Before we get into the ins and outs of the important aspects of brand strategy, I want to walk though why you even need it in the first place. Before you get with a designer to go over the visual aspects of your brand, you need to do a deep dive into the “who” of your business and audience. You can’t lead your audience to your products or services if you don't know who they are or who they want to buy from.
Developing a solid business plan or branding strategy will help you pinpoint and understand your target audience, get a better idea of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, and help you find out how to position your business in the market. A brand strategy should serve as the backbone of your company, if you’re ever feeling lost, this strategy will connect you back to your audience.
Target Audience Persona
One of the most important parts of business is understanding your audience. This means getting a feel on what they like, their values, the ways they shop, and the things that make them shy from certain business models. As a business owner these things are extremely important when earning enough trust to get people to buy from you.
Going into business blind without an audience persona on your target market will more likely than not leave you unsure on who you should be connecting with through the branding and marketing phases of your business development.
Your target audience persona should specifically outline who your audience is, what they like, when and how they like to shop, where they get their information from, what their hobbies and activities are, and most importantly what they value. Understanding what your audience values can help you understand why they purchase.
Analyzing your competitors will help you understand your own business. In reality, you should do an analysis on your competitors as well as your own business to understand what your true strengths and weaknesses are. One of the best ways to analyze your competitors is by completing a SWOT which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
When analyzing your competitors' strengths, you should look at what is working best for them and what makes them unique in the market.
When analyzing your competitors weaknesses, you should look at how they can make improvements in their business and if their messaging is unclear.
When analyzing your competitors opportunities, you should evaluate where they have potential for growth and what unique problem they might be solving in their market.
When analyzing your competitors threats, you should evaluate the ways their growth could be stopped, if there has been any bad press, or if the public has changed their views on their products or services.
You should find at least 3 unique points for each section of a SWOT to be able to analyze your competitor, and each competitor should get their own SWOT analysis.
Every business owner knows that you need a positioning statement to tell customers who you are and how you envision your company's future. But before you get to your positioning statement you need to create your value proposition. A value proposition outlines the unique way your business can solve your customers problems. In other words, you’ll be outlining your secret sauce, what can you do that your competitors can't.
Even though a slogan, tagline, and positioning statement are all important, before you reach that step in your brand strategy you should focus on outlining what makes your business and brand different from your competitors. Having a strong competitor analysis and sense of who your audience is can help guide you to towards your secret sauce.
Remember, this is only 3 parts of a complete brand strategy. If you’d like an in depth strategy for your business please work with a brand strategist to develop your brand.