Before stepping into how to create a branding strategy, and why having one is important, it is important to know what elements go into creating your brand universe.
Key Elements of Branding
Creative Elements –
- Marketing Strategy
- Paid Advertisements
- Public Relations & Media Outreach
- Product Line / Service Descriptions
- Value Propositions & Differentiations
Creating a Good Branding Strategy
As a rule of thumb, creating a good branding strategy requires CONSISTENCY. If your approach is consistent over different elements of branding, it is likely to create more of an impact.
Some guidelines for settling on an approach are listed below –
Be human – Tap into the emotional side of things. Businesses rarely succeed with mechanical messaging. In times of information overload, personalized messaging is likely to grab the attention of the people you are reaching since there is a torrent of sales-oriented messaging out there.
Your motif should be customer-centric – Focus on what you are providing the customer – present that loud and clear. Talk about how your product/service is going to solve issues they may have instead of what you think they need.
Make brand personality traits a reality – Like any human rep., your brand needs a personality by itself. This personality is going to be an amalgamation of traits that you and the human resources of the company, believe in, and embody. Hence why these traits should be carefully chosen, and consistently applied. Start with understanding the existing identity of your brand or defining what it should be.
Focus on brand architecture and differentiators – Having a well-designed brand architecture can ensure a unified brand experience for prospects. A brand architecture calls for the foundations of your business to be well-defined. Ideology, Mindset, and Approach – What you stand for, what personality you adopt, and what customer relations your promise are also an important part of your brand architecture.
Competitor Research – Knowing how your competitors are behaving, what their approach is, and what the impact of their practices is can help direct your strategy. You can adopt what seems appropriate, adapt other practices to suit you, and scrap what seems redundant.
Targeted, Customized Messaging – In line with your corporate communication strategy, you need to ensure your messaging reflects your beliefs. Creating a collection of re-usable messaging templates, segregated based on the target segment that is meant to explain your brand and your core ideas and messaging to your audiences, irrespective of how they may come across your brand can be a helpful way to ensure consistency. These templates can include –
- Elevator Pitch
- Keywords that represent your brand
- Paragraphs that you can insert where required
- E-mails and Social Media responses
Creating a Style Guide to Ensure Consistency
As an organization expands, the responsibility of maintaining and developing branding elements becomes decentralized. With the addition of new members to your team, each of them becomes partially responsible for how your customers experience your brand.
Newer members of the team, as well as distribution partners, will need a guide on the usage of branding elements. In order to streamline handoffs, creating a written guide on the usage policies for these elements is a good route to take. The creation of such a document ensures 3 things –
- Anyone, new or old, in your organization understands exactly how to use these elements
- No misuse of your branding elements can take place
- In case of any misuse occurring, your brand is insured against malpractices.
The Importance of Having a Branding Strategy in Place
Most importantly, charting out a strategy helps you audit your progress. Other than that, some other advantages are –
- A strategy will help you remain organized through all the phases of your branding activities.
- It will help you draw a comparison between your brand and your competitors.
- It will allow you to realign your vision, purpose, and mission with the passage of time.
- It will allow your support team to have a clear direction.
To learn more about different aspects of branding transformation, explore this branding transformation digest.