What is brand strategy and how to make a lasting impact?

by Ivanna Nösel on 11/12/2020

Do you want to learn what brand strategy is and how to develop it?

In the field of branding, or brand management, the aim of any company is to develop its brand to reach its target audience through a universe, in order to achieve its business objectives and to keep its market position.

Let's look at some definitions and examples to establish an effective branding strategy.

Brand strategy: definition

The notions of branding strategy and marketing go hand in hand.

It's all about defining your identity and distinguishing yourself from the competition in the minds of your prospects.

From the creation of a powerful brand, and throughout its life, the branding strategy is the preliminary stage in the definition of:

🎯 the marketing strategy :

  • the marketing mix,
  • digital marketing levers,
  • marketing tools;

🔉 the communication strategy:

  • internal and external communication,
  • the channels of digital communication,
  • visual identity (graphic charter, colours, logo), etc.

In short, the branding strategy is the creation of the brand's universe and then its promotion to the public.

Why develop a brand strategy?

To answer this major question which will determine the implementation of all your communication and commercial actions:

  • What added value and brand equity does your brand bring to customers compared to your competitors?
  • What are its key values, its personality?

Indeed, your brand identity can have a decisive impact on:

  • your sales,
  • your notoriety,
  • your reputation,
  • the development of your customer portfolio,
  • the loyalty of your customers.

Such challenges require a minimum of thought and therefore a comprehensive brand strategy and a business strategy, in order to:

  • position your brand on the market,
  • offer your customers an experience consistent with your identity and products,
  • create a lasting bond with your customers.

How to develop a successful brand strategy?

Whether you have a brand manager or have the resources in-house in your marketing teams, here is a brand strategy methodology:

Step 1: Market research and diagnosis

  • What is the competition's brand positioning?
  • What are your values (ethics, quality, expertise), your identity?
  • What is the history of your brand and its evolution, if any?
  • What short term and long term goals does it serve?
  • What do you want to communicate to your audience?

SWOT

© Visual Paradigm

Step 2: Identification of your buyer persona

This is the stage of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. What is your typical customer profile, your target audience?

This stage is essential to know on whom to focus your communication and marketing efforts, and with what differentiating arguments.

Step 3: Defining the brand platform

Summarised in a document, the brand platform lays the foundations of your brand strategy and consists of all the key elements previously identified as your:

  • vision,
  • mission,
  • promise,
  • history,
  • values,
  • positioning,
  • visual elements,
  • style and tone of communication,
  • brand signature.

A good example of a strong brand strategy is Elon Musk’s Tesla. The company is well-known for its outstanding customer service and Elon himself checks Twitter for complaints and issues and asks his team to fix them.

Step 4: Choice of communication axes and marketing levers

How to reach your audience according to your positioning (top-of-the-range, organic, etc.)?

To create a strong brand and communicate your identity, it's not just about advertising.

There is also a trend in storytelling. It's a method based on telling your story, to underline your sympathy capital and arouse emotions towards your products or services.

But there is also content marketing (writing white papers, blog articles, etc.) and the inevitable natural referencing. Your target audience must be able to find you on Google to get to know your brand!

brand-strategy

© joelspencerdesign

Step 5: Continuous improvement

Every strategy can be improved. Stay tuned to customer feedback to adapt your communications and show that you are listening. Provide great customer service.

If your brand is not well defined in the minds of consumers, you risk losing market share in the more or less long term.

What are the different branding strategies? Examples

Product branding

It represents a unique product, with its own positioning and targeting. If the company has several products or services, it covers several market segments.

The communication is personalised and therefore the investment is higher.

For example, the Activia brand only refers to one yogurt.

Product Line Extension

All the products in the same range are grouped together under a single brand name.

For example, Dove offers complementary products on the hygiene market, with the same milk care product theme: soaps, deodorants, shower gels, shampoos, etc.

Family branding

Also known as umbrella branding, its strategy is to bet on a broader positioning and to allow its different products to capitalise on the notoriety of a single brand being promoted.

Example: Samsung thus designates mobile phones, household appliances, televisions, cameras, etc.

Co-Branding

Several brands are brought together under a mother brand whose reputation is well established, such as Nestlé, for example.

This group represents around fifty brands (Guigoz infant milk, Contrex mineral water, KitKat, Herta, etc.) promoting common values: nutrition, health, and well-being.

No-Brand Branding

This type of branding appeals to a totally different segment of clients. People who are not interested in brands and brand equity. They will choose anti-brand. This strategy is also used with basic products, such as sugar, flour, etc.

Why your brand rather than another?

Because it's different, yes, but above all because you've been able to align your marketing and communication strategy so that you are known and not forgotten.

It's all about finding your key arguments but also about keeping your promises so that the client becomes an ambassador for your brand.