Just like an architect draws a blueprint before starting construction, you need to develop a branding strategy for your business. Strategic branding helps you stand out from your competition and build customer loyalty. In this article, you'll learn all about branding methods and the essential elements of a branding strategy you need to build a brand that will stand the test of time. The brand strategy is part of a business plan that describes how the company intends to build a good relationship and preference within the market. The goal of a branding strategy is to become memorable in the eyes of consumers so that they decide to patronize your company over the competition. (We'll get into that in a moment.) A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly linked to consumers' needs, emotions and competitive environments. First, let's clear up the biggest misconception about branding strategy: Your brand isn't just your product, logo, website, or name. Your brand is all that and more: it doesn't feel tangible. Your brand is that elusive emotion that separates strong brands from forgotten brands. To objectively understand a subjective problem that many marketers consider more of an art than a science, we've broken down seven essential components of a comprehensive branding strategy that will help keep your business relevant for decades to come. Elements of a brand strategy include: While it is necessary to understand what your company promises when defining your brand positioning, it is more important to know why you get up and go to work every day. In other words, your purpose is more specific in that it serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors.
What is brand strategy?
Elements of a brand strategy
Just like an architect draws a blueprint before starting construction, you need to develop a branding strategy for your business.
Strategic branding helps you stand out from your competition and build customer loyalty.
In this article, you'll learn all about branding methods and the essential elements of a branding strategy you need to build a brand that will stand the test of time.
The brand strategy is part of a business plan that describes how the company intends to build a good relationship and preference within the market. The goal of a branding strategy is to become memorable in the eyes of consumers so that they decide to patronize your company over the competition.
(We'll get into that in a moment.)
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly linked to consumers' needs, emotions and competitive environments.
First, let's clear up the biggest misconception about branding strategy: Your brand isn't just your product, logo, website, or name.
Your brand is all that and more: it doesn't feel tangible. Your brand is that elusive emotion that separates strong brands from forgotten brands.
To objectively understand a subjective problem that many marketers consider more of an art than a science, we've broken down seven essential components of a comprehensive branding strategy that will help keep your business relevant for decades to come.
Elements of a brand strategy include:
While it is necessary to understand what your company promises when defining your brand positioning, it is more important to know why you get up and go to work every day. In other words, your purpose is more specific in that it serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors.
How can you define the purpose of your company? AfterBusiness strategy expert, the purpose can be seen in two ways:
- Functional:This concept focuses on success ratings related to immediate and business reasons, i.e. the purpose of the company is to make money.
- Intention:This concept focuses on success in terms of being able to make money and do good in the world.
While making money is important to almost every business, we admire brands that emphasize their desire to achieve more than just profitability, like IKEA:
IKEA's vision is not just to sell furniture, but "to create a better everyday life". This approach attracts potential customers and demonstrates your commitment to providing value beyond the point of sale.
Consider this example as you define your company's purpose. While making money is a priority, acting on that concept alone does little to differentiate your brand from others in your industry.
Our advice? Dig a little deeper. If you need inspiration, look at the brands you admire and see how they express your mission and vision.
The key to consistency is to avoid talking about things that don't relate to or enhance your brand.
Added a new photo to your business photo.Pages on Facebook? What does it mean for your company? Does it align with your message or was it just something funny that would frankly confuse your audience?
To give your brand a platform to stand on, you need to make sure your message is consistent. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand awareness, which drives customer loyalty. (No pressure right?)
Let's look at a great example of consistencyCoca Cola. As a result of their commitment to consistency, all elements of the brand's marketing work in harmony. This has helped it become one of the largestwell-known brands in the world.
Even on the surface of your social media accounts, your brand consistency is very clear on things like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn:
To avoid potential clients struggling to piece together the disparate pieces of your business, consider the benefits of creating a style guide. A style guide can cover everything from tone of voice to color scheme to positioning of specific products or services.
If you take the time to define and agree on these considerations, your brand as a whole will benefit.
Customers are not always rational.
How else would you explain to the person that you paid thousands of dollars more for a Harley instead of buying another, cheaper, just as well made bike? There was an emotional voice somewhere, whispering, "Buy a Harley."
Harley Davidsonuses emotional branding by creating a community around your brand. StartedPIG—Harley Owners Group— to connect your customers to your brand (and each other).
By allowing customers to feel part of a larger group that is more united than a motorcycle group, Harley Davidson is able to position itself as the obvious choice for someone looking to buy a motorcycle.
Because? Humans have an innate desire to build relationships. Research by psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary best describes this need in their "membership hypothesis, which states, "Humans have a basic psychological need to feel intimately connected to others, and the nurturing, nurturing bonds of close relationships are an important part of human behavior."
Not to mention that belonging, the need for love, affection, and belonging to a group, falls squarely in the middle of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which aims to categorize diverse human needs.
