There are a lot of things involved in developing a successful brand strategy.
You have to first define your brand foundation, which is your purpose, vision, mission, and values.
You then need to find your target audience, complete audits of the competition, position your brand in the marketplace, design your visual identity, implement your brand across all your touchpoints, and constantly manage all your brand assets.
But on top of all this work are 3 vital functions that every brand must perform to stand out, become recognizable, and succeed in the marketplace.
The first of the vital brand functions is NAVIGATION.
Properly positioning your brand in the marketplace is critical to the success of your business and helps consumers choose from the variety of choices.
Brand navigation is how you position your brand and differentiate it from the competition by creating a distinctive offering.
Strategic brand positioning involves creating brand associations in customers’ minds so they perceive the brand in a specific way.
When implemented properly, brand positioning will influence consumer loyalty, increase their willingness to make a purchase, and generate brand equity.
Some example of questions to ask yourself when positioning your brand could include:
- Are you a luxury brand or a budget brand?
- Are your products provocative or are they conservative?
- And Are your customers Indulgent or Practical?
Answering questions like these will help define your brand, and make it easier to properly position it in the marketplace so it attracts your ideal customer.
Here are 6 reasons how positioning your brand attracts new customers, clarifies your purpose, and differentiates your brand from the competition.
Number 1: Positioning creates Positive Brand Associations.
This means customers perceive it as favorable, different, and credible. These associations are critical to achieving customer preference and customer loyalty.
Number 2: Positioning Differentiates Your Brand from the competition.
This will help to communicate value and justify pricing.
Number 3: Positioning Boosts Brand Awareness and makes your brand more memorable to customers.
When your brand is constantly in the minds of the customers, they are more likely to select it when comparing their options.
Number 4: Positioning Facilitates Purchase Decisions by building trust and takes the guesswork out of the purchasing process.
Number 5: If you properly position your brand in front of the right customers, it will Dictate Pricing Power by clearly establishing your brand’s value and making the customer more likely to pay a premium price over a less effectively positioned competitor.
Number 6: Proper brand positioning Clarifies Your Message, allowing you to craft a consistent, compelling narrative across all brand touchpoints.
The second vital Brand Function is REASSURANCE.
This is the reason ‘WHY’ someone should trust you and purchase your product or service.
You know why your company is great, but do your potential customers know what makes you better than the competition?
You need to demonstrate and communicate the value and quality of your products and services so customers are confident that they have made the right choice.
This value proposition should be convincing and explain the benefits of why your products or services are more valuable than similar offerings from the competition.
Describing these benefits quickly and in an easily understandable way will help make an immediate positive impression on your customers.
Here are 6 tips to help you define an effective value proposition.
- Be concise and easy to understand.
- Define and explain with confidence what you do .
- Make it easy for someone to find you, either online or offline.
- Explain how your product solves a problem or resolves a pain point.
- Display your value proposition prominently on your website, marketing campaigns, and all your touchpoints.
- Answer this question: “If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of any of your competitors?”
The 3rd and final vital Brand Function is ENGAGEMENT
This is how a brand uses distinctive imagery, language, and messaging to identify the brand to the customer.
This is how you engage and communicate with your target audience, and is also considered your Brand Strategy.
A properly developed brand strategy defines the how, what, where, when and to whom the brand plans to communicate.
Your brand strategy should be segmented into six distinct parts:
- Your Purpose, which is the core of your brand.
- Your Audience, or who your ideal customers are.
- Your Competition, who also does what you do.
- Your Messaging, this is how you speak to your customers.
- Your Visual Identity, which is how your brand is expressed visually.
- Your Touchpoints, which are the places where you engage with your audience.
As I mentioned earlier, there are several things that go into developing a proper brand strategy.
Successful brands have spent years designing, auditing, refining, and managing their brand strategies to remain relevant in the ever changing marketplace.
But the brands who consistently dedicate the time and energy to develop their brand strategy, are the ones who are able to create a loyal following and thrive for decades.
As you begin developing your own brand strategy, always remember that the 3 primary functions and responsibilities of a brand are Navigation, Reassurance, and Engagement.