Your brand strategy informs or impacts almost every aspect of your business, from your visual identity, your website content and experience, marketing campaigns, customer service, packaging, premises and even staff training and internal processes.
Without a brand strategy you usually find a brand identity falls flat and/or it gets changed regularly, your marketing, comms and brand messaging is inconsistent and they often don’t set the right expectation. Every decision you make in your business should have a strategic reason behind it and this results in building lasting connections with your desired audiences, fulfilling your brand promise and brand growth.
In our previous blog post we go into a bit more detail about this and explain why your brand strategy should come before concentrating on a lot of other aspects of your new business. Hopefully we’ve convinced you as to why it’s important that you have a brand strategy and we’ve now written this post to help you create one. You can use our simple framework whether you need to create a new brand strategy from scratch, or you’re looking to develop or replace an existing brand strategy to rejuvenate, reposition or rebrand your business.
How does a brand strategy fit with a business plan?
Before going into detail about how to create a brand strategy, I just want to put it into a wider context, as this is a question we get a lot! When starting up a new business you’re likely to be familiar with the concept of a business plan, but you may be confused as to where or how your brand strategy should come in in relation to your business plan. Think of it this way, your brand strategy should be at the heart of your business and it sets the direction you want to go in; whereas the business plan is more practical, containing financials and the way you intend to get there. They are distinctly two different things and ideally two different documents, although some people or templates suggest including your brand strategy within your business plan.
Your brand strategy and business plan should be closely aligned and they may overlap slightly, but we’re believers that they should remain separate documents. As expressed previously, we believe your brand strategy should come really early on in the process, and be done before or concurrently with your business plan – NOT after. This is important, as your desired brand position and customer experience should influence certain elements of your business plan.
CREATING A BRAND STRATEGY
Where do you start? What should your brand strategy contain? If you search Google you’ll find varying views on this and some of the more extensive downloadable templates may seem massively overwhelming and complex for smaller businesses.
Over the years we’ve refined our processes, and we’ve developed a way to extract this information in our brand strategy workshops with clients. We guide clients through a series of exercises at these workshops, answering key questions to start defining their brand strategy before we start to work on a brand identity.
As we’re so passionate about the importance of having a brand strategy, we thought it would be useful to turn some of processes into a simple framework, and share it with you to use as a starting point to create your own brand strategy.
BRAND STRATEGY FRAMEWORK
Our framework will help you make brand decisions and collate all the information we think is essential for a solid brand strategy. Our framework assumes you have already done some market and competitor research, as well as product or service development.
Download our brand strategy framework.
A solid brand strategy will help you achieve consistency in everything you do regardless of channel or medium and at all your touch points, and it will help employees understand your business and how they should represent the brand. This in turn will lead to increased customer loyalty and retention, you’ll achieve a better ROI on your marketing spend and business growth.
We really hope you find this post useful and if you downloaded our framework we’d love to hear from you and how you found using it.
If you’d like our help with any aspect of your brand strategy or brand identity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.