A brand’s mission to build a favorable image and identification among existing and potential customers begins with its branding strategies encompassing several elements of brand development, including brand value and brand identity.
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to the customer’s needs, emotions, and competitor environments. Let’s take a close look at each of the elements of a brand strategy.
It is critical to understand what your business promises so you can define your brand positioning and identify what you have to offer. Your purpose can be viewed as:
- Functional: This concept focuses on success in terms of commercial benefits (businesses making money).
- Intentional: This concept focuses on success in terms of the ability to earn profits and do better for the world.
To continue operating, a business must make money, but the most successful businesses exist for a larger purpose and to achieve more than revenue.
Crayola® is an excellent example of a strong brand purpose that connects people to the business. According to the company’s website:
“The Crayola brand essence clearly defines what Crayola means to our consumers, our customers, our suppliers, and ourselves.
We believe that ‘What if?’ is the greatest question in the world, a question that makes the impossible permissible. It’s also a question that helps Crayolians think more like kids – our #1 consumer.
At Crayola, our purpose is to help parents and educators raise creatively-alive kids. We want to help kids ask those ‘what if?’ questions that keep them curious. So, our goal is to free the “What If?” questions in kids’ minds.
In short, Crayola’s brand purpose is “to unleash the originality in every child.” Think of your own brand’s purpose and what you really want to achieve with your business – your “why”.
Consistency is imperative for all aspects of your business. The key to remaining consistent is avoiding anything that isn’t relevant to your brand.
For example, business owners sometimes blur the lines between their personal social media pages and their business pages. If they share funny photos or memes or ones that communicate their personal worldview on their business pages, even if it doesn’t necessarily align with the brand’s image and personality, that contradiction can negatively impact their brand.
Rocket Launch encourages clients to maintain brand cohesion and consistency across all platforms, which contributes to brand recognition and customer loyalty.
A great example of consistency that has endured for more than a century is Coca-Cola®. Every element of the brand’s messaging works in harmony, earning it the title of one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
Whether you visit the Coca-Cola website, browse its social media pages, or see the company’s products in the store, the impression is seamless.
The best way to create consistency is to create and use a style guide that encompasses the brand’s logo variants, color scheme, and tone of voice. When you define and outline the acceptable – and unacceptable – elements for your brand, you launch a more cohesive experience.
Customers have more access to information to inform their buying decision, but they still make emotional purchasing decisions.
Take Harley-Davidson® for example. There are other high-performance, durable motorcycle brands in the marketplace, so what makes someone spring for a Harley?
It’s all about the emotional connection. Harley-Davidson leverages emotion by building an image and community around its brand. Harley owners are rebels with a love of the romance of the open road, and Harley-Davidson nurtured this image with the Harley Owners Group®.
By buying a Harley, customers become part of a larger community and build relationships with like-minded people. As humans, we have a psychological need to connect with others and receive love and affection. Like Harley-Davidson, you can build that connection for your brand by finding a way to connect with customers on an emotional level.
In a shifting market, businesses have to stay flexible to weather changes. It’s challenging to be both consistent and flexible but launching from a strong, well-thought-out foundation helps you discover the adjustments you can make.
Know the rules so you know how to break them.
Old Spice® is a great example of a brand that managed to balance consistency and flexibility. In its early days, Old Spice was reserved for dads, but it has since expanded to include men of all ages.
Source: The Drum
How? By being flexible.
When the brand realized it needed to make changes to stay relevant, it positioned itself for a new customer base with new packaging, new product names, a new website, and witty ads. In doing so, it attracted the attention of younger generations, enhancing its existing brand strength.
Style guides not only maintain consistency for your external audiences but for your internal audiences as well, particularly with customer interactions with employees. They help your employees learn the style of communication that’s expected from them when they are representing the brand.
For example, a brand that’s edgy and humorous won’t come across well if an employee is overly professional and stoic in dealing with a customer. Employees need to align with the brand as well, on all platforms and in both written and verbal communication.
Black Milk Clothing®, an Australian clothing brand, has this consistency on point. All the employee interactions on social media are aligned with the brand’s copy on the website and in ads, creating a cohesive experience.
Source: BlackMilk Clothing
Gaining loyalty from customers doesn’t stop once you have it. Brands must maintain and reward customer loyalty to keep them coming back and spreading the word.
Cultivating loyalty from customers early on will yield more repeat customers, and by extension, more profits. A “thank you” may be all that’s needed for most customers, but for those who go above and beyond, special discounts, personalized notes, or special swag can propel that relationship into the next stratosphere.
Then, you can highlight this relationship with your existing customers to show potential customers what they can expect from your brand.
Competition in the marketplace challenges you to continuously improve and create better value for your brand.
While you should never copy another brand, you can study them and learn from what they do well and not so well. Consider which of their efforts succeed and fail, then tailor your brand positioning to provide a better experience that fills the gaps.
Of course, another brand shouldn’t dictate the moves you make. Use it as a guide but stay focused on what makes you unique and how you can keep improving.
Ready to Launch Your Brand Strategy?
At Rocket Launch, we can help you orchestrate all the moving parts of your brand into one cohesive plan, ensuring that the sum is greater than the parts and all the parts have been thoroughly considered. Contact us today to ignite your brand strategy and launch your brand to the next level!