Many entrepreneurs are aware of the necessity for a brand but don’t know where to begin or what it entails. Furthermore, seasoned business owners could be aware that their brand development is lacking something but are unsure of how to fix it. We described how a brand, a brand strategy, and a brand identity differ from one another.
A “brand” is a collection of all-encompassing opinions about your products or company. It is what people are saying about your company when you aren’t in the room.
A “brand strategy” is a plan for your marketing and positioning efforts. It ensures that your target audience will connect with what you say and how you present yourself.
Your brand strategy informs the development of your “brand identity.” Many consumers mistake your entire brand for your business’s visual components (logo, typography, color scheme, photography, etc.). It is a visual depiction of your brand strategy and one pillar of your total brand.
What is a brand?
Your company’s reputation is known as your brand. Every time a customer interacts with your business, a brand experience is created (e.g., your website, your packaging, how your receptionist answers the phone, and your social media presence).
While your brand is an intangible thing that you can’t single-handedly define, these brand experiences, as guided by your brand strategy and brand identity, help shape how people perceive you.
As you prepare to develop an intentional brand strategy, there are a few questions to keep in mind:
- What feelings do I want potential clients to have when interacting with my business?
- What qualities does my target audience look for in a brand?
- Why is there a need for my brand in the marketplace?
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a plan to influence how people perceive your brand. It determines what you sell, how you sell it, who you sell it to, and why you sell it in the first place. Your brand strategy will be more effective if it is more precisely defined.
With research and critical thinking, you can determine how to position your brand to achieve your business goals. A solid brand strategy ensures that your business idea is viable and has a market, setting up your brand for immediate success.
The biggest influence on your brand strategy will be your target audience. Who can most benefit from your products or services? What do they value in the companies they buy from?
Another consideration for your brand strategy is your competition. What are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? What needs can you fulfill that your competitors may not be meeting?
Developing a brand strategy should be done in the early stages of starting a business, but it’s never too late to improve your brand marketing efforts.
When creating a brand strategy, keep in mind these questions to think about the purpose of your brand strategy:
- What is the purpose of your company?
- What is the goal of your brand?
- Who are your ideal clients?
- Who are our competitors?
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
- What message do you want your audience to receive from your brand?
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity reflects your brand strategy and is expressed creatively through colors, fonts, graphics, photos, and other imagery. This is where your logo design comes in, although it is only one component of your visual brand identity.
Once you’ve offered thoughtful responses to your brand’s fundamental questions through brand strategy, you’re ready for a brand identity. A brand designer can capture your strategy in the visual components of your brand by considering color psychology, font personalities, and more.
Every branding project at Studio Lyn starts with a strategy to make sure all of the methods you use to communicate, from words to visuals to physical interactions, are successful. Learn more about our brand strategy process here.