To help people really get what your brand is all about you’ll need a strong brand strategy. Find out what that strategy should look like and what it includes.
Think about it. When you see a yellow “M,” the first thing you think of is, I’m loving it. When you see a swoosh sign, you think, just do it. These are two examples of companies (McDonald’s and Nike) who are experts at brand strategy.
You may think that you need to be a Fortune 500 company in order to have a successful brand strategy. But the reality is, it doesn’t take millions to make an impression on your target audience.
It just takes a little time, research, step-by-step action plan… to increase your brand awareness.
Read on to learn more about creating a stronger brand strategy for your business.
1. Research + Intuition = Better Brand Strategy
Let’s face it. You need to conduct some research in order to increase your brand. This entails doing a detailed buyer persona, studying your competition, talking with brand experts, and reading peer-reviewed marketing studies and knowing the latest branding statistics.
This data will save you the hours spent on recommending products and services on social media. And, it will save you the frustration when customers aren’t immediately buying your product after only one impression.
Because, as the statistics show, 92% of people trust recommendations from people versus brands.
And, it takes 5 to 7 impressions before an individual remembers your brand.
Of course, there’s more to brand strategy than merely data figures. You see, a brand strategy also harnesses intuition.
Put it this way, research is the tangible half; intuition is the other intangible half. One can’t survive without the other. And, if it does, your brand strategy may suffer.
So, what exactly do we mean by incorporating intuition into your brand strategy?
2. Intuition Demystified
Although we often clump these together, according to Psychology Today, there’s a difference between intuition, gut feeling, and instinct.
According to the article, instinct is your natural inclination toward a certain behavior.
Unlike instinct, the article further states that a gut feeling appears in your consciousness for a split second. There’s really no conscious reason why the feeling should be there.
And, as opposed to instinct and gut feeling, intuition is something we inherently know but is a rather subconscious process.
It doesn’t come from analytical thinking. Which is why it can be hard for marketers and businesses to leverage it.
That being said, how do you use it in brand awareness?
Simple. Use it to double check data. And vice versa.
For example, let’s go back to the statistic, which indicates that it takes a person 5 to 7 impressions to remember a brand. Check in with yourself. And, turn off your inner critic.
Does the stat feel right? If so, consider using it. If not, figure out why. Look for data that would support or reject your stance.
3. Your Brand Affects Everything
By everything, we mean down to the content you write. Down to the social media posts, tweets, messages you create.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say, your brand is all about people being positive and embracing the present moment.
It would be counterintuitive to write content in a very serious and dry tone.
Instead, it would make more sense to write content in a fun, positive style.
Also, keep in mind that this tone has to be consistent throughout your blog, social media, and other places where your content is featured.
Because inconsistency will confuse your buyer and could limit the amount of leads and sales you generate.
4. But What If You Don’t Know What Your Brand Is?
It’s not uncommon for this to happen. Many companies go through periods of rebranding.
J Crew, for instance, was rebranded into a company known for its basics with a hint of luxury.
Burberry went from a “frumpy” clothing line to a luxury and chic one. In fact, according to a Business Insider article, two pubs banned people from coming in if they wore Burberry. As it used to be often worn by gangs. Now, you often spot celebrities wearing the brand.
The point is, even very popular and large companies go through several rebranding phases before they get it. So, rest assured, you’re not alone.
That said, here are a few questions to kickstart your branding process…
- What is your company’s purpose?
- Who is your company?
- Who is your company’s target audience?
- What does your company want your target audience to experience?
- If your logo was on a billboard, what would you want her target audience to happen mind when they see that?
- How would people describe your company now?
- What product or service does your company sell?
- What problems does that product or service solve?
By answering these questions, you’ll get an idea of the type of brand you want to convey.
5. Creating a Step-By-Step Action Plan
So, you know what image you want your company to convey. You know what purpose your company stands for. And how your product or service benefits your target audience.
But how do you put these ideas into action?
Simple. Create a step-by-step action plan.
This action plan should align with your business’ values and goals. Know that one step-by-step action plan template does not fit all.
Map Out Your Customer’s Persona
You’re going to need to map out a buyer persona. To get you started with this, here are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Where does your ideal customer go on vacation?
- How old is he/she?
- Does your ideal customer read books? What type of books?
- What’s your ideal customer’s occupation?
- What are your ideal customer’s hobbies? In other words, what does he or she like to do with their free time?
From these questions, you can see you need to be as detailed as possible–combining general information with more detailed data.
Next, review your company’s online assets. By that, we mean reviewing your website design, website content, blog content, social media posts, any images that relate to your company. From there, you can identify your brand’s weaknesses, and make the necessary adjustments.
Also, know that you can take an informal route by directly asking your target audience via social media what they want to see from you.
For more information about brand strategy or if you need help crafting one, contact us.