There are so many factors that contribute to the success of an organization. One of the most crucial is your brand strategy.  A well-articulated and executed brand strategy will create an emotional connection with your consumers and will help generate awareness, build trust, facilitate growth, and differentiate you from competitors in your market.  

Building a strong brand starts by defining your brand’s purpose and positioning. This first step involves thinking as much about your consumers as it does your own organization. What is the need or gap your products or services are intended to fill? How does your offering do so in a unique manner? Consumer research and a competitor audit will help you identify the optimal positioning for your brand.  

At this early stage, it is crucial to define and understand your target audience. Think of who your ideal customer is, and who your brand serves best. Research their common demographics, spending behavior, and values. You may even want to create your ideal buyer personas. 

The best way to focus on your competitors is to perform a competitor analysis. Try to answer these questions:  

  • Who are your competitors?  
  • Do they share your same target audience?  
  • What are those audiences’ perceptions of the competitors?  
  • What do they do and/or provide that is different, and vice versa?  
  • Do they have any gaps in what they offer?  
  • What are some of the marketing strategies or tactics that you see them using?  
  • Have they been successful in your market?    

This initial exploration will play a central role in your brand strategy as well as how and where your creative and media communicate it. 

Once you have articulated your brand positioning, you’re ready to bring that brand to life by defining 4 key brand elements – values, personality, voice, and identity.  

  • Brand Values – It’s important for your brand to project its core values and foundational beliefs. Shared values can help to build that emotional connection and community with your customers and, in some cases, conflicting values can drive them away.  
  • Brand Personality – A brand personality is made up of the characteristics that define your brand. Think of the characteristics you’d use to describe a person and which ones you’d use to describe your brand. Is it creative and fun? Professional and serious? 
  • Brand Voice – The voice your brand uses should match your personality and be consistent across all the mediums your brand uses to communicate. As your team develops brand messaging, focus on grammar, tone, and word choice.  
  • Brand Identity – This is where the elements that make up your brand guidelines will play a large role. Your brand guidelines should lay out the key visuals that help represent your brand–such as color palette, logo, fonts, and photos.  

Executing your brand strategy involves making sure all of your communications and service delivery touchpoints create the desired emotional connection with your audience. Nailing this step will  help build brand awareness and engagement when paired with an effective media mix and brand activation strategy 

Once this is all said and done, the best brand marketing strategies are the ones that are not set in stone. While a strong brand is a long-term, enduring proposition, you must continuously monitor brand strength and adjust to an ever-changing marketplace. If you don’t take the time to analyze and actively manage your brand, your brand may lose relevance and its competitive edge.