Essentials for Building a Brand Strategy
You wouldn’t leave on a cross-country road trip without doing a little planning first. You want to fill your car with all the clothes and snacks that will nourish you throughout your trip. But even more important than road snacks? Deciding where to make stops, which sights to take in, and the route that will get you to your destination.
Simply put, you need a map. The same goes for your organization’s journey to success.
What is Brand Strategy
Your brand strategy is that all-important road map. Brand strategy can help you build a complete brand with a strong foundation and at the same time, make sure your brand is presented to the right audience.
Without brand strategy, you can’t drive your brand where it needs to go.
How to Build a Brand
Brand strategy is the collection of ideas a brand is built on, as well as the plan designed to express those ideas through identity and brand experience.
Brand strategy articulates what the brand experience will be to your audience. It’s not just about planning the advertising surrounding a brand, but building a brand from the ground up.
Here are just a few key pit stops on the way to building your perfect brand:
- Define who you are – What does your brand stand for at its core? Knowing the answer to this question will take you far. Remember what problem your brand is solving, what need it is filling, its central purpose. It can help to craft 100-word ‘elevator pitches’ to hone in on vital values, and eliminate fluff.
- Research your audience – Don’t be afraid to get ultra specific when defining your key audience. Being generic runs the risk of making your brand feel generic. So in order to build a strong long-term brand, you want to know exactly who you’re pitching to.
- Personalize – Once you know your audience, make it personal. If your copy is cold, your audience will feel it. If it’s gimmicky, your voice will feel inauthentic and salesy. Find your brand voice and stick with it like sap on trees.
- Create Guidelines – Knowing who you are is the first step; now outline how that is going to look. What fonts, shapes, colors, and tones are you targeting every time? What will your promotion look like across platforms? Repeat this mantra throughout your guideline creation: Consistent messaging is strong messaging.
- Promote – Once your brand name, logo, and voice are locked in, go exploring! Don’t be afraid to promote across many platforms and in many formats. Follow through on your carefully crafted guidelines so your brand strategy carries you to victory.
Guidelines to Effective Brand Strategy
Branding expert Yali Saar has some fantastic advice when starting to plan your brand strategy: When it comes to branding, don’t overthink it.
It’s better to launch as soon as you can to your audience, who is the real litmus test of how well your brand is working. Adjustments can be made from there according to audience feedback.
Here are 4 tips to abide that will help get your brand off the ground without sacrificing speed:
#1 Focus on Your Audience
Don’t forget that your audience is the center of all your brand messaging. If your messaging isn’t for them, then who is it for? Your brand is not just appealing to them, but filling a need that exists in the marketplace. Always refocus on how your brand offers solutions to that need.
#2 Keep It Simple and Memorable
Saar suggests that if a logo cannot be easily drawn by a 6-year-old, it is too complex. That’s not to say that kids need to design every logo. Saar’s point is that it’s easy to be unique, but trickier to be memorable. A distinctive but easily reproducible logo can be more effective than a crowded, one-of-a-kind design.
#3 Don’t Underestimate the Power of Color
Color is intrinsically linked to emotion in the human brain. Studies show that cooler colors like green and blue can conjure nature, enhancing calm and concentration. Meanwhile, more fiery shades like red and orange grab attention (think stop signs), increase blood flow, and even stimulate appetite.
Consider the emotions you want to evoke alongside your brand when picking color schemes.
#4 Continuity is Key
Nearly every successful business finds a way to exist on multiple platforms. Make sure there is continuity in your brand, whether your audience is finding you on your homepage, or a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. First impressions mean everything, and creating a recognizable brand across different mediums can have a huge impact on your organization’s reception.
Brand Strategize like a Pro with Puzzle Pieces
If building a brand strategy from the ground up seems like a daunting feat, let the experts at Puzzle Pieces help. At Puzzle Pieces, we can help you focus on your ideal audience, build your voice, and design that perfect, memorable logo. We know brand strategy inside and out.
It’s easy to get lost in the beautiful winding roads of marketing and branding. Don’t let your branding strategy be a solo journey into the unknown; let Puzzle Pieces Marketing unfurl the map and lead the way.
Forbes. The Greatest Business Branding Strategy In The World. https://www.forbes.com/sites/henrydevries/2018/08/10/the-greatest-business-branding-strategy-in-the-world/?sh=4492d4725512
How Brands Are Built. Definition: What is brand strategy? https://howbrandsarebuilt.com/blog/2018/12/18/definition-what-is-brand-strategy/
Very Well Mind. Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel? https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824
Lucid Press. Brand building 101: An 8-step brand development strategy. https://www.lucidpress.com/blog/brand-building-101-the-8-steps-to-building-a-brand-that-lasts