Running a business takes a lot of guts, courage and willingness to learn as you go. Creating a standout brand is kind of the same – however it shouldn’t be left purely to guesswork. That’s where developing and implementing a brand strategy can help you achieve your business goals and have a real and lasting impact on your customers.
But is brand strategy just another buzzword? No way! We believe it’s a vital tool for every business looking to do more with their time and energy than just make money. Let’s take a closer look at all things brand strategy and we’ll share with you our proven methodology as a branding agency for creating a brand strategy that sticks.
What is brand strategy?
A solid and well-articulated brand strategy touches every part of your business – think of it as the aerial that keeps you tuned into your customers wants and needs, as well as what’s happening in the market. It’s typically a comprehensive document that outlines what your goals are and how you’re going to go about achieving them.
First thing’s first, your brand is not you logo, website or products – it’s also what you can’t see. While your logo is important, how you make people feel and what sets you apart from your competition is what a brand strategy is designed to reinforce.
Why brand strategy is important
When executed well, a good brand strategy creates consistency but is flexible enough to evolve as your business scales. It helps you and your team get rock solid on your purpose (your ‘why’), values, mission and vision, as well as revealing a roadmap for how you want your customers to feel when they engage with your brand.
Let’s face it – business is about more than just making money. Your brand strategy is a big reflection of everything else that exists beyond the ‘bottom line’. Brand, as a concept, is how your customers perceive your business – so why not take the time to guide them to what you’re trying to accomplish, rather than leaving them to figure out for themselves.
How to develop a brand strategy
Anytime you put your strategy hat on it’s a good idea to keep things simple. We know you’ve likely got big, big dreams to chase, but try (if you can) to go after one or two goals at a time. That way you can focus your time, attention and money in targeted ways and avoid burning yourself out in the process.
At Courtney Kim Studio, we’ve spent years developing and refining our unique brand methodology called 3V Strategy. So if you’re keen to learn how to create a brand strategy that works, make sure you pay attention to these three key components:
The vision for your brand should be compelling enough that it excites you and motivates you to keep going. It works in tandem with your mission, purpose, positioning, founder’s story and plans for the future to paint a real picture of why your brand exists.
Some questions you might like to ask yourself when defining the brand vision might be:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- How can I use my skills to contribute to making things better?
- What kind of world do I want to live in?
- What do I believe in most of all?
We’re not talking about your actual voice here, but rather how your brand ‘sounds’ out there in the real world. When you think about popular brands like Nike or KFC, they sound a particular way that’s very recognisable and consistent – that’s a good goal to have when you’re putting together your strategy.
Other activities to work through, either on you own or with the help of an expert like us, include:
- create your own market definition
- research your target market (aka the elusive ideal client)
- define your brand personality
- map out key messages, and
- craft a unique tone of voice.
This is the external expression of your brand. How it looks, when combined with how it sounds, gives off a certain mood or vibe, which is something you can manipulate and control with a well-defined brand strategy.
The visual elements of your strategy include your:
- brand identity
- packaging design (if applicable)
- brand attributes (brand personality expressed through fonts, colours, etc)
- colour strategy (your brand colours), and
- style guide (how visual assets will be used).
When it comes to brand design, we don’t recommend tackling this alone. There are a lot of great DIY options for creating logos or your website, but there’s more to branding than just the end product. Investing in your brand is an investment in the future of your business, which is why we think that taking the time to develop a strong brand strategy is so important.
Is your brand a little all over the place?
We get it – especially if you have a big team or are just starting out on your own, it can be hard to know what goals to set or how to build momentum. That’s where we come in. We’re big on collaboration here at Courtney Kim Studio, so if you’re ready to turn those lofty business goals into reality with a powerhouse 3V Strategy, contact us to book your spot.