Brand strategy is having a clear idea of what your business stands for, what you offer your clients (not just in terms of what your services do, but what kind of emotional impact or result you can give to clients), and how you’ll uphold your brand’s values and attributes long-term.
Having a solid brand strategy in place helps you to recognise when your business starts to stray too far from your core purpose, or doesn’t sound enough like itself. It prevents you from making decisions that might damage the trust of your clients by mismanaging their expectations or breaking promises. As your business grows, it’s important to make sure your entire team is on-board with your brand strategy so they can consistently maintain the integrity of your brand.
Here are some issues that can come about from a lack of brand strategy in your business.
Your business is unremarkable
You can usually tell a big difference between a company that has spent the time and effort to develop a brand strategy involving extensive research to understand their customers and deliver something unique to the market, and a company that is just trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing.
Developing a brand strategy is a deep look into how a business operates, treats its clients, and approaches the problem its setting out to solve. By doing so, the things that make the business notable and different can be identified and then used to drive the brand’s messaging, identity design, brand promise and more.
With a lack of brand strategy, the story of what makes your business unique can be a lot more difficult to communicate. Often, as a result, you end up with messaging that is generic and vague. In other words, you end up saying the same kind of thing you could say about every other business in your same industry. Not so special and likely to be passed over by potential leads.
Your audience and clients don’t 100% trust you
Consistency is a key part of good branding. A big part of why it’s so important is that consistency allows you to manage a smooth client experience that maintains the kind of quality they come to expect from your business. By maintaining a consistent level of service by staying true to your brand personality and sticking to your values, your clients can grow a sense of trust and dependability in your business.
On the other hand, if your messaging says one thing, but your clients experience something else, things start to feel unreliable, When that happens, your clients aren’t sure what they’re going to get from your business and trust starts to break down.
Likewise, if your clients are first attracted to your business because your business appeared to highlight one type of benefit, but then six months later you’ve switched up your tactics completely and are now saying something else, your clients will probably feel duped.
You have products/services that don’t relate or align with your goals
There’s a lot of power in being known for one thing. If you have a signature offering that aligns perfectly with your brand’s purpose then you probably find it fairly simple to build messaging and marketing around that offer.
When you don’t have a clear purpose and you don’t really know what you’re setting out to help your clients achieve though… well that’s when things tend to look a bit muddier. You may be trying your hand at multiple products/services/other revenues of income that are all different with different kinds of benefits and results and even ideal clients.
This isn’t to say that one business can’t try different things, but when there’s a common purpose and common values driving them all, it will still feel related (and be easier to market). Having a brand strategy in place allows you to understand how to position various products or services around a specific vision.
I often talk about “business” and “brand” like they’re separate things, but the reality is that the two are so closely entwined that you can’t separate them at all. Every business has a brand. The brand is your business. And that’s why it only makes sense to value the way you build your brand and to strategise how you’ll develop it long-term.
No matter what stage of business you’re in, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you stand for and are setting out to achieve. It’ll keep your business moving forward and growing in the right direction.
Getting started with your brand strategy? Try my Branding Intro Workbook for a free step-by-step guide.
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- What is brand strategy and why is it necessary for your business?
- How to create a brand story that captivates your clients
- Brand personality quiz: learn what the traits of your business are
- Brand strategy questions to ask when discovering your brand direction
- The essential guide to defining your core brand values
- 5 reasons why your brand isn’t working and how to fix it