When a business knows why it exists, it allows consumers to feel connected to it. Purpose-driven brands are a lot more likely to be positively received than those that just focus on products. A great example is American outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, which champions environmental conservation. It is clear-eyed and determined in its mission to be “in business to save our home planet” and spotlights environmental issues it cares about. To understand your purpose and mission, start by creating a brand strategy – a blueprint that will guide all your future marketing efforts.
What is brand strategy?
A brand strategy defines the essence of a brand, its purpose, what it aims to achieve and how it can reach its target audience. With a brand guide in place – the north star that guides marketing efforts – enterprises will be able to portray a cohesive brand to the world.
In order to send out clear messaging, consistent values and personality in a single unified voice, assembling a brand strategy prior to any marketing would help you sidestep common branding pitfalls. These include a lack of purpose, inconsistent tone-of-voice or inappropriate colour palettes.
Instead, create advertising collateral that is consistent and aligns with your brand’s beliefs – raising your brand’s profile, making it a top-of-mind product choice. In the long term, a sound brand strategy ultimately serves to cultivate brand loyalty amongst your targeted consumer base.
At BDSA, Brand Strategy is performed during Stage 2 of the branding process.
Brand Vision, Mission & Values
3 components sit at the very heart of your brand:
- Vision: The purpose of your brand, the reason it exists and how you desire to see the world in the future. In what way will you enhance the lives of the people who use your product?
- Mission: Your objectives and how you intend to reach them. How will you make your vision a reality? What will your brand set out to do?
- Values: The core principles of your brand. What does your brand stand for?
Set a clear path for your brand by first listing these down. They form the foundation of your brand’s pillars, positioning, personality and goals.
Nike’s vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” and its mission is, “to do everything possible to expand human potential.”. From this, its core values of innovation, sustainability, community and diversity are derived. Each advertisement, Instagram post or CSR initiative Nike comes up with is simply an expression of its brand mission statement, what it believes in and stands for.
While a brand’s vision, mission and values exist in the innermost concentric circle of a brand strategy, a brand’s personality is an outward expression of these fundamental elements. This lets your brand come alive – a living, breathing entity people can relate to. Select from the Aaker model’s five main personality categories: sincerity, ruggedness, excitement, competence, sophistication. For example, Nike’s traits of ruggedness and excitement can be tied back to its purpose of being inspiring and innovating.
How can brand strategy help my company?
First, it provides direction within the company, rallying internal teams behind a single mission, one that’s larger than themselves and serves a higher purpose. This makes for happier workers who are more engaged.
It also aids in marketing efforts, allowing all campaigns to have a consistent tone and unified graphic elements. With a powerful brand strategy, you are on track to create messaging that is sharp, not murky, advertising copy that is inspired, not confusing, and personalities that are vivid, not bland. A strong brand identity lets you stand out from your competitors.
By consistently expressing your values and personality, you also connect with your target audience – increasing trust in your brand, and hence, brand equity and loyalty. In Patagonia’s case, advocates of the brand are proud to wear its t-shirts and jackets and identify with the brand’s environmental activism.
How does research inform my brand strategy
The creation of a sound brand strategy starts with thorough market research. At BDSA, this is performed during the Brand Discovery phase. This can be done through interviews, surveys, product testing or field studies and allows you to gain a keen understanding of your competitors. In knowing their product offerings, brand, content and pricing strategy, you know their strengths and weaknesses – and can craft your brand strategy accordingly.
Develop a robust brand strategy with BDSA
It might be out of your capacity to create a brand strategy when you’re focused on delivering a good product or service. But a strategy is integral to the delivery of a good product or service.
BDSA aids you in applying for grants like the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) offered by Enterprise Singapore to spur the development of local SMEs. With a grant like EDG, a significant portion of the cost (up to 80%) is funded, allowing you to gain access to essential branding services without needing to worry.