3 Vital Components That Will Help You Create A Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is simply a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve the overall purpose for that brand. Brands aren’t built overnight, so it pays to have long-term goals and avoid the short-term traps.
It is very important that you have a very detailed brand strategy because the more detailed you are, the easier it will be to succeed when you begin to execute those strategies.
A brand strategy should answer the following questions:
- What does my brand stand for?
- Who are my target audience and what’s my promise to them?
- What are my brand goals?
These vital components are Your brand image, your target audience and your brand purpose.
1. Brand Image
Your brand image encompasses all the impression that is held by people (including members of your target audience) about your brand.
A set of beliefs, ideas and/or thoughts that people have formed about your brand based on so many factors such as interactions and experiences with you.
Factors That Determine Your Brand Image
The experiences people have had with your brand will form an impression in their minds. Here’s an example of how that works.
Late 2018, I came across an Instagram ad about digital marketing training, all for free in just 1 day. I registered for it and got a confirmation email which also stated that my seat has been booked.
The training was supposed to start at 9am, but I got there at 9.25 because, apparently, the address sent in the email was wrong.
When I got there, I was told that the seats were all filled up. I asked about the seat tha was booked for me and the response was that it didn’t matter, it was a first come first served basis (even though I came late because they sent me the wrong address).
I wasn’t the only one, there were a lot of us, and after failing to listen to our complaints and solving the problem, they asked us to leave.
Bad experience= bad impression.
A year later, I got an email again from them, asking to come enroll in their “premium classes”. In my case, once beaten, twice shy, I didn’t bother to go (+ I told few of my friends about the experience I had).
Have you ever made an enquiry on social media and the reply wasn’t as good as you wanted it to be? Well I have. Many business owners lack business interaction skills.
As a client told me, replying too well makes you look desperate.
People will form a perception of you in their minds whenever they interact with you, on social media, via calls or emails, and even in person. That’s why big companies focus a lot on customer service.
I worked in a bank for a while, and during my stay, we were always going for trainings on how to treat customers, especially how not to react in a bad way when a customer slaps you (LMAO).
Customer experience matters a lot in your business if you want to scale, you will only be able to scale if you consistently focus on creating good customer experience consistently.
iii). Your Content
The content that you share on your social platforms, your website and even on your marketing collateral will also form an impression in the minds of people.
Content creation is about volume, highly consistent, highly disciplined and highly committed individuals get the most viewership on their content.
I read a post on Medium, and the writer wrote “if you are not putting out something new, valuable and worth paying attention to every sigle day, you are losing out.”
If you are not operating your content game with a sens of urgency, you are doing it wrong, because really, no one cares about the content you put out yesterday.
Now that I’ve said this, I have to be honest with you, I don’t follow it myself, I always procrastinate on creating content for my online platforms. It’s not easy, but it has to be done.
iv). Your Products/Service Offerings
Public perceptions of your products and services are also important, that’s why you need to be intentional about creating them. Always match your promise with the experience a customer will have when they purchase from you.
Have you ever seen an ad on Instagram, where a brand that sells female fashion items advertise a cool bag, you then fall in love with the bag and order it immediately. But when your order arrives, you open it and the bag is not half of what it looks like in the picture?
Well, I have. And by half, I mean it literally.
In my case, I was looking for a bag that will be big enough to fit my small laptop in it, but not too big so that I can carry it around. I ended up getting a purse. (LOL).
The owner of the business told me it was just as I was seeing it on the page, but it wasn’t. They didn’t match their promise with my experience. I may not order from her again even though she’s a friend.
All of this, and more, are what forms the public’s perception of your brand. That is why you have to be conscious and intentional about all you do.
2. Target Audience
Everything that you do in your business centers around your target audience, they matter the most in business. If you can clearly define who your audience is, you will be able to create great customer experience in your brand.
Having a well defined target audience also helps you to stay focused on the course your business brand is headed.
Over the past one year, many people have suggested a lot of ‘ideas’ they think I should do in my business. From opening up a business center to running a registration business doing biometric data capture for students who want to write their final exams.
Recently, a friend told me about a virtual assistant business, saying that he could help me set it up right now.
Not that any of these business ideas are bad, but they don’t fit my audience. If I was going to do them, I would have to start a new business and focus on a new audience and that wouldn’t be fair to my current audience who look forward to my content regularly.
I will also need to start a lot of things from scratch, I don’t want to do that, I don’t have the energy to do it.
Another place where defining your target audience matters is when looking to get started on social media. You have to be on the platforms where your target audience is, even if it’s on all platforms.
So figure out what platforms your target audinece show up and serve them there, then go a little further and find out what content they love to engage with mostly. Is it text, videos or photos? This process is what is known as Audience Research.
3. Brand Purpose
Your brand purpose is simply what you want to achieve by building a recognizable brand for your business whether online or offline.
Brand purpose is the reason for the brand to exist beyond making money.
Brands that successfully create good and lasting impressions in the minds of people are brands that focus on creating value for their customers.
One of Amazon’s core principle is that they are obsessed with their customers, they would rather lose money than lose a customer for life. They work vigorously to earn and keep customers’ trust at all times.
To grow your brand, you have to always take steps that will align you with your purpose, you have to work with the end in mind.
Below are some of the aspects of your brand that you need to define along with your purpose:
- Your Vision: Your vision is where you want to go, what you want to become, what you intend to change, cause or effect. It doesn’t have to be very technical, and everyone who works for you (and even your customers) must know what it is. And they must buy into it
- Your Mission: Your mission is how you intend to go about carrying out your business to eventually fulfill your vision. Since you’ve determined where you want to go, your mission will determine how you want to get there.
- Your Goals: Every business has a goal, be it short-term, long term or mid-term. It comes at different times and focuses on different aspects of the business brand. For instance, you could set goals for hiring, you could set goals for increasing the number of your customers to X amount in 6 months and so on.
Your brand purpose is the reason you get up in the morning to work on your business, and it should always guide your decisions and actions and inspire the behaviours of your people.
Your brand purpose can also significantly distinguish you from your competitors considering the fact that many people are in business for the money. But because you are not, you are all about adding value to people’s lives, their perceptions about you will be good.
People will value you based on how you can add value to them, they’ll pay attention to you because you are paying attention to them and your brand promise matches the experience they have with you.
I usually send out brand strategy tips to my audience via email, if it’s not too much to ask, you can join us here to get those emails too.