The lesson to learn? Find a way to connect with your customers on a deeper, emotional level. do you give them rest To make them feel like part of the family? do you make your life easier Use emotional triggers like these to strengthen your relationship and build loyalty.
In this rapidly changing world, marketers need to stay flexible to stay relevant. On the plus side, this gives you the freedom to get creative with your campaigns.
You may be thinking, "Wait a minute, how am I supposed to be consistent and flexible at the same time?"
Good question. While consistency is meant to set the standard for your brand, flexibility allows you to make adjustments that spark interest and differentiate your approach from the competition.
A great example of this type of strategic balance comes fromAncient Spice. Today, Old Spice is one of the best examples of successful marketing across the board. However, until recently, using Old Spice was a fairly unspoken requirement for dads everywhere. Today it is one of the most popular brands for men of all ages.
The secret? Flexibility.
When he realized he had to do something to secure his place in the market,Old Spice entered into a partnership with Wieden+KennedyPosition your brand for a new customer base.
Between new commercials, a new website, new packaging and new product names, Old Spice managed to capture the attention of a new younger generation by making strategic improvements to its already strong brand.
When your old tactics aren't working anymore, don't be afraid to change. Just because it worked in the past doesn't mean it works now.
Take the opportunity to engage your followers in new and fresh ways. Are there some out-of-the-box partnerships your brand can make? Are there features of your product that you have never emphasized? Use them to connect with new customers and remind old customers why they love you.
5. Employee Participation
As we mentioned earlier, achieving a sense of consistency is important if you want to build brand awareness. And while a style guide can help you achieve a cohesive digital experience, it's equally important that your employees are comfortable communicating with customers and representing the brand.
When your brand is playful and bubbly through Twitter interactions, there's no point in a customer calling and connecting with a grumpy, monotonous rep, right?
To avoid these kinds of mismatched experiences, consider Zappos' approach.
If you've ever been online with a Zappos customer service representative, you know what I'm talking about. Unless,Check out this SlideShareDetails on some of their most inspirational customer service stories.
With all Zappos employees adhering to their core values and helping other companies implement the same approach, Zappos has built a solid reputation for strong, helpful and human customer service.
If you already have people who love you, your company, and your brand, don't sit around, reward them for that love.
These customers have gone out of their way to write about you, tell their friends about you, and act as ambassadors for your brand.
Fostering the loyalty of these people early on will result in more returning customers and more profit for your business.
Sometimes a thank you is enough. In other cases it is better to go further. Write them a personalized letter. Send them special loot. Ask them to write a review and feature it prominently on your site. (Or all of the above!)
when we arrived15,000 customers here at HubSpot, we wanted to say a big thank you while remaining true to our brand... so we dropped 15,000 orange ping pong balls from our fourth floor balcony and wrote Thank You on large foil balloons:
And while it seemed a bit unusual to some people, the gesture made a lot of sense to those who know our brand.
Loyalty is a crucial part of any branding strategy, especially when supporting your sales organization. Highlighting a positive relationship between you and your existing customers sets the tone for what potential customers can expect when they decide to do business with you.
7. Competitive Awareness
Take the competition as a challenge to improve your own strategy and create more value for your brand overall. They're in the same store chasing the same customers, right? So look what they do.
Are some of your tactics successful? Do some fail? Adjust your brand positioning based on your experience to improve your business.
With it, you can easily control your competitors' social mentions for HubSpot customersSocial-Monitoring-App.look at this articleLearn more about setting up personalized social streams here.
While it's important to keep up with your competitors' strategies if you want to improve your brand, don't let them dictate your every move.
Sure, you probably sell a similar product or service to many other companies, but you're in business because your brand is unique. By harping on your competitor's every move, you lose that differentiation.
- attitude brand
- individual brand
- product brand
- minimalist brand
- Brand extension brand
Let's break down each branding method.
1. Sign of attitude
This form of branding refers to a feeling or attitude that customers associate with your brand.
Nike is a brand that has perfected this type of branding. With the slogan "Just Do It", Nike promotes a lifestyle that customers can enjoy with products from this brand. With such a slogan, Nike promotes the idea that all customers are athletes when wearing Nike products.
2. Individual brand
This type of branding gives a product or service a unique identity, possibly under a different brand, to attract new customers in the market.
Unileveris an excellent example of a brand using the individual brand. The company has three divisions, each creating some of the most recognizable brands in its niche.
3. Brand of the product
The product brand is perhaps the most popular type of brand. Here the brand associates a logo, name, color and design with a product to create a unique identity for the product.
It is one of the best branding methods because it brings products to life and increases uniqueness.
A good example is Apple's MacBook offerings. The "Air", "Pro" and "Mac" brands convey unique messages and reinforce the quality of the product offering.
