A common question we’re asked? I’m starting a business and I need a logo. Well cool, we obviously would LOVE to help but first, where are you at with your strategy? *crickets*. Your brand strategy sets the foundation on what all of your visual and verbal assets will be built upon. But, instead of us explaining it, we called up Anita Siek, founder and head strategist over at Wordfetti. And, in most cases, the other half of our Creative Team here at YO&O (more here). In other words, our partner in crime in all things verbal.
Brand strategy, eh?
Sounds like one of those weighted marketing buzzwords that means everything and nothing all at once, and gets thrown around as aimlessly as chicken salt on hot chippies.
Well, strap yourself in.
Because in this Blog, we at Wordfetti are about to clear a few things up and show you why a Brand Strategy is just as important to your business as your five-year-goals for 2020 or an office doggo.
Hang on y’all. What’s a Brand Strategy?
Great question soldier.
In short? It’s your Brand DNA. It communicates the who, what, how, and why of a brand and is something that can be given to stakeholders, staff, marketers when you bring them on board your brand, for it sets the foundations of everything that follows.
Be it your killer visuals. Your verbal. Your social media strategy. Your marketing strategy.
Because at the end of the day? Consistency is what builds trust. And humans like you and I? We buy from brands we trust.
For us at Wordfetti HQ, we believe great copy can fall flat if it doesn’t have a solid Brand Strategy. And that’s because to us, great copy isn’t just about writing copy that sounds good. There is a rubix cube that go before words become the output.
Ultimately to us? The equation goes a little like this:
Art (creativity and originality) + Science (the understanding of consumer behaviour) + articulation of a Brand’s unique DNA = Great Copy.
Alrighty. What’s inside this mighty Brand Strategy?
As your go-to brand bible, a Brand Strategy is skeleton of your brand and houses ALL of your core messages. It’ll serve as your brand’s North Star, to guide you in every way in which you communicate, connect, and interact with your audience as well as staff (and attract talent).
Each Brand Strategy (depending on the studio or agency that may put it together) can differ, however, at a minimum, it should contain:
- Your vision
- Your mission statement
- Your positioning (AKA where are you placed in the market, compared to your competitors? How your audience will perceive you as a brand, product or service.)
- Your brand values (what do you stand for?)
- Your brand’s unique message
- How you express your message (AKA your brand personality, your brand tone of voice)
- Your Target Audience Personas and buying behaviour (hint: your target audience are not “Jane who buys <insert your product.” What are their motivators and barriers to purchasing from you? And what are the different messaging you can create to connect with them?)
‘Cause trust us when we say, if you’re a PT? Communicating to a 20-year-old (motivator: confidence, feeling comfortable in their own skin) versus someone in their 60’s (maintaining independence, to move more) is different.
- The words and phrases you use, and don’t use.
This process is so critical to building a stand-out brand that we at Wordfetti do not start any copywriting or content projects until there is a solid Brand Strategy in place. Because the thing is, once you have a clear, distinctive, and unique direction? Everything else? Actually comes pretty damn seamlessly.
Why do I need it though?
Three reasons: Consistency. Has the power to help you and/or your brand stand-out. And becomes your North Star. Think about this: you don’t buy your Macbook from Apple just because they have the v2.5A of the newest graphics card. You buy from Apple because they have created a brand renowned for simplicity and ease. With products that integrate seamlessly into our lifestyle (hence you’ll find they never really focus on GB’s, RAM or the specs in their nearest products).
The thing is. Building a stand-out brand has never been about selling a service or a product. At the core of a brand that has competitive edge is… something that no robots can mirror. And that’s empathy.
Brands that stand-out know know their audience and customers inside and out. They know what excites them. But they also know what frustrates them. They know the customer journey. They know where their audience hangs out. They know where their service and/or product sits in their customer’s day-to-day. And they know exactly why what they do, and how they do it, can solve a particular “pain point” and better their audience’s life.
Because it’s only once you know who you are, what you do, and why you, for you are able to communicate to your audience in a way that will resonate, and stick.
Alright. Some tips for ya.
Now that you’ve read the what and the why, you’re probably wanting some tips on the “how”. So here are 3 sure-fire tips to help you get thinking about your Brand Strategy:
1. Love your audience
You love what you do. And you could probably talk about it for days. But in order to truly connect with your audience? You need to love them just as much if not MORE than what you do.
Cause it’s only then are you able to communicate with them on an empathetic level.
So if you are unsure of the psychographics of your audience, grab a pen. And jot down the answers to the questions below:
- What’s their name?
- What are they currently struggling with? (what’s their pain point)
- What motivates them internally (emotionally) to potentially buy from you?
- What motivates them externally (external forces like money) to potentially buy from you?
- What would be a potential barrier for them to engage you (e.g. price? They feel like it’s too difficult to swap providers?)
- What are they concerned about if they do engage you?
- Why would they gravitate towards you? (e.g. your story? The brand experience? Your <insert unique selling proposition)
- How did they find you?
If you don’t have the answers to these questions you can begin by: researching (online, competitors, etc.), gathering testimonials, organising consultations, carrying out a client survey.
Big thing here is to simply listen.
2. Understand, it’s not about sounding “cool”
Similar to visual branding when it comes to never swaying to “trends”? When it comes to developing your brand personality, this should never be developed based off “what’s cool” or what’s currently trending.
Brand personalities have the power to positively humanise a brand. However, if you go head-in developing a brand personality based on what’s trending, what’s hot, and what Auntie Patricia thinks is going to do great for your brand, this puts you at risk of putting your business in the wrong positioning limelight. (Especially if the brand personality you’re going for? Doesn’t resonate and appeal to your audience).
So tip here? Build your brand personality only once you know your audience. Under #1.
3. Consistency across all touch points
A great brand isn’t created based on just some great words and some great graphics. Great brands are born through consistent visual and verbal developments that are underpinned a Brand Strategy that’s been developed through methodological human-centered marketing decisions.
So when it comes to conveying your brand message out there be it online, offline, visual, verbal, over the phone, in person, or through print media? Ensure your touch points align to the core messagings under your Brand Strategy.
There you have it fam.
A quick-fire wisbomb on Brand Strategy for your brain. Hopefully? By the end of this blog, you’ve walked away with a clearer understanding of the importance of this document, and also some actions and thoughts for you to start thinking about in time for a freshly defined 2020.
Wordfetti is a human-centered brand strategy and copywriting studio, dedicated to helping brands stand out through brand DNA development, the understanding of consumer psychology, and words.
If you have any questions or want to know more, click here and get in touch. Or check out the services page to see what’s on offer. Alternatively, head over and follow us on Instagram and see what’s happening with us daily!