‘Branding strategy’ sounds like a class everyone skipped at uni – but if we’re honest, it’s a lot less boring than it sounds. Like watching reruns of M.A.S.H.
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 customers through your branding techniques.
Are you excited yet? Then jump in, Hotlips Houlihan – we’ve got some branding to do.
1. Define your brand
The idea of defining your brand for a branding strategy can seem pretty broad. It’s like telling someone to ‘find out who they are’ – but we only ask because 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 – questions that define what you sell, your core values, your mission, your voice, your niche, your target market, and your tagline. Then there are other questions, like “Do you want fries with that?” and “How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?”, but those come later.
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’ll recognise a post from them before you even know you’re looking at their account.
2. Identify your target customers
Your customers should be right at the centre of your branding strategy, so get into their heads with these five questions.
- 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 your three favourite brands?
This information will help you determine how your product or service fits into their life and whether there’s a chance that it might help them solve a problem in their lives.
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, because you’re not about to buy a solution you created. Der. It’s important to keep that at the front of your mind when you’re creating a target customer profile.
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 obviously a FABULOUS objective, but it’s not super realistic.
You need to figure out exactly what you’re offering and what your objectives are.
Need examples of objectives that get that balance of realistic and *awesome* just right?
Try these – if you sell:
- Reusable shopping bags, aim to sell enough to keep 10 million plastic shopping bags out of the ocean.
- A weight loss or fitness program, aim to help 100 women achieve their ideal weight each year.
- Your coaching services, aim for 10 monthly clients so that you can afford to donate a percentage of your monthly income towards 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
A strong brand identity is the key to any successful branding strategy, and it all comes down to three main components:
You can have cheap logos made up on Fiverr, but your logo is like the haircut of your business – and if you spend $15 at Just Cuts, it’s going to look like you spent $15 at Just Cuts. The point is, it’s worth paying a bit more to have your logo done by someone whose work you admire.
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 put out there follows those guidelines.
A brand can be serious, funny, playful, professional, and any number of other adjectives. 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 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.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.
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