Co-branding, also known as brand association, is where different brands bring their identities to create a merged brand.
The advantage of this method is that it combines the strength of the market, increases the customer base and increases the perceived value.
One of the most popular co-branding examples is the collaboration between Nike and Michael Jordan. This collaboration has made Air Jordan one of the most desirable and well-known shoes in the world.
This type of branding is often used by brands that prefer to let the products speak for themselves.
5. Minimalist brand
MasterCardis a prime example of a brand with minimalist branding. We may not know what the red and yellow circles mean, but you'll know it's owned by MasterCard.
6. Brand Extension
This is a unique branding technique in which a company uses one of its popular or established brand names for a new product. The idea behind this method is to use the brand equity you already have to push the latest product. The companies using it hope that by expanding the brand, customers will become more receptive to the new offering.
The importance of strategic branding
Managing a brand is hard work, and it's more of a challenge when you're in an oversaturated market where all brands look the same.
One of the crucial steps to growing in a saturated market is to emphasize what makes your brand unique - that's what strategic branding is all about.
With strategic branding, you future-proof your brand and build it to stand out from the rest. By conveying uniqueness to your customers, you strengthen your sales power, your brand equity and your customer loyalty.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for completeness.
What are the 7 steps to build your brand? ›
- Research your target audience and your competitors.
- Pick your focus and personality.
- Choose your business name.
- Write your slogan.
- Choose the look of your brand (colors and font).
- Design your brand logo.
- Apply your branding across your business.
You need three key elements for your brand strategy: personality, voice, and tone. To identify your brand personality, you need to find human characteristics for your company. Your brand can be exciting, cool, sophisticated, luxurious, active, etc. Besides, personality should reflect your values, mission, and purpose.What are key brand elements? ›
You might think that since you have a logo, tagline, and business card, you've completed your branding. But, unless you've carefully considered and defined ALL five of the key brand elements—position, promise, personality traits, story, and associations—you still have work to do.What are the 6 essential elements of a brand style guide? ›
There are six essential elements to the brand guidelines you create: brand story, logo, color palette, typography, image guidelines, and tone of voice. They make up the DNA of your Brand Style Guide. You may already have some of them in place.What are steps of successful branding? ›
- Conduct effective market research. ...
- Focus on a unique value proposition. ...
- Choose a brand name that delivers your message clearly. ...
- Create an emotional connection. ...
- Deliver consistent communications.
Create a Tagline, Logo, and Other Elements. This step of the branding process involves working on the tagline, logo, fonts, typography, etc. These aspects should be enticing and eye catchy to grab the attention of your customers instantly.What are the 8 elements of branding? ›
Brand elements are the unique aspects of your brand, like name, logo, color schemes, etc, that create a cohesive, recognizable image for your business and extend into everything you create.What is a brand strategy example? ›
A great example of their branding strategies is their “Think Different” campaign. They realized that their customers wanted to be great, innovative, game changers and different. They knew that their competitors were strong and could deliver good quality products, so how can they convince their customers to choose them?What is brand strategy summary? ›
A brand strategy is the holistic approach behind how a brand builds identification and favorability with customers and potential customers. A brand strategy encompasses several different brand elements like voice, storytelling, brand identity, brand values, and overall vibe.
What is a brand strategy template? ›
The Brand Strategy Template includes the essential strategic elements: Values, Mission, Promise, Identity, and Tagline. First, research each of the factors that feed into each element. After those have been determined, use them as a framework for brainstorming specific ideas.What makes up a strong brand? ›
Having a strong brand is all about consistent and recognizable company expressions; to offer not only products and services but also meaning. In many ways, a strong brand is the nucleus of a company's success and is the result of an effective brand strategy.What are the 7 elements of design define each element? ›
The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture. Graphic designers use the elements of design to create an image that can convey a certain mood, draw the eye in a certain direction, or evoke a number of feelings.What are 4 elements of branding you must know? ›
These are the four main brand components that you will need to address when developing your brand strategy. A strong brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality.Which are the 6 visual components of the principles of design *? ›
Visual Design Principles. The elements of visual design — line, shape, negative/white space, volume, value, colour and texture — describe the building blocks of a product's aesthetics.What are the 4 C's of branding? ›
The 4 C's of Marketing are Customer, Cost, Convenience, and Communication. These 4 C's determine whether a company is likely to succeed or fail in the long run.What are the main types of branding? ›
- Product branding.
- Personal branding.
- Corporate branding.
- Retail branding.
- Geographical branding.
- Service branding.
- Online branding.
- Offline branding.
