business uniquely stands for, the personality type you should have, the ideal customers you should be engaging with. It highlights your competitors in the market, then details out how you should engage with the necessary stakeholders to ensure your long term business goals are met, amongst other things.
The ultimate goal of this is to ensure your brand:
- is differentiated from competition
- is built to stand uniquely positioned in the customers’ minds
- is consistent, as you engage with your stakeholders over time
- is well represented through tangible elements such as logo, colours, images, and intangible elements such as brand architecture, emotional and functional benefits, and a solid positioning statement (or onliness statement as Brand Guru Marty Neiumeier calls it)To be able to build a successful brand that is consistent over time, the items listed above need to be answered to.
The advantages are:
A solid foundation that helps you be consistent over time and over a variety of mediums. This leads to a stronger voice that customers can build loyalty to in the long term.
Distinction and quick recognition in the market over a long period of time, as customers, greater stakeholders and the market in general are able to recognise your brand. This leads to credibility and trust, 2 elements every business needs to engage and retain customers.
The value of a brand is arguably one of a company’s most valuable assets, yet many businesses either forgo brand building activities or simply create a logo and call it a day. However, in order to enjoy the benefits of your brand long term, investing in building your brand’s value from the onset is key. Reach out to us to find out more about branding and brand strategy.