A brand is much more than a clever name or well designed image. Your brand is everything about your business that makes it unique. Your brand is the heart and soul of your endeavour. It is the work you’ve put in and what others feel when they see, think about, or talk about your business. Your brand is the lifeblood. Ok, now that we’ve gotten way too serious about branding, lets talk about how to make it great.
As you develop what people think of when it comes to your business you may want a brand strategy template. Brand strategies are complex and a checklist just won’t give you all the tools you need to accomplish building your own strategy. What we can offer are some thoughts on what a brand strategy should take into consideration and some brand strategy examples.
A condensed brand strategy template might look something like this:
- Define your business
- Know your audience
- Build an experience that your audience can relate to
- Get everyone who works with you on board
- Know when it’s time to make a change
- But make sure you’re changing in a positive direction
- continue to learn
What defines your business?
This is a large part of your brand strategy. Who are you and what do you do? Why do you do it better than others and why should anyone use your services? You don’t have to be good at everything. But you do need to be great at whatever it is you do. Maybe that’s being cheaper, faster, or better quality than the competition. Find what you’re good at and run with it. One of the good brand strategy examples that has become an icon is Amazon. Amazon has built its brand on being the most customer centric company in the world, and they have been changing what this means for themselves and other retail giants as well.
Know your target audience
Who are you selling to. Develop this persona and focus on building your brand toward that customer. Don’t worry if not everyone needs your business, just focus on those who do. If you were in their place, what would convince you to go for whatever it is you’re selling.
Build the experience
You can say whatever you want but if you don’t back it up then people will quickly notice. It is easy to say things like guaranteed or best in town but if you don’t have the follow through then word will get out. On the other hand, if you build a great customer experience then that word will get out too. Whatever your niche is, building a great customer experience will go a long way toward getting some good publicity. Focus on what you do well and go from there. Get everyone who works with you on the same page. If you’re trying to build the business with the best customer service and an employee doesn’t exemplify this quality then it may be time to speak with them.
Sticking to your principles doesn’t mean that your company must stagnate. Amazon has progressed from being a company that sold books online and shipped them within a few days to your A-Z resource for whatever you want with some products available within the hour at certain locations. Ordering has gone from the click of a button to the sound of your voice.
Learn from mistakes
Admit when things are going wrong and make changes. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s not ok to refuse to admit them. There have been a lot of big icons in different industries that fell from prominence. One of the brand strategy examples that went from good to bad is Blockbuster which had the opportunity to purchase Netflix (the current media giant) in 2000 but decided against it. Learn what you can from other’s mistakes. Blockbuster was a well known brand that could have made the move to digital media a lot earlier, but not this icon of American media is all but extinct. There are a lot companies might have been saved had they not realized their mistakes too late.
Continue to grow your brand
Don’t try to make your brand something that it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change as you learn. If you’re reading this then you’re probably concerned about your brand and further more your brand identity. You want to be all of the good things clients are looking for. Be everything you can be but don’t try to be anything you are not. It won’t be sustainable and clients will notice. Consistency is important and this will be much easier to maintain if you’re true to yourself and give the best you can in your chosen niche.
Brand strategies are complex and only you, the business owner, knows what you want your business to be. You are the visionary. You’re the one driving your business toward the goals and ideals that it will accomplish and represent. We hope you find this rough brand strategy template useful, but it is going to be a journey to build the brand you see in your mind.
Let us know what you think and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. We all get by with a little help from our friends.