You are a brand and you must effectively communicate your value.
“Hello Emeka, a long time. Wetin dey happen? Have you been in this town? So what have you been doing?” Emeka replied to his friend whom he is seeing after several years, “Bros, I could not get admitted to study medicine in UNN after several attempts so I later studied microbiology in Abia state university. I am now a research assistant at the University of Ibadan.’’
How do you define Emeka’s brand? You would notice someone whose journey is determined by just fate. In as much as I believe fate plays a role in life but much of your destiny is in your hands. This is where branding comes into play. It is how you strategically align your core purpose to behaviors and activities to help you project your unique value.
We are going to take a tour of 6 steps you must take for an effective brand strategy. This will guide you towards gathering, preparing, and organizing all the components you definitely need so as to develop a brand strategy. This will be the branding strategy that will communicate your unique value proposition and position you at a competitive advantage for good returns on investment.
For a branding strategy that will give you the freedom to live your dreams, you must
- Iterate, Learn and Improve
The hard truth about brand strategy
Starting the business of your dreams gives a similar feeling to that of a pregnant woman. This feeling can be stronger and very special if you have been struggling to conceive of this baby for quite some time. Imagine the business of your dreams incubating in your head or even on paper for so long a time, but now you are sure of its launch or expected launch date. When expecting a new baby especially the first fruit of the womb, preparations remain in top gear waiting for the special arrival. You eventually announce the arrival with fanfare. The investment continues, taking a huge chunk of your resources and priority time. You keep worrying about what this child of yours will grow to be.
Unfortunately, just like a developing child, your dedication and your investments, does not guarantee the perfect product of your dreams. All the same, your first step in the right direction would be to be doing everything you can to guarantee a great outcome. Your plans started in the first month the expectation was triggered. You will gladly do any right thing to help provide the best future for your child. So it is with a brand strategy- you must continue to position for the best outcome.
According to Hubspot,
A brand strategy is a long-term plan for developing a successful brand presence in order to achieve specific goals.
I would think one of the reasons you avoided a branding strategy could be because you thought it as expenses outside your priority budget. You may have thought of a brand to be just logo design and the other design marks. No qualms. This line of thought is not different from many others including me. I discovered more about the meaning of a brand while studying for a Professional Diploma in Digital Strategy and Planning. This course with DMI exposed me to a much deeper discovery of myself as a brand and on the other hand, my ideas as a brand. This must be projected through a well thought out branding strategy in order to effectively contribute your quota to the benefit of mankind while giving you appropriate returns.In a previous article, I outlined why developing your personal brand is a strategy you can not afford to neglect. Relax while I share my researched understanding of what BRAND STRATEGY should be for you.
An effective brand strategy starts with a clarity of purpose
What is it that you look for within your person? What is your core purpose? Without your title or position, what gives you the most meaning and joy? These are a few of the many questions you must ask yourself to determine a clear sense of purpose.
In Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant says that when people find purpose in their work, it will not only improve that person’s happiness, it will boost productivity
The clarity of purpose determines your trajectory. It involves a clearly predefined purpose. It also entails in addition to understanding your clear purpose, having a (smart) mission, maintaining a consistent tone of voice, presenting in a unique style, and even focusing on a well-defined target audience or clients.
It’s a process of discovering those attributes special to you as a person and your business idea and then marrying together all those unique qualities together. It now culminates in consistently expressing the summation of these unique attributes in your thinking, actions, and creations.
What I intend to achieve through this article is to enlighten your path to the clarity of purpose so you can imagine, think, and create a unique brand through a branding strategy that gives value while rewarding you. Period. Let’s get the points, let me show you the stages of an effective branding strategy.
Take these 6 steps for an effective brand strategy
The first phase in the branding process doesn’t entail creative output. It’s about planning and brainstorming. It’s about getting everything out of your head and onto paper. This is where you’ll develop and define all the aspects and attributes of you and your brand. Everything from your brand name, tagline, and target market, to your brand personality, voice, style, and goals.
The explore phase is all about identifying inspiration to model your brand assets after. This is where you’ll source and collect resources that you can use to create your unique brand style guide, signature opt-in offer, products/services menu, website, and content.
The design phase is all about creating your brand’s visual identity. For your business, this will entail designing your brand unique style, including all of the visual assets that will make up your style guide. For your person, it will include your relationship skills, your carriage, and your attitude.
The assembling phase is all about building the infrastructure that will house your brand. This is where you’re going to build out your website with the content, style, and user experience that will attract, nurture and convert your leads to die-hard fans and loyal customers.
The launch phase is all about setting up your brand touchpoints. The areas where you meet needs and offer solutions. This is where you’re going to develop and automate the triggers, funnels, and touchpoints that will foster consistent growth in your brand’s visibility and profits, including those having to do with your email and social media efforts.
6. Iterate, Learn and Improve
This is where you look back at your strategic plan to make sure it remains true to your objective goal. Does it maintain consistency with your Why? Why do you do what you do? Why should people come to you? Why are you a brand? Why are you an Optometrist, Small Business Owner or Professional?
Wrapping it all up
An effective brand starts with knowing your ‘WHY’. This is even more important than knowing what you do and how you do it. Before you can embrace the 6 main steps for an effective brand strategy, you must discover your purpose- WHY you do what you do.
According to Simon Sinek, ‘WHY’ injects passion into your work. And it’s those who start with WHY that inspire those around them.
Watch Simon Sinek help you define your why
The most important thing is to set expectations for the experience your target consumers will have at every single point of interaction with your brand. This consumer experience should be consistent across channels ( even online ) to be instantly recognizable as yours.
A great brand must be crafted through strategic thinking to compelling design towards an excellent consumer experience. It all results in a story that creates brand fans.
A successful brand is beyond your logo, name, or visual identity. These could be starting points but they won’t make an effective brand. A brand is what users feel and experience of your real qualities.
So, what do you think? Are you pumped and ready to DO THIS? Click here to let us know of how we can help you. You can also contact us for a 15 mins free strategy session. Raising your star is our priority.