Running a successful business is full of ups and downs. There’s an overwhelming number decisions and risk to account for. And when it comes to marketing, perhaps it can feel like you’re constantly guessing and second guessing your methods. What is really moving the needle for your business? Do you know?
I am not here to sell you the latest easy, fool-proof method to gaining more followers, customers, clients — as if there is one! (If you know the magic trick, please let me know.) However I think there is a lot of missed opportunity when a business has no brand strategy.
A brand strategy is like a road map for your business’ success that helps guide its marketing campaigns and decisions down the road. It creates a foundation and source of clarity as a business launches and grows. It also prevents things from falling through the cracks when someone leaves or changes jobs within your company or organization—something that happens more often than we’d like!
There are a few critical signs that you need to consider building a brand strategy.
These days, every company needs a brand strategy.
You may already realize that your business needs a brand strategy. You may even have one, but it doesn’t feel like it’s working well enough. If you’re experiencing any of these critical signs, you’re probably in need of a brand strategy overhaul:
- The logo looks dated and is no longer representative of what your customers see as “you.”
- Your website is hard to find or use when compared with other sites in your industry.
- Your marketing materials and collateral don’t clearly communicate who you are or how best to engage with you.
- The design of all of these things doesn’t align with the tone and style of the company’s message across all channels (online, social media, print/mail).
If you can't answer these questions about your brand, then it's time for a new strategy:
- What are our values as a brand?
- What is our unique value in this industry?
- How are we distinctly different from our competitors?
- How would we describe our core customers?
Your brand strategy will influence your design, marketing and even your culture.
The brand strategy is a guide to the future of your company. It’s a roadmap that can be used to navigate your marketing and development in a way that will keep your business successful. The best part is, it’s not just about logos or colors—brand strategies are designed to impact all aspects of how your business presents itself. They’re meant to integrate across marketing, design and culture in order to create consistent experiences for customers and employees.
This comprehensive approach means you should think about how everything — from the way you write copy on packaging to website interface — affects what kind of experience people have when they interact with your brand or product. Clarity and consistency help attract the right kind of customers and influencers — and it’s precisely these happy customers who will help a business grow.
If you're copying other brands, there's no reason for customers to choose you.
There’s a reason why customers want to be different from their peers. They crave the opportunity to stand out. And if you are doing things the same way other brands are, there’s no reason for them to choose you.
Customers want to be unique and different because it gives them an identity. They feel like they belong somewhere when they can point out one thing that makes them special or unusual compared with others in their industry or field of interest (i.e., being a soccer fan).
The bottom line is this: if your business struggles to stand out among its competitors, if you’re stuck undercutting on price, if you’re not sure why customers are leaving — then it’s time to consider a brand strategy!