Brand Strategy Process Build Your Brand
Introduction – Let’s talk about brand strategy
Building a successful brand can feel like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle without all the pieces. The key components seem elusive, scattered across marketing briefs, competitive analyses, customer research reports and more.
But take heart! We’ve put together a systematic 14-step process to help you develop a robust brand strategy—one that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from competitors.
This step-by-step guide takes the guesswork out of branding, giving you a clear roadmap for crafting a strategy that cuts through the noise. One that makes an emotional connection with your customers and compels them to choose you.
Ready to stop feeling overwhelmed and start building your memorable, market-leading brand? Let’s get started!
Laying the Groundwork for Your Brand Strategy
A strong brand strategy starts with understanding the ingredients that will form its foundation. This is why the first step is conducting an in-depth discovery session with your client.
Think of this as gathering ingredients for a delicious soup. You need to know the key components before bringing everything together in the pot.
In your discovery session, have an open and insightful dialogue about:
- The client’s business, including their history, products/services, business model and goals
- The industry landscape—size, growth, trends, opportunities
- Competitors and what makes them successful
- The target audience(s), including demographics, psychographics, needs and challenges
This intel will allow you to craft a strategy tailored specifically to the client’s business objectives and audience. But we’re not done yet…
A crucial (yet often overlooked) aspect is developing the internal brand—the organization’s purpose, vision, mission and values. This forms the heart of the brand strategy.
It’s about articulating why the company exists, where it’s headed, how it will get there and what it stands for. This self-understanding radiates outward, guiding everything from internal culture to external communications.
So don’t stash those internal brand elements away to collect dust. Make them living, breathing pillars of organizational identity that shape decisions big and small.
With that discovery work complete, you’ll have uncovered the key ingredients to whip up a differentiated, magnetic brand positioning. Time to start stirring the pot!
Defining Your Audience and Market Landscape
With a solid foundation established through discovery, it’s time to drill down into the details of your target audience(s). Thoroughly understanding your audience is the key that unlocks brand-customer resonance.
Start by developing detailed buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your different audience segments based on real data and insights about:
- Demographics like age, location, gender, income level
- Psychographics including attitudes, interests, values, lifestyles
- Goals and challenges they face
- What motivates them to buy
- Where and how they consume information
Fleshing out these audience profiles creates a vivid picture of who you need to connect with. This allows you to craft tailored messaging that speaks directly to their priorities and preferences.
It’s also vital to analyze the competitive landscape by identifying:
- Direct competitors and substitute offerings
- Category leaders and what makes them successful
- Gaps or unmet audience needs in the marketplace
This external perspective spotlights opportunities to differentiate and stand out from the crowd. Look for open territory where you can stake your claim rather than battling entrenched players on their turf.
By zeroing in on neglected audience segments or underserved needs, you open new frontiers for your brand to conquer. Be a trailblazer, not a follower. The market landscape is wide open if you know where to look.
Crafting a Magnetic Brand Identity
The foundation is set. You intimately understand your audience and the competitive landscape. Now comes the true artistry of branding – sculpting an identity that cuts through the noise to captivate your audience.
This requires identifying your essential, differentiated brand promise. The one thing you do better than anyone else. The niche where you can dominate. This core value proposition is the atomic particle around which your entire brand orbits.
Boil it down to a succinct, compelling statement that speaks directly to customer priorities. Let this brand DNA permeate every aspect of your identity, from visuals to voice to messaging. Reinforce what makes you distinct at every touchpoint.
Define your brand archetype – the personality traits that will allow customers to form an emotional bond. Match archetypes like Hero, Outlaw, Creator or Sage to audience aspirations. Then develop a brand voice and tone aligned with that archetype.
With your identity defined, craft targeted messaging and stories that tap into customer insights uncovered earlier. Connect their pain points to your solutions. Show how you’ll help them achieve their goals better than alternatives. Make it about them, not you.
Getting this branding mix right shapes how people perceive and engage with your brand. Keep it authentic. Keep it consistent. When your brand promise, personality and communications sync up, you’ll earn unmatched customer mindshare. Their hearts and dollars will follow.