The 3 Cs of Brand Development: Customer, Company, and Competitors. There is only a handful of useful texts on strategy. Any MBA student will be familiar with these: Competitive Advantage and Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter.What is the heart of successful branding? ›
“Consistency is the key to successful branding. And consistency goes beyond the product itself. The brand promise must be clear with every interaction each stakeholder experiences.Why branding is key to success? ›
Branding not only creates loyal customers, but it also creates loyal employees. A quality brand gives people something to believe in and something to stand behind. It helps employees understand the purpose of the organization they work for.
What makes a good brand? ›
All Strong Brands Have a Common Theme
Values long-term relationships over short-term sales. Develops strong branding that is consistent and visually compelling. Understands the value of meeting customers' emotional needs. Innovates to better serve their audience.
- Company Name Branding. Well-known brands leverage the popularity of their own company names to improve brand recognition. ...
- Individual Branding. ...
- Attitude Branding. ...
- Brand Extension Branding. ...
- Private-Label Branding.
The new brand strategy means developing a new product line and a brand that would be associated with it. The product line needs to be outside the scope of the current brand offering, that's why it requires a new brand.What is the main function of a brand? ›
It aims to establish a significant and differentiated position for the product in the target market that so as to attract and retain customers. Branding is the process of creating distinctive and long lasting perceptions in the minds of consumers.What are the 7 elements of logo? ›
- It's simple. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your logo needs to be complex, but the best logos are often the most simple. ...
- It's memorable. ...
- It's timeless. ...
- It's relevant. ...
- It has high-quality typography. ...
- It contains the appropriate colors. ...
- It's versatile.
We are in a 5-part blog series covering the 5 C's of creating your personal brand: clarity, content, connection, creativity, and community.Why are brand elements important? ›
Brand elements are all about creating brand recognition for your brand. Your logo can't stand alone with a full brand style to back it up. Most of the time when you are showcasing work, creating marketing graphics, or designing an email, you will use your brand elements more than just the logo itself.What is brand in simple words? ›
A brand is a product, service or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed. Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name, its qualities and personality.What does a good brand strategy look like? ›
A brand strategy is the holistic approach behind how a brand builds identification and favorability with customers and potential customers. A brand strategy encompasses several different brand elements like voice, storytelling, brand identity, brand values, and overall vibe.What is the commonly used brand strategy? ›
This is one of the most popular branding types. Product branding focuses on making a single product distinct and recognizable. Symbols or designs are an essential part of product branding to help your customers identify your product easily.
What is brand strategy and why is it important? ›
Branding strategy is the catalyst by which customers understand, purchase, and eventually come to rely on a particular company or product. By creating a concrete identity, branding fuels the assumption that a product will reliably provide the same results time and again.What is the goal of a brand strategy? ›
The main goal of a successful branding strategy is to let the world know that your brand exists, what purpose it has, and what defines it. A branding strategy is a fluid, long-term strategy that often requires being revisited over time based on its success (or lack thereof).What makes a good brand strategist? ›
A good brand strategist will be capable of translating complex ideas and concepts into clear communication, making all of the information digestible to everyone involved in a campaign or a project, from the creatives to the client themselves.How do you analyze a brand strategy? ›
- The company's operational scope.
- Products or services the company offers.
- Internal and business-related values.
- Target market or intended audience.
- Distribution channels for the branding content.
- Any product related information such as pricing and specs.
[Our company] is targeted toward [core customers] who want [what they want]. [Our company] offers [how you propose to give the customer what they want] and makes customers [how your company makes them feel].How do you write a strategy statement example? ›
Strategy statement examples
Focus on the product or service your company sells, why customers should want your product and how employees can play a role in your company's success. Your strategy statement might include financial plans, customer service goals or details about product sales and development.
The 5 areas you need to make decisions about are: PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE. Although the 5 Ps are somewhat controllable, they are always subject to your internal and external marketing environments. Read on to find out more about each of the Ps.What are the 4 key elements of a brand? ›
A strong brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality. Implementing a successful brand strategy that develops all four of these components increases brand trust, loyalty, and awareness.What is the best branding strategy? ›
- Target audience knowledge. ...
- Strong unique value proposition. ...
- Passion is observable. ...
- Out-of-the-box thinking. ...
- Consistency. ...
- The brand's objective comes first. ...
- Exceptional brand slogans (or taglines) ...
- The brand always provides value.
The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.
What are the 3 R's of branding? ›
Hootsuite describes the three Rs of influence as: Relevance: The influencer shares content relevant to your business and industry. Reach: The number of people that can be reached through the influencer's follower base. Resonance: The level of engagement an influencer can create with an audience relevant to your brand.What are the 6 Personal branding types? ›
According to research, there are 6 main personas that best identify personal brand types - altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors & selectives. Every branding type represents a motivation through which individuals share information and establish how they're seen within their industry.What is brand strategy process? ›
A strategic brand management process comprises four main steps: Identification and establishment of brand positioning and values. Design and execution of brand marketing programmes. Measurement and evaluation of brand performance.