Brand Strategy: How to Tell Customers Who You Are and What You Offer

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In a world where consumers have nearly infinite choices, branding is more important than ever. In a Harvard Business Review study, evidence showed that new customers cost from five to 25 times the cost of selling to an existing customer, and that strong branding helps with retention. A strong brand will set you apart from competitors, build customer loyalty, and drive business growth. But how do you create a unique brand that resonates with your target audience?

Articulate Your Purpose

Before you can really develop your brand strategy, you need to be able to articulate your “why”, the purpose that drives the brand.

By developing a brand purpose statement, you express the purpose of the brand’s existence beyond solely generating profits. This statement embodies the fundamental passion driving the brand’s actions and underscores its significance to your customer base. A well-defined brand purpose can wield a substantial influence on a company’s emotional engagement with customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Let’s use Southwest Airlines as an example. Their brand purpose is to “Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.” Their focus on purpose informs every aspect of their business, from customer service and experience to employee engagement to operational priorities. Your brand purpose statement can do the same, aligning brand, business and behaviour strategies, ensuring that all elements are directed towards common objectives.

Define Your Values

Brand values are the guiding principles that define your business. They reflect your company’s culture, ethics, and beliefs. Identifying and articulating your values is the first step in creating a strong brand strategy because it is the foundation of your company.

Think about what sets your business apart and what you stand for. Ask yourself: What is important to us as a brand? What do we want to achieve? What do we believe in? For example, Disney’s brand values are optimism, innovation, decency, quality, community, and storytelling. These values underpin how the business functions and spell out what customers can expect when they engage in a Disney experience.

Your values should be authentic, relevant, and meaningful to your target audience and your staff. Brand values are not just a picture you paint for customers; they are also the way you and your employees engage and function in your daily roles. Customers will only believe them if they experience them.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is vital to building a brand that resonates with them. You need to understand who your customers are, what they want, and what motivates them so that you can appeal to them in a way that makes sense.

Conducting market research and collecting demographics on your target audience will help you gather helpful insights into their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Use this information to create a brand persona that represents your ideal customer. This persona can help guide your brand messaging, visual identity, and tone of voice to best appeal to the people most likely to engage with your offers.

Determine Your Unique Value Proposition

Your unique value proposition (UVP) is a promise you make to your customers by defining the value you offer to them. When building your value proposition, try to answer the question: why should a customer choose you over your competitors? Focus on your key differentiators, the things that make your company unique and provide value to your customers.

Try to keep your value proposition short and easy to understand. It’s easy to get too detailed or too specific, but a good UVP is typically very simple. For example, the UVP for Disney is “always deliver the most exceptional entertainment experiences for people of all ages”. This is a simple but very powerful statement of what you can expect as a customer.

Create a Consistent Visual Identity

A company’s visual identity is simply the visual representation of its brand – its brand identity. It includes the logo, colours, typography, and other visual elements such as style of imagery. It should be consistent across all customer touchpoints, such as your website, packaging, advertising, and social media.

A consistent brand identity is essential to building a solid brand because it helps customers recognize you more quickly.  By being consistent in your visual branding, you build trust and familiarity with customers as they link it to their experiences with your brand.

Develop a Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is essentially the personality of your brand. It’s how you communicate with your customer base and the tone you use in your messaging.  It is a key element in conveying emotion within your brand messaging – and this is crucial, as customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value to the businesses they are loyal to.

Your tone of voice should be consistent with your brand values and resonate with your target audience. Remember to think about the language you use, the emotions you want to evoke, and the primary personality traits you want to convey. Once again, let’s consider Disney – their tone is playful and happy, supporting their message of “where dreams come true” and strongly supporting their value proposition of delivering exceptional entertainment experiences to people of all ages.

Monitor and Adapt

Branding is an ongoing process. It’s essential to monitor your brand performance and adapt your branding strategy as needed. Take advantage of analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your branding efforts and gather feedback from customers. Use this information to refine your technique and improve your brand strategy. But remember that consistency is important to retain customer trust and loyalty, so don’t change too much all at once – consistent branding has been shown in a study by Lucidpress and Demand Metric to increase revenue by up to 33%.

Defining your brand strategy is crucial to ensuring customers know what to expect from you – both the tangible, like your products or services, and the intangible, how you make them feel.  Following the seven steps above will help you ensure that your brand is truly saying what you want it to say.

However, many companies lack the time and internal resources to handle the process effectively. If this is you, Bradbury Brand + Design Experts can help. With over 30 years of experience in brand strategy and award-winning brand design, we can guide you through the process to ensure the creation of a unique and authentic brand that sets you apart from competitors and drives business growth. Contact us to book a free review of your brand strategy today!