If you read my post on brand strategy, you might now be wondering how you can start creating a brand strategy for your business. To help you out, I’ve put together this list of 7 brand strategy questions to ask yourself when you’re ready to formulate a plan. These questions should be a great starting point to help you gain clarity about your business’s values, goals and target market. If you get stuck and need something that goes a bit deeper, I’ve included links to posts that cover some of the topics in more detail.
Grab some paper and a pen and make this official!
1. What do you want to accomplish with your brand?
This is where you want to start — by defining what the goal of your brand strategy is. It might be to improve the relationships between you and your customers. Maybe you want to establish a more professional presence. Your goal might be to position your brand as the authority in your industry, or to increase your online visibility, or reach a new demographic.
You can’t have a strategy without an end game, so choose whatever goal makes sense for your business and lines up with that you want to achieve in the future.
2. What are the core values that drive your brand?
Once you have a goal in mind, the rest of your brand strategy is focused around how to make it happen, right? Now, while there are probably endless tactics that could help you achieve your goal, what you want to do is narrow them down to ideas that also line up with how you want your brand to be perceived.
Working out your core values is an important step for this, since it gives your business a kind of moral compass. Having well-defined values means that you can measure whether your tactics and strategy fit with what you believe as a business.
Related post: The essential guide to defining your core brand values
3. Who are your core customers/clients?
Gotta know who you’re branding for! I always suggest thinking about your ideal customer as a single person. This will help you stay super-focused and avoid making generic statements about who your target market is. The more targeted you can be, the easier it is to brand and market your business.
Don’t just stop at things like age and location either! Get deep into what your ideal customer wants. What would bring them into contact with your business? How could their pain points be solved? What would make them happy?
Related post: How defining your core customer will boost your business
4. How do you want your customers/clients to feel about your brand?
Following on from the previous question, think about the impression you want your brand to have on your customers. What would they say if they mentioned your brand to a friend? What is their reaction going to be after using your business?
5. Who are your competitors?
Do some research and work out who your most direct competitors are. Make notes about who they appeal to, what their branding and marketing style is, and how they differentiate themselves from one another.
6. How do you differ from the competition?
Just as your competitors find a way to differentiate themselves from one another, your business also needs some way to stand out and be unique. Or maybe your competitors don’t differentiate themselves at all, and they all look the same. That should make it easier to find a way to stand out against them!
You don’t need some completely innovative new way to do business in order to be unique. All you need is something straight-forward and true to your business that you can highlight in your branding. It could be one of your core values, or your niche, something you do better than any other business, or a promise you can make to your customers.
Related post: How to stand out with authentic branding
7. What personality traits describe your brand?
Sometimes it’s easier to think of your brand as “your business if your business was a person”. It has a voice and certain way of speaking, a certain way of building relationships with customers, and also a personality.
It makes your business relatable, you know? So pick a handful of adjectives (maybe four or five) that best describes how you want your brand to act and sound.
Take the Brand Personality Quiz.
Having a strong brand strategy in place will go a long way for helping your business build a distinct style and audience. Talking about “strategy” might sound daunting, but should really be a fairly uncomplicated process where you simply define how you want your brand to be perceived. By having clarity on that, you’ll have a framework in place to help you understand the kind of steps you can take to achieve it.
Struggling with your brand strategy? Try my PDF workbook guide to start defining the foundational components of your brand: Core Brand Pillars Workbook.
Looking for more content? Try these:
- What is brand strategy and why is it necessary?
- How to improve and strengthen your branding
- What does brand equity mean for small businesses?
- How to check that you have a consistent brand
- When it’s time to rebrand – signs your brand needs reviving
- How a strong foundation will ensure an engaging, profitable brand
- Should you hire a graphic designer for your small business?
- The value of a great logo and why logos are worth investing in