Do’s and Don’ts when Developing a Brand Strategy
Do’s and Don’ts when Developing a Brand Strategy
So you’ve started up your very own business, leased out an office space and you’ve come to the part where you need to develop your unique, one-of-a-kind brand strategy. You’ve had a look online at a few other brands and you like some of the stuff they’re doing but you’re worried you’re going to get lost in the tide of brands present in the highly competitive marketplace.
Sound familiar? This is a fear many business owners face.
A powerful brand identity? that stands out from the crowd requires a strong and effective brand strategy? to back it up. The development and management of a brand strategy requires continuous optimisation, love and care. While a brand strategy may have been highly successful in the past, the Australian market is fluid and constantly changing, so it’s very likely that your original brand strategy will not stand the test of time. This is why brands must have their finger on the pulse of their environment and constantly adapt to the changing behaviours, trends, needs and tastes in their consumers. Or else, they face being left behind. Brands also run the risk of losing their relevance over time, particularly if a business has changed their target audience or moved into a new market altogether.
In order to prevent any heartache from the possibility of your brand failing and to get you in the know about how a brand strategy works, we, the brand strategy experts at Fuse Agency have compiled a list of DO’S and DON’TS that should be adhered to when you come to developing your brand strategy. Read on for all the details…
Brand identity: The visible elements of a brand including the name, logo, colours, tone, tagline and typeface are all elements that make up your brand identity. A brand identity is created by a business to identify and distinguish it in the marketplace and reflects how it wants to be seen and perceived in the eye of their consumers.
Brand strategy: A plan for the development of a successful brand identity is called a brand strategy. It encompasses everything from an analysis of your competitors and target market, your brand’s unique selling points, your brand’s objectives and the activities you will undertake to achieve your brand’s goals.
DO align your brand strategy with your business’ strategy
What are the goals and objectives of your business and what are your strategies to achieve them? By mapping the strategies of your brand and your business together, you can create a powerful brand that is focused upon your business’ specific growth and financial goals. This also means that your brand reflects both the short-term and long-term goals of your business to ensure that they become a reality. It is also important to continuously check in on your goals, reassess how realistic they are and adapt your strategy accordingly to reflect any changes you may make to the objectives of your business.
DON’T only consider a price focused strategy
A brand strategy focused on price can be risky business. It is a known conundrum that consumers who focus solely on price alone do not evolve to be your most loyal customer. Were those consumers to find a similar product at a better price, they would not hesitate to jump ship. Competitors can also easily match your price point, thereby taking away your only competitive advantage. However, while a differentiated brand strategy can set you apart from your competitors thereby adding value to your product and brand, not everyone is able to compete on their brand’s value. Because of this, sometimes in the end it does come down to price. A price focused strategy can be effective for some businesses, not to mention some people may have no choice but to focus their brand strategy on price. Coles’ current “Down, down, prices are down” marketing campaign for instance has been extremely effective in developing the association of low prices with their brand, thereby driving their sales through the roof and helping them to expand their already large market share. It is therefore important to consider multiple strategies for your brand before you hone in on the winner!
DO research your competitors
Identifying your competitors’ product offerings, price points, marketing tactics and brand strategies is imperative to ascertain your competitive advantage and what makes your brand unique. This is also a great way to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your product or business and recognise areas for improvement.
DON’T focus too much on your competitors’ strategies
Many businesses fall into the trap of copying their competition’s popular or successful brand strategy. Although this may seem like a tempting and easy option, you can accidentally confuse the marketplace about who you are and what you stand for, consequently diluting the power of your brand. Instead, make sure that you are aware of your competitors’ brand strategies while ensuring that they do not over-influence your decisions.
DO define your target market
Who are your target consumers? Understanding who your buyers are is imperative when it comes to making strategic decisions on the sales and marketing of your product. How old are they? What do they do? What are their likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies? Who are they currently buying from? Who do they trust? You must produce detailed profiles on each of your target demographics in order to match your product offering with what they want and what they can afford.
DON’T oversimplify your customer profiles
Many businesses oversimplify or generalise their target audience by focusing on only one factor, for example age or gender, to determine who their customers are. If you were selling a women’s watch and you targeted all females Australia wide, you would require an enormous budget to reach even half of your audience. However, if you narrowed down your target audience to only include 20-40 year old females who are interested in fashion and leading an active and healthy lifestyle, you would be able to exclude those who you believe would not be interested in your product and more effectively reach your target consumers.
DO make your brand authentic
The brands that succeed are those that a consumer deems authentic. Keep your brand real by developing a strategy that is reflective of who you are, what you stand for and what is important to you. Show your brand’s personality in all of your marketing messages and make sure the messages are original, honest and come from the heart.
This all starts from outlining your brand’s values and mission statement. While some people may consider these aspects to be outdated, they really help set the direction for your business and will come in handy when developing your communication style down the track!
DON’T build a brand that is something you aren’t
Consumer’s know when a brand is not being genuine, honest or true to itself. Fake, reproduced or imitated brands do not resonate strongly with consumers in the market. Contrary to this, brands that are authentic and true to themselves make an authentic connection to consumers and have been shown to build trust, resulting in customer loyalty.
DO keep your branding consistent
You must ensure that your branding is consistently implemented across all your marketing platforms including on your website, on social media and via traditional marketing channels such as in newspapers, magazines and on the radio and TV. Brand consistency is vital to instil confidence in your consumers and ensure that your brand is easily identifiable through your imagery, communication and language. This will ensure that your customers understand what you are selling and what your brand stands for.
DON’T present different brand identities
Your brand should have one brand identity that is specific and unique. If your online presence differs from the brand identity presented in your radio advertisements, this will give off a negative impression, as well as dilute your audience. Don’t develop a brand with numerous identities as this will damage your credibility.
How can Fuse help?
An effective brand strategy is essential for developing a loyal customer base and is strongly linked to the success of your business. At Fuse Agency, we know how helpful it is to have experts on your side, who can decipher the jargon and assist with generating your brand’s identity and competitive edge. It is for this reason that we offer one-on-one strategy workshops to assist in the development of your brand.
In our workshops, you’ll get to work directly with our Agency director, designated account manager, web developer and designer and cover everything from your objectives and business targets to an analysis of your competitive environment, an in-depth coverage of your target market, your digital and social media marketing strategies and much more. You will then be provided with a marketing strategy document that outlines a powerful framework to market and guide your business’ focus and strategy and a comprehensive brand style guide that contains your brand story, vision and mission statements, brand values and core brand pillars and your brand’s language.
We know how competitive the market can be and have worked with numerous brands across various industries. If you want to find out more about how to develop an effective brand strategy or enhance your current brand identity, give the brand experts at Fuse Agency a call today on 3198 4890. We’re happy to have a chat!