The Secret Sauce Behind Building A Comprehensive Brand Strategy

by on January 20, 2016 9:00 pm
Do you consistently have a hard time building a framework for your customer’s brand strategy? A brand strategy can take many forms depending on the stage of the company and its challenges. For example, a brand strategy for a startup may include information about the brand identity and go-to-market strategy. Whereas, a mature company’s strategy may be a bit more straight forward with a deeper dive into differentiation and brand positioning. Whether you’re a mature company looking to hone in on your brand or a startup looking to identify who they are for the first time, there should be some common goals, objectives, and themes to any brand strategy you produce.

What You Should Accomplish

Develop a powerful brand that wins the hearts and minds of its most coveted users and stimulates irrational loyalty
  • Define Client’s core brand DNA
  • Who Client is FOR? And what does it say about them that they are irrationally loyal to Client?
  • What benefits does Client provide to its users?
  • How does Client make itself indispensable to its users?
  • What is Client’s unique role and relevance in the marketplace, and how do we make that sustainable?
  • How does Client build emotional bonds with audiences?
  • What societal, cultural and personal values does Client address for audiences?
  • What kind of “ah-hah’s” can we find that will create differentiated and sustainable presence for Client as it launches

Why do I even need a brand strategy?

To put it bluntly – People don’t buy products they buy brands. Thus, it only makes sense that you put as much effort into building your brand and understanding every facet of what differentiates your company then you do your product or service. More importantly, you will have a unifying document or series of documents that can be used across teams to ensure everyone on your team is executing on the same brand vision.

Brand Blueprint

The brand blueprint provides a strategic analysis of your brand and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Brand vision The long-term strategic position that the brand will take in the market as well as in the consumer mind-space. Brand vision offers a strategic intent which will act as a long-term goal for the brand.
Frame of reference The role you play in the customer’s mind – what you are to them.
Brand position Statement that articulates your product or service’s unique value to your customers in relation to your chief competition.
Value proposition The functional and emotional benefits your brand provides to your most important customers. What you enable them to do or feel that they couldn’t otherwise do or feel without you.
Audience definition Demographic, psychographic description of your target audience. Often in the form of personas.
Brand promise The primary, valued promise made by the larger institution.
Brand personality Human attributes associated with the brand essence.
Brand experience What it feels like to interact with the brand at any level.
Core values A principle that guides and organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world.

Messaging Architecture

The messaging architecture is meant to illuminate the work done in the brand blueprint by breaking down the insights derived from your research into usable messages for marketing and brand positioning.
Positioning Statement Positioning is the conceptual “space” an organization occupies in the mind of the customer. It is rooted in competitive advantage and how that advantage is expressed to the customer. Positions must resonate with broad audiences, yet motivate and influence individuals on their own terms.
Key Messages Key messages are the concise expression and articulation of an organization’s desired and/or real positioning to a target audience. Typically limited to three or four, key messages should express leadership and points of differentiation.
Value Proposition Derived from the concept represented by the positioning, the value proposition specifically defines the ultimate benefit “promised” to the customer. As a promise, value propositions are based on both rational and emotional variables.
Proof Points Proof points represent the important and essential elements that reinforce and validate a company’s messages and position. Proof points are tangible examples of how a company has, or will establish its position.
Sound Bites/Copy Points Sound bites illustrate how key audiences might “play back” a company’s position and key messages. These are creative expressions of the brand messages and can be used to inform in-market tactics.

Example Deliverables

duxter-strategy duxter-strategy-2

Summing it All Up

The topics outlined here should be the core building blocks to any brand strategy. Excluding any element will be doing your customers a disservice. Do you have a process that you use to build a comprehensive brand strategy?