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5 Easy Steps to Create a Clear Brand Strategy

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Christina Bosch
Christina Bosch
4 min read

Your company needs a brand in order to get its message out to the world. Your brand doesn’t just tell customers what you offer—it also communicates what you believe and what sets you apart from competitors.

Branding is about familiarity. It throws a spotlight on your company, allowing customers to recognize it in a marketplace and identify with its values. And when customers feel they know your company well, they feel the brand can meet their needs. 

Before you go about branding, you need a strategy. Create a clear brand strategy by following these five easy steps.

1. Research

Before you jump into creating your own brand strategy, spend some time researching your competitors. Understanding your competitors’ brand positioning and strategies requires research. Start small and examine their visual elements, personalities, and themes. Position yourself as a potential customer and ask yourself: what is this company doing right to grab my attention? What characteristics are they portraying? How are they perceived in the marketplace, and why?

Next, focus your research toward customers. Customer feedback is invaluable and can be obtained through focus groups and interviews. Use an outside expert to conduct surveys or employ an online survey tool. You’ll gain vital information about potential target audiences and buyer personas, and reveal how customers respond to branding and communication efforts, which should inform your own branding strategy.

Finally, looking to your own employees is another essential brand strategy research tactic. Your employees know your company best and can provide great insight into how your company appears to potential customers and what could be changed to improve your brand perception.

2. Identify your company core values

Customers respond well to brands that focus on values that represent what they stand for, or against. It’s up to you to determine what your company core values are. Are you standing up for a cause? For social justice? For a particular business practice? Whatever it is, ensure it is a core component of your company’s brand.

Authenticity can help determining these core values easier. By choosing values that really matter to you, you can avoid falling into the trap of sending mixed messages about your brand.

To determine these values, ask yourself:

  • Which traits and values best describe my business right now?
  • What makes my business unique?
  • What makes my product or service stand out?

Consider what values you look for when you align yourself with a business. Maybe it’s integrity, transparency, accountability, dedication to diversity and inclusion, and/or product quality.

Brands communicate with not only graphics, but also with text and spoken word. Make sure the values you choose also align with your brand personality. Consistency is key.

3. Get to know your customers and what they value

Knowing who your customers are and what they value—and how your values align—can inform a robust brand strategy. Talking to customers can help define your target audience, and narrowing down to that audience will make your strategy more effective. Consider factors such as age, gender, and occupation, and examine sources such as the target audiences of competing brands, sales and market statistics, and existing discussions and surveys.

Start by figuring out where the customers are. Look for where they congregate on social media and listen to them. There’s no better way to understand how they express themselves, how they spend their time, and what they consider important.

There are multiple online tools you can use to gather customer information. Google Trends can identify frequently used keywords, related search terms, and overall geographic interest. Buzzsumo can look for influencers to promote your content and see what competitors are currently ranking for. And socialmention allows you to search for keywords and analyze their overall frequency, sentiment, and reach.

4. Define your company's mission and turn it into a statement 

Defining your business mission and values and turning them into a mission statement is an important, yet sometimes overlooked, step to create a clear brand strategy.

You don’t have to be the world’s best writer to craft this statement. The first way to determine your company’s mission is to write a sentence that explains, in very basic terms, what your company does.

With your core values in mind, how does your company do what it does? This can be one short sentence as well.

Finally, why does your company do what it does? When a customer has a complaint or when you don’t feel appreciated, ask yourself, why are you in business? Keep this to one sentence as well.

Take all three sentences and try to condense those ideas to make your statement short yet powerful. This statement will help customers understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and it can ground you when considering your own business’s purpose, too. 

5. State how your brand sets itself apart from competitors 

For a business to stand out and increase sales and profits, it’s important to have a strong brand identity. It's especially vital to know who you are, what you offer, and who your customers are. Unique and consistent branding can make it easier for people to find you and trust that you offer something your competitors don’t.

Your branding strategy should consider why your customers think the world of you. Whether your products or services are more reliable or cost less, highlighting these factors in your branding will differentiate you from the competition. 

Finally, you need to understand your competitors. As mentioned previously, research is your friend, and researching your competitors’ branding will help you to better differentiate your own products or services. It is valuable to know their strategies when crafting a brand that truly stands out.

Next steps

Once you’ve solidified your branding strategy, it’s time to get to work and incorporate it into your marketing materials and website.

A digital platform is a vital component to help manage your small business. Don’t know where to start? GoSite can help! With features like built-in SEO, review request, and instant messaging, you can easily connect your business to the digital economy. Start a free trial today!

The easiest way to connect your business with more customers.
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