A strong brand can improve differentiation, alignment and impact across an organization—and a vague or unclear one can hold it back.
The not-so-secret to tapping your brand’s full power is having a clear and usable strategy. If you’re unsure about the basics, here are a few important things to know.
The definition of a brand strategy
A brand strategy helps an organization pinpoint what makes them unique and compelling. And creates a strong connection between them and the rest of the world—especially the audiences they care about.
It’s about looking for the core, the heart of what makes you distinct. This has many names but we call it the brand essence. The essence is something that already exists, though it’s likely hard to see.
Once the essence is pinpointed, you can build on it or extend it to define a useful set of tools. A story. Voice guidelines. Personality guidelines. Messaging. And a brand promise or belief.
Many tend to think of the visual identity—the logo, color palette and type—as the brand. But it’s actually the visual expression of the essence.
The value of a brand strategy
A brand strategy is associated with marketing but it’s really much bigger.
Beyond helping your business stand out and outperform the market, it can inform all kinds of choices in the organization. What market it enters. What lines of business it goes into. What products it develops. Or doesn’t.
It can also provide a north star to different departments. HR. Communications and marketing. Sales. And customer service.
And guide how departments talk and behave with important audiences. These can include existing and potential customers. Employees and future employees. And even media and influencers.
Ultimately, having a clear and usable brand strategy has the power to set you apart from the competition. And create a lasting, magnetic connection between you and your audiences.
Amid a growing sea of sameness, it’s the starting point to make some waves.