Branding is more than just a pretty logo and on-trend colour palette (notice how I said branding instead of brand strategy?)
Oh, there’s a difference?
Heck yeah there’s a difference! Essentially, brand strategy is how you want people to feel about your brand. Branding is more of an umbrella term to describe your brand as a whole: so your logos and supporting elements along with your brand’s imagery, mission, vision etc.
So, what’s in a brand strategy?
There is wisdom in the whys.
Ask yourself this: what is the driving force behind your business and why does it exist? It’s not just what you do but why you do it.
Your vision is what you want to become. It is an aspirational business mantra which states your business’ future direction. It addresses your hopes and dreams, what problem you are solving for the greater good and who/ what you are inspiring to change.
This is the guiding light for you and your team. This is your business’ core purpose and is created to help your employees understand their function and remind them of the bigger picture. It reminds you and your team of what you are here to do and how you create the future that you have envisioned for your clients.
Your values represent the promise that you make to your clients. They are composed of what matters to you and what matters to your ideal customer/ client. These are genuine shared beliefs that both you and your ideal client hold as a person, so they need to be authentic! This openness and authenticity will build a relationship of trust between you and your client and help you to set yourself apart from your competition.
Ideal Client Avatar:
The person who you will be speaking to directly across all brand touchpoints. Everything that you do in your brand you do for this specific person. This avatar consists of your ideal client’s annual income, where they live, what they do for a living, their career goals, their hobbies and interests, brands that they love, their wants, needs and fears- pretty much anything that can influence their purchasing decisions on an emotional level. It may sound scary to target a specific person like this but it actually helps to set you apart from your competitors because you specialise in serving a certain type of person. If you appeal to everyone then you will get lost in the vast sea of competitors out there.
A list of your competitors who have a similar offer to your own. Analysing your competitor’s position in the market can help you define what makes you different, helping you to find your brand’s magic. The differences can vary from the way your product is made to the intangible results that you provide.
Aka your unique selling point! This is your brand’s magic.
This is where you address the key features and benefits of your brand, product or service and how you differ from your competition. You are telling our ideal client exactly what makes you the better (and obvious) choice.
Brand Voice and Tone:
This is your tone, feel and writing style across all brand touchpoints. The number one question that I ask my branding clients is “How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand?”. By compiling a list of words and phrases that are both evocative and visual, you create a clear and concise brand voice, which is essential to crafting a meaningful and memorable brand.
Ok, cool BUT how does all of this relate to my brand’s visuals?
By using brand strategy as the guiding light to create your visual identity, all of your branding will be intentional and crafted with the very heart and soul of your brand in mind. It also helps you to get to know both yourself and your ideal customer in such a way that you are able to attract a cult following because your audience will feel like you understand them on a deeper level, without even having to tell them through words.
Good brand strategy allows your visual identity to evoke a certain emotion, mood or feeling. It affects the way your customer perceives your business upon first glance, which will influence their purchasing decisions due to the connection that they feel to you.
The end result? Branding that truly reflects your business’ values, purpose, story and mission along with:
A logo that is loaded with symbolism and soul, telling your story with no words.
Typography that suits the mood and feel of your brand.
A colour palette that is created to appeal to your ideal customer on a psychological level.
What is more, when your branding is created using strategy, you are able to:
Become instantly recognisable everywhere:
You will become instantly recognisable because your branding will be uniquely crafted with both strategy and soul. This will get you recognised in a sea of competitors, making you a memorable and unstoppable force.
Raise your prices:
You will be able to charge higher rates because you will look (and feel) legit, professional and put together. You will be recognised as a premium service and an expert in your niche. Strategy adds so much value to your brand!
Attract your dream customers:
When you invest in strategic branding, every single element is crafted to intentionally attract your ideal customer. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will disappear into the crowd.
Build trust and likability:
People love people who show up consistently and authentically. Quality branding allows you to do so because your voice, messaging and visual identity will reflect the true essence of your business.
Work smarter and not harder:
No more agonising over your content because your brand guidelines are set out and your brand voice, vision and messaging are rock-solid!
Implementing a strong and cohesive brand strategy will help you to highlight what sets you apart from your competitors and will keep you consistent in your brand’s messaging. It provides you with a solid foundation for not only your visuals, but for every aspect of your brand. This will result in being able to effectively communicate what you offer to your ideal client on a deep emotional level which means more connection, more fans and more sales.
Want to learn more about what strategic branding can do for your business?
Book a FREE 15 Minute Clarity Call with me!
Can't wait to grab a cuppa with you!