Infusing Soul into Your Brand Visuals
The strategic foundation is set. You intimately understand your audience, crafted a compelling value proposition and defined an authentic brand identity. Now it’s time to breathe visual life into your brand.
This is where most brands hastily start – slapping together logos, color schemes and stock photography. But you know better. You’ve deliberately built a strategic platform to inform creative direction.
Use the differentiated characteristics uncovered earlier as guiding lights:
* **Tap your brand archetype** – What visual cues align with the distinctive personality traits you defined? Hero brands may opt for bold colors and striking graphics while Sage brands could incorporate natural elements and subtle hues.
* **Echo your core message** – Reinforce what makes you unique in imagery and design choices. For example, brands promising speed and innovation may use visual motifs like rockets and lightbulbs.
* **Speak to audience aspirations** – Depict idealized achievements and outcomes to spur desire. Show them what’s possible.
An informed visual identity is more likely to spark that crucial emotional connection. Customers will instinctively recognize that you understand them because your brand mirrors their values visually.
This strategic approach leads to complete branding integration. Your visuals directly project the personality, promise and messaging crafted earlier, creating cohesion and resonance.
When all elements unite to convey “this brand gets me” without saying a word, you’ve achieved branding brilliance. This subconscious familiarity builds bonds that are tough to break.
Activating Your New Brand in the Market
You’ve nurtured your brand from fledgling idea to full-fledged identity. The strategic scaffolding is erected. Personality defined. Messaging honed. Visuals brought to life.
This meticulously crafted brand baby is ready to leave the nest. But before broadly unleashing it into the wild, targeted launch strategies must ensure it flies rather than flounders.
**Equip Your Brand for the Outside World**
Outfit your brand with essential points of external connection—website, social channels, brochures—enabling relationship-building interactions with audiences.
These brand expressions become sacred touchpoints. Arm them to convey your strategic brand pillars at every opportunity through:
* Aligned messaging and visuals
* Consistent personality projection
* Cohesive experience across platforms
**Chart a Course to Reach Prospective Customers**
Your brand can’t actively seek audiences without a plan. Construct an intentional marketing strategy guiding where, when and how to engage high-value targets.
This requires identifying:
* Priority customer segments
* Preferred communication channels
* Compelling content formats
* Primary competitors
Equipped with this market map, your brand has direction to cut through noise and connect one-on-one.
**Patience Is a Virtue**
Finally, unveil your primed and polished brand to the world! Spread its wings of website pages and social posts to fly.
Yet a brand must flap its wings continually over time to gather momentum. Maintain marketing thrust. Monitor performance. Optimize efforts. Support ongoing exposure.
By taking these essential steps to ready your brand for launch, you set it up to take flight rather than fall flat. Bon voyage!
Bring Your Strategic Brand Vision to Life
Building a resonant brand that stands apart takes blood, sweat and strategy. This marathon effort crafts an identity with roots growing deep into purpose and soil rich with audience understanding.
The payoff sprouts when you actively transplant this carefully nurtured brand into the wilds of the marketplace.
**Tend Your Garden for Ongoing Nourishment**
Launch day is not the finish line. Consistent care cultivates blooming success over time.
* Nurture brand visibility through sustained marketing cultivation
* Optimise activities and messaging to maximise relevance
* Weed out aspects diluting your core identity
* Provide refreshing rains of new initiatives
Stay actively engaged in managing your brand’s ecosystem. This fosters lasting connections with target audiences as conditions inevitably shift.
**Plant Seeds for Future Harvests**
Vigilant gardening also entails planning for seasons yet to come.
* Gauge performance to guide strategy adjustments
* Test innovative offshoot ideas and offerings
* Anticipate challenges on the horizon
* Sow promising new directions for long-term payoffs
The most bountiful gardens leverage both the fruits of past efforts and investments in future possibilities.
**Enjoy the Fruits of Your Strategic Labour**
By taking an active role as ongoing nurturer, you reap continual rewards from the strategic brand you built with so much care.
Stay responsive and look toward the future, but also remember to pause and enjoy successful harvests generated by seeds planted in rich strategy soil.
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!