olaCreative Blog - How To Create A Brand Strategy

How To Create A Brand Strategy

Table of Contents

We’ll tell you, how to create a brand strategy using this 14-step roadmap used by some biggest brands in the world. Now, when you build a brand for yourself or for a client essentially, what you’re doing is you’re building an entity that’s going to connect a business to a group of people and try, as you might, a logo and a brand identity are not going to help you do that.

You need to first understand who the audience is and what they want and then devise a plan to show them that your business has what they want in a way that’ll resonate with them best and that’s exactly what the brand strategy is.

So why is brand strategy so important? Well, if you have products or services that you want to sell to ultimately grow your business, then you want to give your business the best possible chance to grow. Now, if you think of any team in the world any professional team in the world, then they work hard on their techniques, they understand who their competitors are including their weaknesses and then they go and devise a plan to go out and beat them. Now does this mean that every team is successful because they have a strategy? No, but every successful team does have a strategy and the same is said for every successful brand in the world. They all have a strategy for success.

So now that you know that you need a brand strategy, you just go out and whip one upright. Well, it’s not that easy and although most businesses do understand that they need some kind of brand strategy, most don’t know how to go out and develop one and that’s what we’ll clear up in this article right now, with this 14-step roadmap.

Step One

Develop your internal brand

Now, this is the very first step in the brown building process and even some business owners who do understand the value of brand strategy tend to skim over this quite quickly. But it is a really important step because it provides a solid foundation for your brand and if your brand doesn’t have a solid foundation, it doesn’t take long for the cracks to appear. So your internal brand includes your purpose, your vision, your mission and your values, and it’s really important that this stems from the leadership team. Because it is the leadership team that directs the brand and, if there’s not a solid belief behind why the brand exists then, as I said, it won’t take long before cracks appear so develop your internal brand, stemming from who the brand leadership team is and you’ll have that solid foundation in place.

Step Two

Define your target audience

Now in order for any business to survive and then thrive, they need some kind of value that certain people want, and these certain people are a group, and that is who your target audience is, and it’s your job as a Brand builder brand manager brand leader to understand these people as intimately as you can understand everything about them, so use every tool at your disposal to paint a picture of who they are so your demographics, your psychographics understands the challenges, their pain points and ultimately get to their emotions because it’s through their emotions that you’ll be able to really understand them, empathize with them and connect with them.

Step Three

Map your market landscape

Now, if there is a group of people that want what you have then chances are there is a group of competitors already serving those people. So you need to understand that group of competitors as well as you can because you need to understand what your audience already has available to them in the marketplace. Why? Because you don’t want to offer the same thing you want to be different. You want to give your audience something that they don’t already have as an option in the marketplace because if you just go out into the market and offer the same as what’s already out there, you’re just contributing to market noise and you’re not giving your audience a reason to turn their heads and look towards your brand step.

Step Four

Uncovering your market position

So at this stage, you’ll understand who your audience is and you’ll understand who your competitors are, and that is a clear picture of your market landscape having a clear picture of your market landscape allows you to see gaps and opportunities in the market where you might Be able to fill and go in and give yourself or give your audience something that they don’t already have already. So you need to understand those gaps and start to ask some questions as to how you can be different. How are you going to be better faster? More convenient just a better option for your audience in the marketplace to give them that reason to turn their heads and that the difference that you’re gonna make in their lives is gonna, be the reason that they turn and look towards your brand and ultimately choose your Brand over your competitors

Step Five

Shape your brand personality

Now, once you’ve defined the position that you want to own in the market. You’ll understand the value that you’re going to bring to your audience and the impact that you’re going to make in their lives. So now you need to try and come up with a plan and devise a plan to convince them of that value and show them the impact that you’re going to make in their lives. Now, what we say to our audience is very important, but how we say it will have a big impact on whether or not our message is received.

Now on a human level. We all connect with people through our personalities through the characteristics that we display and we connect with other things. In the exact same way, we connect with brands in the exact same way. If we see personality, if we see characteristics that we’re attracted to then we’re far more likely to be open to those messages so understand who your audience is and the characteristics that they’re attracted to and then infuse your message with those characteristics and your audience will be much more open to your messaging.

olaCreative Blog - How To Create A Brand Strategy

Step Six

Identify your brand’s tone of voice

Now, this is an extension of the personality and another opportunity to inject characteristics and personality into our brand.

