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. A strong brand is critical for building connections with customers. A successful brand strategy can help improve loyalty, drive brand awareness, build repeat business, and inspire word-of-mouth marketing and referrals. Brands without effective brand strategies can become diluted, weak, or forgettable. Without a knockout product experience (and even with one) it’s easy for customers to move on rather than commit to a repeat purchase. (Source: https://www.shopify.com/ca/blog/brand-strategy)
Here are the 5 steps to keep in mind when defining a successful brand strategy:
1. Solve real problems. First, figure out what problem you’re solving, not just the solution you’re offering. And avoid the backtrack: “The problem shouldn’t be self-serving,” says Heyward. “You don’t want to back fit it into your business because people are not sitting around waiting for your business to exist.” Instead, ask yourself: “What is the problem that exists even if my business didn’t exist? What’s the human truth that people are walking around and experiencing every day?”
2. Connect the rational with the emotional. What is your product actually doing for consumers? Heyward says rather than thinking, ‘Well, I have my emotional brand narrative and I have my product benefits, how do I balance them?’ — it’s better to ask yourself, ‘How do I connect them? How do I think about one idea that really expresses what my product actually does but brings it to a more emotionally relevant place?’ You want to weave that emotional narrative through everything you do so your customer feels that story and identifies with it.
3. Think beyond a social community. “Because of social media, there’s this feeling of pressure that you have to see your community online, like if you’re not seeing people commenting on your Instagram posts and sharing your stories that you don’t have community,” says Heyward. But social media doesn’t make sense for every brand. Think about the brands you love that you don’t necessarily follow online. “The way that we think about community is: How do you tap into people’s values and what they care about? And from that create a connection among your audience that might not be seen but it’s certainly felt,” says Heyward.
4. Focus, focus, focus. “You really do need to get comfortable leaving sets of consumers behind in order to tell a more focused and compelling story,” says Heyward. That means don’t try to be all things to all people. Find your niche and grow affinity over time, *then* you can start to look at branching out into more products and services.
5. Redefine expectations. “Once you’ve gotten past the problem that you’re solving for people, think about how am I going to surpass people’s expectations?” says Heyward. “Think about an amazing experience in a restaurant or in a hotel. It’s not even about the food. It’s those little moments like when they give you a free bag of cookies that get you wanting to come back and experience more, because it’s those moments when you’re not expecting it that someone can really surprise you.”
Successful brand strategies inspire a sense of connection through honest values, a brand voice that captures the essence of the brand, and design that reflects a business’s true personality. Strong brand connection builds relationships, which can inspire repeat business. And your biggest fans will become your biggest advocates. A great brand identity sets you up for success for the long term. (Source: https://www.shopify.com/ca/blog/brand-strategy)
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