Branding is essential for any company or business idea to come to fruition. It’s how you build recognition, trust, and sales. It’s not a one-step process, but it requires planning for the long-term goals of your company.
Usually, people think a brand consists of colors, a logo, or your website design. While all of this is true, there is a difference when it comes to the elements of a branding strategy. This part is much deeper than what the eye can see. It’s the pieces that build the identity of your business that utilizes elements that aren’t always tangible, such as your messaging, voice, and how you articulate your mission.
What exactly consists of an effective brand strategy? Let’s take a look.
Purpose and Mission
As a business, you are making a promise to your customers. This is what your purpose and mission are. You are adding something to the lives of your customers in order to benefit them. You are providing what they are lacking and are needing.
Simon Sinek, an author and inspirational speaker, explains that too many business owners think about their how or what. In reality, every business needs to start with their why.
Your why is what your company stands for and what it stands behind. Southwest Airlines, for instance, shares its why by stating one sentence that is approachable and actionable.
“We connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly air travel.”
The key in its mission is that it focuses on adding value to the lives of its customers through its services with a statement that provokes positive feelings rather than solely focusing on the services they provide.
Brainstorm what your purpose is and how you can articulate it by creating a phrase that takes action and invokes emotion. Play around with a few ideas and test them out on a focus group that is your ideal target audience to see what resonates most with them. Because your why should always be less about your business and more about who you are serving.
With any brand strategy, you’ll want to consider how your branding will remain consistent wherever and however your company shows up in the world. This could be ensuring that the aesthetics on your social media accounts have matching colors, fonts, and tones that coincide with the branding you use on your products.
Sawyer Labs, for example, is a trusted manufacturer that creates CBD oil tinctures. They understand the importance of aligning with company goals in maintaining consistent branding throughout all of their client’s products and materials. Because of this, their company provides consistent branding throughout all of the products they offer their clients.
When we talk about consistency, it also means being consistent with your messaging and communication with your customers. What you say and how you say it adds up to customer loyalty, which ultimately leads to higher customer retention rates. So how do you go about maintaining consistency through every medium?
One thing you’ll want to do is create a style guide. This will break down every element of your brand including voice, tone, messaging, aesthetics, word lists, and many other aspects. This way, you have something to reference if you are ever in doubt or question whether there is consistency throughout your work.
It’s also helpful when working with contractors for outsourced work. You can send them the style guide to help them maintain consistency throughout the projects they are working on as well.
When someone makes a purchase, they are either making it because of an essential need or an emotion. Emotional purchases are usually less rational and are solely invoked by something they feel is missing in their lives. Companies find ways to understand their ideal audience to find out what that is and see how they can fill that need.
This could be creating some kind of community through messaging and online presence or by giving your customers a greater sense of ease through the use of your products and services.
At the end of the day, people want to feel like they are valued and a part of something bigger than themselves. Your branding strategy should involve these three main elements to invoke a sense of trust, loyalty, and community.