8 brand strategy steps that aren’t about creating a logo, values or purpose
A guide for how you can create an effective brand strategy to better connect with your consumers.
If you’ve followed me for a little bit now you’ll know I’ve had a gripe with this phrase ‘brand strategy’. A total farking buzzword in any branding person’s vocabulary and I dare not speak its name when I rattle off my services with clients. Why? Because I’m not a brand strategist, I develop brand identities.
Here’s the difference:
A brand strategy is about what you’re going to be doing in 2022 (and beyond) to connect with a specific group of people to buy into what you have to offer. It’s the game plan behind passing the basketball (your offering) from your end of the court, into Michael Jordan’s hands (customer wants/needs) and giving him the space (positioning) to let him get the ball in the bucket (your customer) so your team scores (sales) time and time again to win the game (profit) and be known for it.
A brand identity is just that, an identity. It does have strategic components baked into the process of developing a brand identity that is going to connect with your consumer. But it is the identity that represents you, your team and what you have to offer so that it’s just the one identity a specific group(s) of people need to connect with. It’s the team philosophy, the logo emblazoned on the stand out red shirts and shorts, the team music played while on offence and the home court feel and atmosphere.
Basketball analogies aside, here’s a handful of hard truths I’ve come to learn:
- A brand strategy is not done with the sole purpose of developing a brand identity, if at all.
- I would not confuse developing your brand values, purpose, mission, vision, tone of voice, etc, as being your brand strategy that informs a better logo/visual identity (sometimes just referred to as the brand identity). A brand identity is indeed the values, purpose, voice, message, look, feel, sound and smell of a brand.
- The third is that a brand strategy is better to be revisited in the short term. A set and forget brand strategy does not keep your brand relevant.
- Developing/refreshing/rebranding a brand identity (also…