So, you’ve got a great business idea, and maybe even the cashola to get it off the ground. But have you considered how brand strategy fits into your business model?
Now, before you write it off as one of those trendy buzz words that you’d find in a TED Talk, we’re going to outline why you need to create a brand strategy – specifically the bits that focus on developing your brand identity. Plus a few non-negotiables of a really freaking good one.
Firstly: Why is creating a brand strategy such a big deal?
At The Luxe Co, we live and breathe brand strategy. If it was a partner, we’d definitely be in a long term relationship. So, maybe we should start by explaining exactly what it is.
A brand strategy has many purposes, but one of its main ones is forming your brand identity – i.e. the plan that clearly defines your brand. It needs to highlight what makes your brand special, why it’s different from your competitors, where your customers fit into your brand story, and exactly how you want them to perceive it
Amazing in theory, but you’ll need to answer a couple of pretty specific questions (or get a professional to help you work them out) and create a brand story before you can put them into action.
What kind of questions? We’re glad you asked. Let’s chat through seven of the main ones below.
Create a brand strategy question numero uno: Who is your ideal customer?
While it can be tempting to build a brand designed to appeal to the masses (logic says more customers = more profit, right?)narrowing your customer base is one of the key steps of creating a strong brand strategy.
When you work out who your ideal customer is, where she/he lives, how they spend their spare time, heck even what they order for Saturday brunch, you can formulate a better understanding of what they want, and how you’ll show them that your product is it!
What problems do they have?
Creating a brand identity isn’t about avoiding problems. It’s about solving them. And the most effective way to do this is by working out your customer’s pain points.
While you think it might be easy enough to get your customers to tell you what they want, sometimes you might actually need to give them gentle nudge to help them.
Again, that’s where you might need to call in the big guns.
What solutions do you offer them?
You’d probably like to imagine your brand as a hero. Coming in capes a-swishing on a white horse to save the day. The truth is, a good brand identity is one where the customer is the hero.
Your brand on the other hand? You want to offer the kind of solutions that guide your customer and have them turn to you as the cool sidekick who is helping them on their journey.
How will you get them to trust you?
According to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, more than one in three consumers ranked ‘trust in brand’ as among their top three reasons that influence their decision to shop at a particular retailer, other than price.
Those are big figures … which hopefully give you some indication of why it’s important to build a brand that your customers can trust.
So how do you do it? Start by being super clear in what you promise to deliver to customers. And don’t break that promise! Give them as much value as you can afford (content, exclusive deals), get other people to vouch for you – and share the frick out of these testimonials. And above all, be authentic. Be empathetic. Be transparent. And overdeliver whenever you can.
What are your brand values?
It’s time to convince your customers that you have so much in common with them, that they’d be cray to pick a competitor. The tactic: Do it through your brand values. Are you all about knowledge and wisdom? Let those smarts shine baby. Do you want to be the first brand that comes to mind when customers think quirky? Work out which values your customers are looking for, own them, and embody them in every single message your brand communicates.
What are the key characteristics of your brand?
Is your brand a Vixen, or more akin to “Girl Next Door?
One of the final steps of formulating a killer brand identity – and using it to create your brand strategy – is working out who your brand would be if it was a character in a Hollywood blockbuster.
By figuring out how your brand would present itself if it was a human, you can make it more recognisable and relatable to your key audiences.
Where should you position your brand and where do you sit in the market?
Brand positioning is the process of (duh!) positioning your brand in the mind of your customers. It’s the part of strategy used to set your business apart from the rest.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: To work out a way where you are perceived as the absolute bestest option in your space.
And should you need a little ahem, help to try to figure out exactly how to do it … Well, we know a gal, or two …