Today, I’m sharing the 5 brand strategy questions that will help you define your business’ main goal and get you there. But first, what is a brand strategy?
A brand is synonymous to your business. Strategy is, as the dictionary puts it, “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Therefore, brand strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve the major goal of your business.
A business without a brand strategy is one that’s winging it, doesn’t know what marketing efforts are working, and is not making themselves aware of how their audience thinks of them. These businesses are wondering why they’re floundering because they have not set a clear goal and broken it down to actionable steps to reach it.
You can make your business a success with a brand strategy specific to your goals. There’s a reason you started your business. There’s a reason you spent countless hours building it rather than spending time with friends or family. There’s a reason you invested money in buying a domain, a fictitious name, and business cards.
Think about these reasons. They are your “why.” Chances are, this “why” will shape your business goal. Now, you need a strategy to reach this goal that will take the guesswork out of not knowing where you should be spending your efforts to reach it.
By answering these 5 important brand strategy questions about your business, you will gain clarity in your business goals and have started the foundation of your brand strategy.
Pro tip: You can host your brand strategy in your brand guidelines! Read my post about the 6 sections your brand guidelines needs for more guidance.
Not what products or service do you offer. The key word here is value. Your consumers are actually interested in your product or service because of the benefits they think they’ll get. This is referred to as perceived value.
A great example of perceived value is diet pills. Most, if any, don’t actually work, but people continue to buy them because of the marketed benefit of losing weight.
So, break down the “what value do I offer?” question into “what benefit does my product or service offer?” Then break it down again by asking yourself why they want this benefit.
Ask why again and again until you reach the value of your business.
If you haven’t head the Meredith Hill’s famous quote yet, then here you go: “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
If you are trying to appeal to all audiences, you’re going to make nobody feel special. I am certain you’ve read a sales page at some point in your life and thought, “Wow, it’s like they are speaking directly to me!” You feel like they get you, and they can, therefore, solve your problem. That’s thanks to the company honing in on one person when they wrote their sales copy.
The imaginary people we create so that we can easily imagine speaking to them are called personas. Bigger or more established businesses have at least three personas crafted to attract a few different people. But as a newer business, or even just newer to brand strategy, you should pick just one. That’s it. No more.
Tell me about their age, sex, income, occupation, education, lifestyle, and purchasing habits. Try to think of traits and anything you can use to “directly speak to” this persona. And don’t worry, you will still be attracting people that are not a reflection of your persona. It’s a magical thing!
Branding, different than the brand identity that I offer, is the experience you are giving consumers.
As Seth Godin puts it, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
I like to think of branding as a person, and my metaphor is backed up nicely by “Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion,” by Robert Cialdini (a must read, btw!). People are attracted to familiarity, the same way that you start opening up to someone simply because you see them every morning and had never exchanged more than a hello.
So, imagining your brand as a person, here are the three things you need to shape to attract your ideal client or customer: what does this person look like (aka your brand identity)? How does this person act (aka your brand voice and values)? Where should this person constantly show up to build familiarity (aka what platforms are your ideal market hanging out in)?
And, like any good friend or admired celebrity, you feel as if you know them because of how consistent they are due to their personality. Your brand consistency needs to work the same way. Never break character.
This question answers your mission statement. If you’re like me and like to overanalyze everything, I’m going to stop you right there and say, a mission statement is just stating your mission/goal.
Now, your mission statement should be crafted to be about who you are serving, not you. Many people place their mission statement on the home page or about page of their website.
My favorite mission statement is Patagonia’s: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia builds great products for people, and they do it the goal to solve environmental issues. It’s one sentence and it answers what they offer, who they offer it to, and why they offer it.
Now, craft yours. Start with what service or product you offer, who you offer it to, and why.
Vision is undoubtedly a key component to making any big goal come true. Therefore, your business mission statement should be accompanied by your vision statement.
There have been a lot of surveys done on business owners with and without a “vision.” Turns out, those with a vision turn out more successful than those without.
Again, having one focal point to aim for is going to bring you much more successful results. Having a vision statement, and constantly reminding your team about it, will influence your actions as a whole to align everyone to make this vision come to life.
What’s more, you can constantly remind your audience of this vision so they can feel connected to your brand. Hey, they might even invest in you simply to support the cause!
Having a strategy in place for your branding will give you a clear plan of action that is specifically designed to achieve your business’ main goal. Your brand strategy is defining everything from why you started to where you’re headed.
For Wander Design Co., having a brand strategy has transformed me from an aimless wanderer to a woman on a mission. I am able to not only strategically play the game in my field of expertise, but also provide a very successful brand identity process for my clients.
So, if you answered all of the 5 important brand strategy questions, then congratulations! You now have the foundation of your brand strategy.
Are you ready for the next step? Get your Brand Identity Roadmap below. And let me know if you found this post helpful by messaging me on Instagram!