In simple terms, Brand Strategy is defining your Purpose of existence; your promise (offerings) and how you plan to deliver (emotion and personality). The strategy is devised keeping your target audience in mind. The objective is to come up with best ways to engage your audience with utmost consistency.
The following 4 Elements play a pivotal role in formulating a successful branding strategy.
There’s a reason why every company exists. Identify what is the driving force of the existence of your company. Everyone likes money and we all work towards making a profit. Making money is only a byproduct and cannot/will not be the purpose of running a business. Purpose of your company decides the future of your business.
The brand purpose should be at the core of everything your brand does. It should inform how the brand thinks and makes decisions. It should be the reason for every action the brand takes.
To understand the purpose, let’s take Nike as an example.
Nike’s purpose is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Nike makes you part of their mission and they stay right with you.
Every brand makes a promise, a commitment made to its target audience on the products or services it offers to solve certain challenges. Your “Promise” should be unique and differentiate from your competitors.
People admire companies that go beyond profitability and exhibit their willingness to achieve more.
Example: IKEA, says its vision is to “Create a better everyday life” than just making profits through selling items of furniture.
In general, humans lean towards emotions than logic. Desires, emotions, and feelings drive them. How they react to those forms their personality. Think your brand as an individual and define characteristics that form a personality. Your personality will trigger a personal emotional connection with your target audience. This emotional connect will increase the trust and credibility creating respect.
For example, Harley Davidson makes an emotional connection with its target audience. People always want to build relationships. It is called “belonging hypothesis” in psychology. Harley Davidson created “Harley Owners Group (HOG)” and made them feel that they are part of a broader community that’s more tight-knit than just a bunch of individual motorcycle riders.
The key takeaway here is to find a way to connect with your customer’s desires, emotions, and needs. This is achieved by creating a personality (if your brand is an individual, who would that be?)
Be consistent in all your messages about the promises you make and the emotions which you want to connect with. Because being consistent provides a platform for your brand to stand upon. It also contributes to brand recognition, a positive image and fuels customer loyalty.
Your brand promotion strategy should provide the same experience for your customers across all touch points (be it retail or digital). Your purpose and promise acts as cornerstones of your brand and is delivered through the personality you have defined. Let’s see another example of a cohesive image built by a brand to stay recognizable in any environment.
Right from your logo to your communication across channels needs a cohesive approach. McDonald’s have mastered this. Their logo of yellow and red grabs the attention of eyes and their images on social media channels are aesthetically positioned giving a clean refreshing look staying away from cluttered “buy from us” sales pitch.
As an entrepreneur dig deeper into yourself, create a purpose and vision for your business, understand the emotional triggers that will connect and motivate your target audience. Be consistent in all your messaging to earn trust, credibility, expertise and customer loyalty.