10 Reasons Why A Brand Strategy is Critical to Growing Your Business
Investing in a brand strategy will actually save you money if you are looking to grow your company to the next level.
Establishing how your company is perceived is critical but is often an afterthought as most companies focus on their product or service. Having a brand strategy is important for all companies, despite size, vertical or industry served.
The Value of a Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is used to determine the wants, needs and motivations of your target audience through research. It will change the way a company conducts its business. It is instrumental in providing a platform that brings internal cohesion to an organization, including the way it is run and how it distinguishes itself from its competitors.
We’ve seen it time and again with our clients. Developing a brand strategy is central to driving all areas of business performance as it increases revenues and overall company growth, proving to be an invaluable investment with a high rate of return.
To be clear, a brand is not a name, logo, color, tagline, product or service. A brand is defined by how people feel about your organization and what you offer that your target audience is willing to buy.
Without a brand strategy, companies lack clarity, consistency and do not have a clear plan on how to pursue their target market. This puts your company at a disadvantage, as the battle for mindshare continues, while your brand remains undifferentiated from your competitors.
Strong brands help build credibility and trust by clearly defining their target audience. A brand strategy determines how you speak to your audience and in the language that appeals to them. Strong brands do this by strategically connecting with their target audience on an emotional level, motivating them to continually buy. This creates long-term, loyal customers.
From an external standpoint, it provides the consistency and clarity required to truly resonate with your target audience at every communication touchpoint. It will also help you to outperform the competition as your target audience will see you as the only solution to their problem. Research will also reveal how to truly differentiate your organization from your competitors through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis.
Branding and the Customer Experience
Today’s brands have evolved to reflect the entire customer experience in a consistent manner. Has your brand evolved to reflect the entire customer experience?
Forbes Magazine has reported that consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23%. As Steve Forbes says, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” This is largely because consistency creates clarity, cutting through the clutter in the marketplace in the competition for mindshare.
Over time, this continued consistency develops trust with your target audience, making their decision to engage with your brand an easy one.
All parts of the organization need to reflect and support the brand starting with an organization’s most important asset – its people. All employees must be able succinctly and clearly articulate and deliver your brand experience.
Strategic Brands are Cohesive, Clear and Consistent
A strategic brand helps to align business processes, establish company goals and objectives (including integrating new lines of business) and defines the brand promise and values. Brand strategies provide the opportunity to bring cohesion to all brand touch points by clearly defining your vision, mission, goals, brand personality, characteristics, image and your core competencies.
This is encompassed through the brand positioning statement which speaks directly to and is uniquely relevant to your target market. Like your brand personality, it may not reflect where your company is currently but where it needs to be. The subsequent tagline and key messaging developed for your target audience will support all of the above and further encapsulate the entire brand experience.
Research is also used to identify the best ways to promote your brand from a both a positioning and tactical standpoint. It may require changing your logo, creating new visuals or engaging on platforms you have not previously considered.
Why A Brand Strategy is Critical to Your Growth
- Drives marketing strategy
- Uniquely distinguishes your company from your competitors
- Identifies the ‘why’ not the ‘what’ for your target audience
- Defines how you engage with your target audience by understanding their needs and wants, providing an emotional connection to motivate buyers
- Provides ongoing consistency and clarity which fosters trust/credibility and drives loyalty
- Provides internal cohesion for employees as everyone is aligned with the same goals and objectives
- Delivers a clear path to become an influencer and leader when executed properly
- Drives overall brand awareness and is key to attracting new customers and top talent
- Is used as the basis to design a distinct visual identity
- Provides return on investment
Why a Defined Brand is Important To Protect
Today’s clients and consumers have high expectations that are based on the emotional connections to their brands. Brands that don’t deliver the promised experience are doomed to fail as customers will quickly sour as a result of the disconnect.
A well known real-world example of this is Target Canada’s (subsidiary of U.S.-based Target Corporation) launch into the Canadian marketplace. The first store opened in March 2013. By January 2015 it had expanded to 133 locations. The experiment became a dismal failure aggravated by aggressive expansion plans and supply chain management problems.
Most importantly, Target did not maintain the brand experience it had built south of the border. Higher prices and a limited selection of products, compared to its U.S. counterparts, ultimately translated into huge losses as frustrated customers turned away. All stores were shut down by April 2015.
Brand strategies are worthy of investment and protection as they span the organization, create corporate culture and are integral for communications, products and services at all touch points. In turn, they drive revenue and growth and deliver ROI.
For your free consultation regarding your current brand and how to take your company to the next level, please contact [email protected]