Brand Strategy Deliverables The Definitive Guide
Brand Strategy Deliverables: The Definitive Guide
What exactly are the tangible deliverables when it comes to brand strategy, and how do you navigate the critical decisions around your client’s customer journey? This definitive guide tackles those questions head on. We’ll explore the key components of brand strategy and execution, shedding light on whether you need to position yourself as a planner, executor, or both. Expect straightforward insights into the branding process – from developing an internal identity and audience persona to crafting a unique positioning strategy and human brand persona. You’ll also discover the vital facets we’ll cover related to messaging frameworks, storytelling guidelines, tools of brand expression, and more. Let’s dive in to truly understand brand strategy deliverables from start to finish.
Understanding Brand Strategy & Its Deliverables
At its core, brand strategy represents the overarching plan for how a brand will express itself in the marketplace. Both tangible and intangible elements come into play here across two key areas:
– Planning – This involves establishing the soul of the brand, including its purpose, vision, mission and values. It also requires deeply understanding your target audience through personas built on demographics, psychographics and emotional drivers. Competitive positioning, messaging frameworks and storytelling guidelines also fall under planning.
– Execution – Taking the brand strategy plan and bringing it to life across channels and touchpoints. This expansive area includes marketing execution around SEO, content marketing, advertising and more.
Essentially, branding boils down to the art of strategically promoting a business. And brand strategy offers the roadmap for that promotional journey.
The critical decision brand strategists and designers face is determining their role across the planning and execution continuum. Possibilities include:
– Purely focusing on planning the strategy. Then handing off execution.
– Strictly handling execution like marketing tactics. After receiving the brand plan from someone else.
– End-to-end involvement from planning to execution.
There’s no universally right or wrong answer. Although trying to master every area often leads to diluted expertise. Tradeoffs exist between depth and breadth.
At some point, branding meets marketing. And client journeys transition from strategic brand development to tactical go-to-market activation. Understanding where you draw that line determines how far you’ll hold a client’s hand.
Do you directly guide them into marketing execution? Or point them toward an execution partner after strategy completion? Making that call, and avoiding fully abandoning clients to figure out next steps alone, proves critical.
Navigating the Client Journey: Specialize or Generalize?
The path clients embark on typically flows from business promotion, to brand creation, through go-to-market strategy development and activation. As a strategist or designer, deciding how much of this journey you directly facilitate requires careful deliberation.
Attempting to handle everything often leads down an unsustainable jack-of-all-trades path. The depth of expertise possible across branding, marketing and execution suffers. And audiences now crave specialized partners intimately focused on solving their unique problems.
Still, completely abandoning clients at the brand strategy hand-off risks them feeling directionless about next steps. Carefully considering where your involvement ends prevents this.
When initially scoping engagements, explore these questions:
– Will you handle brand planning or execution? Or both?
– If executing, which tactical areas specifically? Content only? Social and SEO too?
– For execution support, do you provide it directly or via trusted partners?
– What’s the clearest moment to transition clients to execution partners?
Outlining a distinct lane, while still guiding clients to the next phase, proves essential. This transparent approach sets proper expectations all around while ensuring audiences don’t end up lost along their journey.
Specializing in a core competency makes room for mastery and impact. Yet thoughtfully considering customer journeys holistically still provides support they seek. Ultimately this balanced perspective allows strategists to thrive.
Clarifying the Roadmap: Brand Strategy, Identity and Go-To-Market
Brand strategy sets the all-important strategic foundation. This includes:
– Defining the brand’s internal identity – its soul and reason for being beyond profits. This covers purpose, vision, commitments and beliefs.
– Detailing the core audience – Fictional yet accurate personas depicting target demographics, psychographics, pain points and emotional connections.
– Analyzing the competitive landscape – Identifying existing alternatives audiences consider and where potential advantages may lie.
– Establishing a unique positioning – Given the market gaps found, defining an ownable space focused on differentiated value for customers.
With that strategic groundwork laid, brand identity brings things to life visually. Deliverables here include:
– Color palettes
– Photography styles
– Graphic guidelines
– Website design
Finally, go-to-market planning and activation enters the mix. Marketing art direction, content development, channel selection, campaign management and performance tracking represent key components.
Specialist partners can run point on specific execution areas as needed. But understanding the integrated ecosystem remains vital even for strategic-focused agencies.
Mapping brands’ journeys in this comprehensive way provides clarity. It enables stakeholders to align on process, timing, budget and areas of responsibility. With the roadmap set, brands then thrive on the open road ahead.
Bringing Brand Strategy to Life: Visual Identity Deliverables
With the strategic foundation set, it’s time to give the brand visual form and consistency. This stage focuses on tangible design elements that express the brand’s essence.
Key brand identity deliverables include:
– Logos – Visual marks encapsulating the brand. Variations convey adaptability to contexts while guarding recognition.
– Typography – Font styles aligning to the brand personality and voice defined previously. Typography choices further reinforce intended positioning.
– Color palettes – Impactful colors that echo the brand’s emotive aims. Colors also help carve out owned spaces amid the competitive set.
– Photography – Images immediately capturing audience attention, ideally within 13 milliseconds. Distinctive photography sustains visual recall and builds brand equity.
– Icons – Custom graphic elements amplifying recognition when applied across touchpoints. Icons play a vital role in creating cohesive experiences.
– Guidelines – Rules of engagement to align expressions across channels and media. Graphic standards enable consistency in diverse contexts.
– Digital design – Websites, apps and banners coalescing around the visual identity to optimize engagement.
– Collateral – Printed materials like business cards and brochures similarly reflecting the integrated brand vision.
With the brand coming to life visually, the table has been set for go-to-market activation. Audiences now can match strategic meaning to tangible design cues as the brand storyline unfolds.
Activating the Brand Through Marketing Execution
With strategic planning complete and visual identity established, next comes market activation. This stage encompasses tactical elements to propel the brand into consumer consciousness.
Understanding marketing components remains vital, even for those focused upstream. Clients will eventually navigate the activation phase, requiring guidance on:
– Channel analysis – Pinpointing high-value opportunities to intercept audiences amid fragmented media ecosystems. Prioritizing outlets optimizes reach.
– Marketing plans – Plotting coordinated campaigns across identified channels, anchored by core messaging frameworks. Creative briefs steer tactical directions.
– Creative development – Bringing campaigns to life visually via videos, social content, and more. Artwork captures attention while conveying meaning.
– Content creation – Crafting copy and longer-form content infusing the brand voice into customer touchpoints. SEO and blogs build authority and traffic.
– Media placement – Targeting defined audiences by purchasing ad space and sponsorships. Digital channels allow precise targeting but require constant optimization.
– Performance tracking – Monitoring engagement levels and sales to gauge campaign effectiveness. Refining based on data sustains relevance.
For strategists focused purely on planning, clearly defining hand-offs prevents brands from stalling between strategy and activation. Establishing agency partners or advisors helps bridge knowledge gaps as clients journey deeper into execution.
With the roadmap set and wheels in motion, brands must vigilantly nurture their momentum in-market. Only then will positioning transform into tangible consumer connections.
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!