Now we are in a content-driven world today, and there is content everywhere. We see advertisements, we see social posts, content articles, and videos and each one of those is an opportunity for our brand to inject characteristics and inject personality so that we can resonate with who our audience is to understand. The personality that you want, your audience to be attracted to that. You know that your audience will be attracted to you and then use your tone of voice to inject more of those same characteristics. And if you use that tone of voice across all of your content, then they’ll feel a connection to your personality.

They’ll feel a connection to your brand when compared to you know your competitors, who are at they’re just creating content that doesn’t have a personality that doesn’t have a tone of voice.

Step Seven

Develop your messaging strategy

Now the personality is the: how behind your message, how are you going to deliver that message and the characteristics that you’re going to use to resonate there, but the messaging strategy is what you’re going to use. So what is it that you’re going to say to convince your audience that you have some value? That’s going to impact their lives.

What is it you’re, going to say: that’s going to connect with them, if you think about us on a human level when we’re in to introduce to something new, we all think the same way. We all have this subconscious thought. What’s in it, for me, is a primal instinct that we have and that’s related to our reptilian brain we’re always thinking about what’s in it. For me, is this a threat? Is it a danger or is it some value?

That’s going to help me survive, so that is the first thought when we have that we have when we come into contact with something new, and that is the first itch that we need to scratch with our messaging. We need to scratch that, what’s in it for my itch, so we need to break our messaging up into a series of key messages. That’s first going to scratch that itch and tell them the value that we’re going to offer in their lives, but then we’re going to follow those messages up with messages that show them that our brand is more than just a transactional brand. We want more from this relationship than just the transaction than just their money, and that is what the follow-up messages will do. So we need to split our messaging strategy up into messaging.

That’s going to prove the value of our brand. That’s going to show them that we have value to offer and messages that are going to show them that we want more from this relationship than just their transaction.

Step Eight

Craft, your brand story

Now as humans, we are fascinated by stories, and this is because it was the primary way to pass the information on from one generation to the next. So it’s built into our DNA and when we hear stories we just listen more intently, we’re more engaged, and you know we always want to hear what the next step is and what the end of the story is.

So that’s built into our DNA and that’s why we listen to stories and remember stories far more effectively than we do simple fact-sharing, and this has been proven by neuroscience and we’re actually 22 times more likely to remember story-based information than we are to Remember fact: based information, so if you’re able to show your audience why your brand is different and the impact that your brand can make in their lives through a story or series of stories. Well then, they’re going to listen far more intently. They’re going to be more open to that story because it’s part of their DNA

Step Nine

Develop your name and tagline

Now it might seem pretty late in the process to be creating the brand name and the tagline, and this actually flies in the face of most brand-building processes. Because what you’ll find is that most businesses – and you know most brand names – are created by the business owner very very early in the business development stage and it’s usually created because you know they like the name or you know they’re emotionally attached to it.

Some kind of way, but if you think about what brand names and taglines are they’re, just another communication tool and another strategic tool to be able to send a message to your audience and plant a seed in their mind. So if you also think about the information that we now have at hand, we know the position that we want to own in the mind of our audience. We know who our audience is. We know why we’re different to our competitors, the personality that we want, the characteristics that we want to deliver the messages, the stories we have all of this information at hand now so we’re in a much better position to be able to name the brand and develop The tagline to plant the seed in the mind of our audience as to why our brand is different. What we want our audience to remember about our brand, so we need to take all of the information that we’ve gathered and developed up until this point and use that, when developing the brand name and the tagline.

Step Ten

Design your brand identity

Now, this is where most business owners start the branding process. They’ll go out into the market, look for a designer to design them a logo and then they’ll deem themselves branded and away they go. But this really puts a bit of context into the idea that a brand is not a logo, because at this point in the stage we have developed 90% of the brand and all of the work that we’ve done up until this point. All of that strategic work is 90% of the brand and now we’re just bringing it to life visually through the visual identity, and that’s where we design. You know the logo, the typography, the colour palette, the image style and all of these now put more emphasis on the visual identity of that brand identity.

