Sep 292016

The Importance of Placing Brand Strategy First

A successful brand strategy speaks to a brand’s unique point of difference as well as the brand’s values. It’s ownable, compelling, and consistent. If done correctly, a brand strategy acts as a blueprint for your brand, equipping you with the tools needed to develop a strategic roadmap. It can set your brand up for success by increasing traffic, awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

 

“A clear, definitive brand strategy is the foundational piece of your marketing and a fundamental aspect of your brand. The brand strategy goes beyond marketing. It’s the inspirational springboard from which all other aspects of your business are aligned: product, sales, and marketing. That’s why for us, strategy always comes first.”

-Whitney Alan, Brand Strategist, [ 2 one 5 ] Creative

 

An authentic, clear brand strategy ensures prospective and loyal customers understand what you value, represent, and offer. It is also critical that all visual touch points align with your company’s brand strategy and values. These touch points include key assets such as your brand’s logo, typography, messaging/tagline, photography look & feel, color, message-driven video and many more. Branding has the ability to inspire action on an emotional level that goes beyond the products. It’s the meaning and message behind it that puts the consumer in motion. We at [ 2 one 5 ] Creative specialize in Branded Motion™. Here are four strategic tips that utilize the Branded Motion™ philosophy to help inspire action.

 

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Ingerman – Birchwood Branding and Strategy

Define Your Brand

Branding goes far beyond what your consumers can see. Your brand is an experience that encompasses every detail and every touchpoint of the consumer purchasing cycle. In order to ignite interaction, your brand must consistently and concisely convey its core values, message, positioning, and look and feel clearly. The first step of a strategy is defining your brand. What does it stand for? What are its values? When you have a clear understanding of who you are it is much easier to find who is most likely to engage with your brand and buy your products or services. Detailed and thoughtful answers to these questions are what can lead to an exceptional start to a brand strategy.

 

Essential subsets of defining your brand include a brand voice and a visual presentation. Your brand voice is a purposeful expression through prose that conveys the personality of your brand. The personality of your brand voice should match your visual package. This includes your colors, typefaces, logo, graphics, and video content.

 

Developing a brand strategy takes focus, time, and expertise that your company may not be able to accomplish alone. That’s where we come in. At [ 2 one 5 ] Creative, we develop roadmaps. We begin with a collaborative strategy session, a guided brainstorm and conduct a SWOT analysis. It’s important for us to understand your company’s target consumer, point of difference, mission, and personality.

Identify Your Audience

The ideal audience for any brand are people that will engage with your products or services again and again. Those customers that purchase your products or services are likely going to share some or all of the same values that define your brand. Your company can find its appropriate audience by defining your target market and by identifying your customer’s demographics and psychographics. In identifying these you’re more likely to connect with them on an emotional level.

Put It Into Action

Finding who to talk to is one thing, the next step is finding where they are and how you can reach and engage with them. Social media is one clear answer, as its popularity continues to grow, and just about every demographic can be found on one platform or another. Social media is only one aspect, though. Even though digital and new media have practically taken over, print, tv, and radio still have a large reach and still may be very relevant for your brand given your target audience. Find the right place for your brand’s outreach, then craft its message and visual language accordingly.

Use Systems, Not Goals

We all have both professional and personal goals we wish to attain, but setting lofty goals can make an otherwise successful campaign feel like a failure. Instead of setting a goal to increase sales by 15% in two months, find practices that will increase sales over time and commit to them. A goal sets a clear finish line that either leaves you feeling like a failure, or that the campaign did its job and there’s no more work to do. A system of communicating on social media with a specific audience with interests related to your brand will increase sales if done effectively. The focus should be placed on effective communications and branding, not benchmark goals. We at [ 2 one 5 ] Creative ask ourselves, “what problem are we trying to solve and how are we going to accomplish it?”

 

Before diving into your next project, let’s talk brand strategy first. Contact us today to take the first step to putting your brand in motion.
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