What is a Brand Strategy?
There is lots of misconceptions of what brand strategy is for..
Firstly, Brand Strategy still sounds like a word combination out of the range of understanding. There is a lot of confusion in what is the relationship between strategy and brand identity? Why it is so important to start from strategy before any design solution.
Secondly, as a brand strategist and identity designer, I want to dispel confusion for my clients, to be crystal clear on what I do, and where my expertise ends.
What is a Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is a plan how to create the desired reputation for your Brand
Brand Strategy document is an action plan for a brand of how to get from point A (where your company is now) to point B (where your company wants to be in the future). It informs actions on how to create intentional brands with desired reputation. Defines who your company is at its core and who is your target audience. Then it bridges the gap on how to connect the two and helps to create delightful brand experiences in every touchpoint with your brand. Brand strategy document is created after running a workshop and gathering all the information and research.
Marketing strategies, creative briefs are the secondary documents build on the foundation of the brand strategy.
Not only Nike and MacDonald's are brands, but mid-size, small business is also a brand too. Every company is a brand, even every person is a brand. It is so important and expensive to leave it for others to shape what kind of brand you are. Brand strategy is an intentional approach of creating the right brand personality ... and the right set of actions in order to create authentic relations with the clients you seek to serve.
What is Brand Strategy workshop?
Brand strategy workshop is an active collaboration process that excerpts the essence of brand
The intention of the workshop is to identify the ideal client persona, get unique insights about the brand, and plot how to connect the two in order to achieve your company's goals (set in advance). Goal setting includes the measure of success as a form to evaluate the return on investment (ROI).
The brand strategy workshop is divided into two active parts: the actual workshop (2 days of the live or online session) and the research and preparation phase of the brand strategy action plan (4 weeks with weekly checkup calls).
The workshop is for gathering information (expect to get loads of questions) and getting insights for the possible brand growth direction. Every decision-maker has to be in the room, all participant's opinions and knowledge matter to get a full 360° view of the brand.
Afterward in the research phase, the evaluation of what works and what doesn't with the current brand takes place. It includes visual audits, surveys of the customers and employees, competitor's analysis, and the evaluation of the brand experience.
The resulting document captures all the insights from the workshop and research phase, brings clarity, and works as an action plan on how to get the desired outcome. It includes Brand positioning statement, Vision/ Mission statements, Core values, Brand personality, Visual look & feel direction, Verbal tone of voice, messaging examples, Ideal client personas, Competitor Brand Analysis, Insights on potential partnerships.
Why do you need a Brand Strategy?
Brand Strategy helps to bridge the gap between business goals and design
Brand Strategy gives a whole new perspective for design solutions. But the obvious reason is that it helps you to distinguish from the competition. Bold positioning statement and the reason why you are in business besides money gives a reason for customers to bond with the brand emotionally (have in mind that 80% of customers buying choices are unconscious). Having a brand strategy foundation shapes a clear direction on how to show-up and to speak-up with clients so that you won't just be heard but to be admired, trusted, and followed...
The brand strategy gives tools to measure the success of design and brand actions. In a business language that translates to: allocate funds to maximize ROI, reached revenue and awareness goals clarity, confidence, alignment, and motivation, know who to target and how to talk to them.
Who can run a brand strategy workshop?
Attitude to run a successful brand strategy session
As you can't read the label from inside the jar, you can't see the whole picture of your business. You need help from the outside. Whether you choose a trained and experienced brand strategy session facilitator. or someone else, have in mind the best brand strategy results requires:
1. Start the session with the beginner's mind
2. Make no assumptions.
3. Ask great questions
4. Make connections from gathered information
What are the benefits of hiring an independent brand strategist?
Maybe you are in the first stage of your business. Or you are the one who has been running for years, and are still not sure is it worth investing in a brand strategy?
Usually, clients self-diagnose and come and say they need a logo, new identity website... While in reality what they really need is to focus and bring back clarity of their own business and then decide what kind of deliverables you need.
The strategy is for those who want to grow their business but has a lack of clarity. An Independent expert (that is not part of your team) can see your unique situation from a different perspective with the "beginner's mind" and "no assumptions" attitude.
The brand strategy foundation document shapes what kind of actions you need to take to create the desired outcome. It frees you from "shooting in the dark" and gives you an actionable plan that inspires action.
Great Brand Strategy value:
→ Gain clarity and action plan
Clarity behind the brand gives you focus on what matters most - intentional brand growth with a clear goals in mind.
→ Attract the right audience+
The most important part of the strategy is the definition of ideal client persona along with the tools how to attract them.
→ Create cohesive Brand personality
Customer tend to create emotional bond with brands. Brand personality helps you be as human as possible.
→ Reach desired outcome
Yes! Design and brand efforts can be measured. Check your ROI as you proceed with the strategy and re-align if necessary.