New decade, same old brand strategy? Rare Birds Mentor and Marketing Guru from Quip Brands Keeva Stratton tells why now is a great time to review the fundamentals of your brand.
When people think of a brand, they typically think of what a brand looks like: a logo, colours or name. But, the true value of a brand – especially as the era of purpose-driven marketing truly begins – is how it makes people feel; its meaning.
Your customers will ultimately choose you, or your competition, based on how you make them feel. Can they trust you? Do you understand or ‘get’ them? Do you enhance their image of themselves?
By carefully aligning your brand with your values and your purpose, and by fulfilling a genuine market need, you have the core ingredients for success.
So, what is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy clearly defines who you are and why you matter.
It will include:
- Who your brand is – how it looks and sounds;
- What makes you different – your qualities and values;
- Why you can be trusted – the authority, expertise or experience you bring;
- Who your customers are – what they desire, how they see the world, and what drives their purchases;
- And, your value proposition.
A brand strategy is your essential roadmap to establishing, building and communicating your brand in a way that’s both engaging and compelling to your audience.
It will help you answer many of your marketing questions, such as ‘which channels are appropriate for my brand and audience?’ or ‘how should I communicate with my customers?’ so it should be your first step.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos once said, ‘A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’ The great news is, you can guide that conversation, but it takes a clear strategy and consistency, which is why having a strategy in place is essential.
‘A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
Remember, people don’t buy the best – they buy the brand that speaks to them.
Nike may not offer the world’s greatest running shoe, but it is the world’s greatest sporting brand.
Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel are not priced or purchased on their materials or make – they are priced and consumed on the value of what their brand represents – their cultural status.
As consumers we will always choose the brand that reflects our values and acts as an extension of our identity.
Branding isn’t just for consumer goods.
In B2B, investing in your brand can often be a low priority when other marketing costs are mounting. But it makes a significant difference to how you are perceived and the value you as a business or consultant can offer. And, unless you have a well-conceived and authentic brand, your marketing will struggle to be effective.
When your brand is aligned, recognised and strong, it’s desirable. It has a value that goes beyond the mere product or service it delivers.
The literal value of great branding is that when you build a great brand you can charge more. So, before you head straight to marketing, or that next ad campaign, now may be a great time to check in with your brand strategy and make sure it’s ready to set the foundations for a fabulous decade.