Before, if you’re developing a visual identity as the starting point for your brand well, then you don’t have all of that strategic information and therefore your brand identity doesn’t have that strategic input. But now you have all of that information, and now you can develop and design a brand identity that is speaking to who the audience is. That is delivering a message based on personality and characteristics. So, through the brand strategy, the brand identity becomes more important because it has all of that information at hand to use in the brand design process.

Step Eleven

Craft, your brand collateral.

Now, this is where your strategy and your identity come together, and this is the dressing room for your brand launch.

So everything from your purpose to your typography, your color palette, your positioning strategy to your personality to your image style. They all come together through your collateral, so everything from your website to your brochures, your business cards, your advertisements, your billboards, your point of sale, any piece of collateral, any form of physical or digital communication from your brand – is part of your brand collateral suite. So you need to develop that in this stage and at that stage you are ready, then, to go ahead and launch your brand. You have all the tools at hand that are laced with your strategy and your identity and you’re ready to go.

Step Twelve

Devise your brand awareness strategy.

Now, we’ve already done some groundwork with the audience in terms of understanding who they are and at this point in the brand-building process, we’re going to find where they’re congregating. So we need to understand where they hang out online, where they hang out physically, where they congregate, where they go for information about the problem that we have, that our brand solves and where they’re going to be most likely to be open to our messages. Then we need to prioritize those congregations in terms of where our messages are going to be most effective and develop specific messages for each of those environments. So that is what the brand awareness strategy does. Yes, we’ve devised how we’re going to communicate to our audience what messages we’re going to say and how we’re going to resonate with them through our characteristics and our personality and their tone of voice through the brand strategy that we have developed.

But now we’re getting more into the tactical side of getting our brand out into the marketplace, and this is where marketing comes into play. So our brand awareness strategy and our marketing strategy are one and the same and we need to tactically decide where we’re going to place our messages and where to prioritize those messages.

Step Thirteen

Launch your brand

So you’ve done all the hard work here. You’ve developed all of your communication: you’ve developed your visual identity and your tactical strategy to place your messages out into the market, and now it’s about executing now the type of budget that you have that will have a big impact on how quickly you move here. If you’re working with a decent-size budget and you’ve got Google Ads to play with Facebook Ads to play with, then you can reach a lot more people through that budget.

But if you don’t have a budget, then your marketing efforts are going to, be a lot more guerilla-style. You’re going to be doing a lot more hard work, rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in there on forums and chats and really trying to put your name out into the marketplace through those free platforms, so, depending on your budget, will depend on how quickly you Can make an impact, but it’s important to keep that perspective and it’s also important to determine what success looks like within your brand awareness strategy. So how are you going to approach, the marketplace and what’s your strategy going to look like in three months’ time? How are you going to define whether or not that strategy was a success? So, as you launch a brand, keep that perspective in mind if you’ve got a budget, you’re going to make more impact.

If you’ve got less of a budget, you’re going to make less of an impact, but keep that perspective so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Step Fourteen

Analyze optimize and evolve

Now a huge advantage that business owners have today compared to 15 years ago or even 10 years ago is the level of data that is available. So analytics is a very, very useful tool and whether you do this yourself or engage somebody to help you it’s important, that somebody understands the power of analytics and is able to analyze that data. So you can see whether or not the needle is moving or not, and then it’s a case of optimizing. Improving evolving do more of what’s working, do less of what’s not make those changes, be nimble and evolve over time, and that is how you’re going to find out what it is that your audience is responding to what they’re not responding to and then do more of What they’re responding to so, if you didn’t know already, but you probably did you – can see now that a brand is far more than a logo, but luckily, for you, 90 % of your competitors are still going out into the market.

Looking for a designer to design them a logo and away they go, they don’t have any messaging, they don’t have a position in the market, they don’t understand their competitors or their audience and they’re not connecting with them they’re, not resonating with them. So what you need to do now, you need to make that advantage work for you, is follow this 14-step framework and develop a brand strategy for your brand, so you can start connecting and resonating with who your audience is, and you can start moving that needle raising that Brand awareness and growing your brand.