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Austin Creative Journal - How to Create a Brand Strategy

What is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy encompasses all of your company’s specific, long-term goals. It is applied to all business functions, with the capacity to improve consumer experience, competitive advantage, and financial performance. Brand strategies help guide your business decisions, encourage consistency among your team, and help you deliver a clear, cohesive message to your audience. Additionally, a successful brand strategy will allow you to stand out from your competitors, increasing your sales, and ultimately allow you to charge higher prices for your products or services.

A successful brand strategy is not created overnight. It is a time consuming process. However, it is a worthwhile endeavor because the return on investment is exponential. There is no “one size fits all” approach to developing a brand strategy, as each company is different. Some strategies come about organically, while others may need to be outsourced or created internally. No matter
what, your brand strategy must be aligned with your core business objectives as well as your target audience.

Brand Strategy Process

Our brand strategy process is divided into four areas of focus: Purpose, Environmental Analysis, Setting Objectives, and Creating a Strategic Plan. We recommend taking this one step at a time – no skipping ahead. Each area of focus provides vital information that supports your brand and is meant to set a solid foundation for long term success.

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What is the Purpose of Your Brand?

This question may seem simple enough, but it is surprisingly difficult to get straight answers on this one. Answering it is the first step to creating a successful brand strategy. You should begin by asking what value you want to provide to your customers. How will you help your customers solve their problems? What is it about your products that customers will love? Creating a refined purpose allows you to build a recognizable brand that stands the test of time.

Environmental Analysis - Do I really Need That?

The long and the short of it is, YES. This is the step in the process where you examine the context in which your business operates. Who are your competitors? What are they doing and how are they performing? This information is crucial in supporting your short and long term business choices. Your competitors’ performance directly impacts yours.

What Are Your Objectives?

If you have been in the business world for long enough, you have certainly heard of the SMART objectives – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. These objectives essentially provide a roadmap for your success. Your objectives should build upon the purpose outlined in the first step of this process. They ensure that the goals you set for your business are relevant across your brand and the worldwide marketplace. We recommend that your objectives speak to your daily operations, product development, reach, and brand perceptions.

Plan to Strategize

Now that you have identified your brand’s goals and objectives, you can start to formulate your strategic plan. This is where you will outline your plans to achieve the SMART goals as outlined in the previous step. Your strategic plan should support the growth of your business and also strengthen your brand identity. You can consider this the master document of your brand, and should include:

  • Your mission statement and values of your company culture
  • Brand language and voice
  • Visual guidelines
  • Processes and policies for each department that support brand values
  • Plans for future expansion

    • Moving forward, you should be prepared to regularly audit your strategy and ensure that your business stays on track. If you find that your strategy is lacking in some areas, you will want to research the reasons why and gather information in order to workshop potential solutions. This can involve the help of everyone involved in your business, from shareholders to customers. At the end of the day, having a successfully implemented brand strategy builds trust between you and your audience and is a vital part of building your band.
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