When most entrepreneurs think about their brand strategy a few things come to mind. Logos, marketing materials, tag lines, and advertisements are just a few of them. While these factors are all important, working with a graphic designer or marketing expert may not be enough for a long-term strategy for your business. Rather successful branding is process that involves defining your business and marketing objectives, identifying your customers and prospective target markets, and developing a clear (and realistic) value proposition that your brand should convey.
This is done with a brand strategist – and the following are some of the questions they may ask to create your plan for long-term business success through brand strategy.
What differentiates your company from the competition?
Your brand is about what you do and more about who you are, who you serve, and the value you offer.
Your brand is what makes your company stand out from the real or perceived competition, whether that’s better quality products and services, lower price points, or something a little more intangible and distinct to your brand’s philosophies and process.
Developing a solid, long-term brand strategy provides you and your team members with a clear set of guiding principles that dictate everything from how you source raw materials, train and treat your team, recruit and retain customers, and manage both the expected and unexpected situations that may arise in business.
What does your company stand for?
For some it can be difficult to view your company as an entity that has values and principles all its own. But the fact is that values and emotions play a huge rule in customer/client recruitment and retention.
People do business with people and as such, consumers are looking to do business with brands that represent the people behind that brand. The buyer wants to feel “right” about their decision to do business with the companies, organizations, and brands that they choose. Whether that means supporting a small business that gives back to their local community, backing a company that’s committed to equality in hiring, or patronizing a restaurant that appeals to a specific demographic, consumers want to feel connected with the companies they do business with. In other words, they want to connect with brands that they resonate with on a deeper level for the long-term — not just the cheapest, quickest, or most convenient.
A well-developed brand strategy defines not only the products and services your provide, but it clarifies the promise you’re making to those you serve.
Branding isn’t just a logo or the marketing and promotion. It’s the why behind the what and how of your business.
Why did you start your business in the first place?
When crafting a long-term brand strategy, take the time to really think about why you started your business in the first place. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, running your own company certainly isn’t the easiest way to make a buck, but it can be the more intrinsicly rewarding than alternative methods of earning income.
Brand strategy consultants will likely ask you to think back to what you hoped to achieve by owning, running, and succeeding in your business. They want to find out what motivates, inspires, and drives your decision making process. So as to imbue these facets into your brand’s strategy, positionin, and overall identity.
With the answers to these questions, your brand will begin having a more consistent identity in “who it is” and “what it believes”. This focus and brand consistency will encourage growth in the markets that you serve. By aligning your brand strategy with your marketing materials, day-to-day operations, company policies, and hiring practices, your brand will convey a consistent and unique value to customers & clients, prospects, partner vendors, and talent – And that strategy translates into long-term success.
Are you in it for the long game?
When you’re ready to level up your brand strategy and lay the groundwork for long-term success, we’re here to help. Our marketing and consulting expertise is available for free via an initial consultation to small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs – drop us a line and tell us about your brand strategy goals.