Brand Strategy- The 5 Must-Have Elements
Brand Strategy might sound like a very broad and hazy term. But in reality, this is one of the most crucial elements in branding. If you haven’t put enough thought into it already, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for.
For, without a strong brand strategy, your business will be “just another business” rather than a name that people identify and connect with. Without a brand strategy, your products will be that random product on the shelf that most people subconsciously ignore rather than being the one that gets to the cart.
Let’s change that, shall we? Let’s talk about brand strategy today. The nuances of it. The elements that make a brand strategy a valuable asset for a business.
- What is Brand Strategy and Why Is It So Important?
- 5 Essential Elements in a Brand Strategy
- Elevate Your Branding Game With Branding Designs From Kimp
What is Brand Strategy and Why Is It So Important?
Strategy, in general, is about a plan that tells you about an objective and a plan to get you to that objective. And a brand strategy is something that tells where you want your brand to go and how you are planning to get there.
In other words, instead of focusing on what kind of products you will be selling and what kind of profits you will make, and how much your business will grow, brand strategy talks about how you want people to perceive your brand.
Brand strategy goes beyond creating a logo and other brand identity designs to define your brand. While these are on the superficial layer, brand strategy delves deeper. It talks about your company’s claim to fame – the traits that make your business irreplaceable. Therefore, when you clearly lay down your brand strategy you are investing in the long-term progress of your brand.
And here are the benefits of a clear brand strategy –
- Besides acquiring customers, your brand strategy also strengthens customer retention.
- It helps shape your brand image
- With a clear brand strategy, you will know where your brand stands in the industry and how to stay ahead of competitors.
In short, your brand strategy is much more important than you think. And based on your business model, the industry your business belongs to and other factors, there are different types of branding strategies.
Learn about them from our blog on types of branding strategies.
Now, whatever branding strategy you choose for your business, there are a few key elements that should be part of this strategy. Let’s see what they are.
5 Essential Elements in a Brand Strategy
1. Vision and mission statements
Framing your vision and missing statements is not just to add more value to your website. It is also to establish more clarity on the path for your business.
Vision is the ultimate goal of where your want your business to go. This could be something like wanting your business to go global one day or opening more than 100 stores in your country. And mission will be the short-term goals that get you to the vision.
When you are not sure about where your business will be 5 years from now and 10 years from now, you cannot clearly define how you want people to look at your business. The image you build for your business should, after all, be aligned with the goals you have for your business.
For example, Nike has a mission to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”.
This goes beyond telling that the brand wants to make quality sports goods. It talks about innovation – about inspiration. And that signals the direction in which the brand intends to progress now and in the future.
If you have been following Nike on its many digital channels you might instantly be able to connect this mission to the kind of campaigns the brand runs. And these campaigns have helped shape the strong positive brand image that Nike has today.
So, your company’s vision and mission are indispensable in a brand strategy. And all your promotional graphics and branding designs should be aligned with your brand’s vision and mission.
2. Brand values and purpose laid down clearly
Okay, so you know where your business is headed. But they say “the journey is as important as the destination”. And in the case of branding, the journey is slightly more important than the destination itself. That’s why spelling out your brand values and purpose is essential for a good brand strategy.
Brand purpose tells why you do whatever it is your business does. For example, here is how Walmart defines its purpose.
So, Walmart is not about a supermarket that sells groceries. It is about incorporating sustainable methods, about making shopping more convenient, building better communities, and about helping people save more money. When you get to the details, you make a difference!
While brand purpose tells customers why your business was created, your brand values tell how you execute your idea. The ethics your business stands by. From your corporate culture to the CSR activities, a whole lot of things talk about your brand values. Since all these measures will impact branding, you cannot start with your brand strategy without a clear understanding of your brand’s purpose and values.
Here is how Starbucks defines its brand values.
Paying attention to the little things that determine the overall experience at every Starbucks outlet is one way in which the brand manages to stay true to its values.
Your brand values and purpose help attract the right kind of customers. And they provide customers a reason to choose your brand over your competitors. That brings us to the next element in brand strategy – your audience persona.
3. Ideal customer profile
How will you define your ideal customer? For example, if you own a coffee shop, how will you describe what your target customer looks like? Will they be working professionals looking for a quiet corner to work peacefully? Or a fun-loving crowd of youngsters looking for an eclectic ambiance to hang out with their friends?
From designing your brand identity to creating the ambiance at your coffee shop every little decision will be built around this audience persona. Because you want your customers to love your coffee shop, your brand.
So, when you put your branding strategy together, you need to have a clear description of your ideal customer profile. The more detailed it is, the better.
When you know your customers well, you know about the problems they face and the kind of solutions they would expect. With this, you will be able to package and promote your brand the right way. Because you know how to convince them that they are making the right choice by choosing your brand.
For example, the below happy design will instantly appeal to pet owners.
Kimp Tip: Your branding designs like the logo, business cards, and packaging as well as promotional designs like ads and social media content should all be created based on your target audience. For example, color emotions change with age. And some studies show that younger adults choose achromatic colors more than older adults. So, even the basic steps like choosing your brand color palette should put your target audience in the spotlight.
If you think that maintaining the visual style in your designs and consistently capturing the tastes of your target audience feels like a challenge, leave your brand’s design requirements to the Kimp team.
4. Brand tone of messaging
When we talk about brand messaging, we mean everything from the digital and print designs to the copy in each of these designs and your social media communication. The tone of the voice of your brand should be similar across all these channels. If your ads “sound” different from your website or social media, you cannot make a strong connection with your audience.
People come across a lot of brands. But they do not follow and consistently interact with all of them. They only interact with brands that have a tone that resonates with them.
So, how do you want your brand to sound? Professional, witty, humorous, friendly, empathetic? For example, Dove uses a bold and uplifting tone of messaging across its channels. So, when you compare different campaigns from the brand, the core objective might be different for each of them but the tone remains the same – positive and empowering.
As you can see, the tone of your brand is what adds a personal touch and helps customers connect one campaign to another and thus form an opinion about your brand. That’s why your brand strategy should also talk about your tone of messaging.
Kimp Tip: Your brand designs are how your customers see you most of the time. To make the right impression, you need a clear tone of messaging that is in line with your brand values.
Everything from the fonts to colors and the overall visual style can influence the tone of your designs. And since your designs are valuable touchpoints, work with a professional design team like Kimp to create designs that communicate your message in the intended tone.
5. Your brand tagline
If there is one brand asset where all the above brand strategy elements like your business goals, values, target customer description, and tone come to a common point, it is your brand tagline.
Good branding is about telling your brand story. Because long-standing relationships are built over shared stories. And when you tell a story people empathize with your story, or they feel moved by it or find it inspirational or feel like it is similar to their stories. When any of this happens your branding is a hit. Your tagline can be one way to briefly represent your brand story. That’s why when you outline your brand strategy you should also include your brand tagline in it.
In most cases, your brand strategy will be referred to when you have to plan campaigns or identify a good social media strategy, or even make major marketing decisions. Having your tagline there ensures that your decision always accommodates your brand story and keeps it visible.
Looking for inspiration? Check out our blog on the best and worst taglines from well-known brands.
Elevate Your Branding Game With Branding Designs From Kimp
When you have a brand strategy, you need a good design team to help you put these ideas into an easily perceivable form. And that’s where Kimp comes in. Without the hassle of looking for a separate designer for logos and branding designs, a designer for your ads, and one for your social media designs, you can work with a dedicated design team that will take care of all the designs you need for branding and marketing both. To see how this works, sign up for your free 7-day trial.