‘Branding strategy’ sounds like a class everyone skipped at uni. I’m yawning right now, for real. I haven’t been bored since the Internet happened and now I’ve just broken my own streak. Damn it. Maybe we need to change it from ‘branding strategy’ to ‘super fun thing to do’.
To be honest, it’s a lot less boring than it sounds. Like watching reruns of M.A.S.H.
Much like a sitcom based on the ragamuffin staff of a surgical hospital operating during the Korean War, working on your branding strategy is more entertaining than you think.
This is the moment where you get to spend time nutting out the guts of your brand. Figuring out why you’re doing what you’re doing and how to present these ideas to your ideas to your customers through your branding techniques.
Are you excited yet? Jump in Hotlips Houlihan (definitely had to Google to make sure that was a character on M.A.S.H and not a thing I invented), we’ve got some branding to do.
1. Define your brand
‘Define your brand’ is such a bland request isn’t it? It’s like telling someone to ‘find out who they are.’ It’s such a floaty, idealistic concept.
Except that it’s not. It’s imperative that you know what your brand is and what it stands for.
You need to ask yourself a lot of questions about your brand. What do you sell? What are the core values of what you offer? What’s your mission? Do you want fries with that? What’s your niche? Who’s your target audience? How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal? What’s the target market like in your niche? What’s your tagline? What’s your ‘voice’? Is your brand whimsical? Is your brand irreverent? How many minibars equals a full-sized Mars Bar?
Once you have that sorted, take a look at some other businesses that are kicking butt in the branding Olympics.
Useful List of Awesome Brands
Go look at the social media accounts of these businesses to get a squiz at some killer branding. They’re all completely different but their branding is so strong, you always recognise a post from them before you even know you’re looking at their account.
2. Identify your target customers
You need to ask these 5 questions and answer them for your theoretical customer. Hot tip: Get drunk first, so you’re honest when you’re pretending to be your own consumer… but not so drunk you forget what you were doing in the first place.
What do you like to do on the weekend?
What’s something that’s frustrating you about life right now?
Where do you find out about new things? Google? Facebook? Blogs?
What’s a primary goal you’re working on right now?
What are you three favourite brands?
This information will help you determine how your product or service fits into their life and if there’s a chance for it solve a problem for them. Hot tip: Your customer isn’t you. When you’re doing exercises like this it’s vital to remove yourself from any customer research you’re doing. Why? The problem you’re trying to solve for other people is already solved for you because you’re selling the solution. Der. It’s important to keep that at the front of your mind when you’re in the phase of creating a profile for your target customers.
3. Determine your brand’s objectives
‘Make me a shit tonne of money so I never have to work again and can spend my life on a beach in Thailand eating prawns the size of my face.’
This is not a reasonable brand objective. I mean it’s obviously a FABULOUS objective, but it’s not super realistic. Sorry, not sorry.
You need to figure out exactly what you’re offering and what your objectives are.
If you sell reusable shopping bags, a good objective might be to sell 1 million reusable shopping bags to keep 10 million plastic shopping bags out of the ocean.
If you sell a weight loss or fitness program, your objective might be to help 200 women in 2018 to make positive changes to their diet.
If you sell your coaching services, your objective might be to have 10 monthly clients and a percentage of your income each month goes towards providing education for women in developing countries.
Your product should serve a purpose and every time you do anything in your business; you should be striving to contribute to that purpose. It also helps if someone asks you why they should buy your product over someone else’s. If you have a great goal, it’s going to make people want to give you their money.
4. Sort out your brand identity
Logo, colours and voice are the most important things you need to consider here.
– Logo – have it professionally done by someone who’s done work you admire. You can have cheap logos make up on Fiverr, but your logo is like the haircut of your business. If you spend $15 at Just Cuts, it’s going to look like you spent $15 at Just Cuts. You know what I’m saying?
– Colours – These should be determined fairly early on, and they’ll dictate what kind of content you put out on your social media platforms. Choose three colours – white, pale pink and grey for example – and make sure everything you do is coloured that hue. Dooby, doo. Don’t you just love rhymes? LIMES.
– Voice – Decide if your brand is serious, funny, playful, professional. Narrow it down to three words and have these words visible wherever you work so you can always refer back to it when you’re creating content.
5. Be consistent
You know what’s super dodgy? When you look up a business Facebook page and the last post was over two years ago, and it’s just a picture of the business owner’s kid eating an ice-cream on a beach.
You need to have a marketing strategy and a sustainable way to keep it ticking over. You need to be consistently participating on social media platforms and being present in your niche. And this means not abandoning your Facebook page for months at a time or only posting to Instagram when you’re launching a product.
P.S. If you suspect that your online ‘digs’ need some TLC, check out our fancy-pants portfolio.
P.P.S If you don’t have a website and you need one, like now, we can sort you out with Brand Express. If you just want a site that looks as PROFESH as possible, as SOON as possible and you don’t want to waste time faffing around with colours and copy we can have your website up and functioning in 5 days. That’s our most excellent promise.