What is Brand Strategy?
Whether you’re a brand new company or an existing brand with well-established customer loyalty, having a winning brand strategy is integral to sustainable business success.
Whether it’s to grow, own the category, or disrupt the market, a strategy to do this will help you to reach those business goals, and keep you on the right path.
But before we outline how you create a strategy and the benefits that come with it, let’s discuss exactly what brand strategy is.
Why is Brand Strategy Important?
Strategy has one particular purpose: ensuring you don’t lose. In that sense, strategy can be seen as a form of art – and when thinking about brand strategy as part of modern-day business, the same principles apply. Having a brand strategy will prevent you from losing customers to competitors.
Your strategy will help you to play to win, and it will guide what you do. But importantly, it will also guide what you decide not to do as you follow your north star.
Of course, business isn’t always plain sailing, but a well-researched strategy can help to mitigate the risks. So, if and when your business is affected, you will know how to react and you can adjust and adapt as needed to keep moving forward.
Position Your Brand
At the heart of brand strategy is a brand’s positioning. How your brand is positioned in the market ultimately determines how consumers view you and your ability to meet their needs.
It determines whom you compete with in your category, and if positioned right, it determines how much people or businesses will pay for your products or services. All of the above information is a brand’s strategy.
You need to ask yourself:
Who – you are targeting
What – is the need you are serving
Why – your audience should believe you
How Long Should My Brand Strategy Last?
It’s entirely dependent on what you want to achieve from your brand strategy. There is no single, correct approach, and in fact, as you check in with your goals to judge your process it may be that you have to adjust and shift your strategy to reflect changing conditions in the market or your organization.
Typically, branding strategies should last for 12 months as a minimum (short term). That way you can set your goals, implement your strategy to reach these goals, and then review your success towards the end of that 12 months.
It’s important with your strategy that you’re working towards something, and that may take longer than 12 months. A long-term brand strategy might be in place for 3 years (reviewing every 12 months).
You need to be able to measure the success of your strategy through goals and objectives because that way you can see if you’re moving the needle as intended. Just like a rudder of a ship, shifting your strategy will take time, it shouldn’t be governed by the latest trend or news story, but instead your research-led targeting and positioning.
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."