5 Awesome Tips To Develop A Great Brand Strategy

Building great brands requires great Brand Strategy. Your brand is not your logo it's what your customers think about the company that makes it a great brand.

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Is your Brand your logo?

Is your brand the product and services you provide?

Is it the messaging that you convey through a brand strategy?

What is Branding, well to tell you it’s not any of the above you might be thinking of? 

Building great brands requires a great Brand Strategy.

Your brand logo, your product & services, your mission are elements of the brand and not the brand Itself.

A brand is a result of what story you are putting out there to your audience. It is the result of what you are doing. 

These results may be different for different customers. 

Hence, you are not making one brand but you are making millions as your customers will relate to and interpret differently based on the results they are getting.

Hence it becomes a question of reputation. The brand is a result of what you are doing which ultimately is a reputation that you create throughout the process.

It is not a checklist of logos, design, mission statement, tagline, or any other ad campaign.

It is about what is going on inside the customers or people’s heads about your company.

what have you achieved, what kind of reputation have you build 

through your products or services out there, 

through your brand messaging, 

through the stories that you tell,

through the designs and creatives that you put or through the information of value that you are providing using a great brand strategy.

  1. 1 Basic Idea Before Building A Brand Strategy

    Try to connect creativity and business. 

    While designing a brand strategy for a client, always look at the creatives or designs from different points of view, from readers or user's points of view, client's point of view.

    The reason why we should keep this in mind is at any point in time these are going to gets judged in the market out there.

    Having different perspectives and correcting any mistakes beforehand or before getting judged is a  good practice to follow. 

  2. 2 How to measure your brand effectiveness

    How do you know whether your brand strategy is working or not, in other words, how do you know the effectiveness of your brand, is it really working?

    The brand ladder in the book “The Brand Flip” by Marty Neumeier explains it in 4 stages.

    A measuring scale based on how your brand is impacting customer lives.

    According to Marty Neumeier, there are 4 stages of the brand ladder with which you can measure the effectiveness of a Brand. This measurement is based on customer engagement with your brand.

    The brand ladder stage is as below.

    • Satisfaction - The bottom of the ladder
    • Delight - The Middle of the ladder
    • Engagement - The Middle of the ladder
    • Empowerment - The Top of the ladder

    Satisfaction Stage: This is where a customer feels satisfied with the product or services, there is nothing extraordinary about it, the product fulfilled its value as promised. 

    This is the first level of interaction of the brand with their customer addressing.

    “ Is the customer satisfied with the company and what they put out ?"

    Brand Strategy

    Delight Stage: This the second level of brand effectiveness measurement based on customer engagement where the customer feels delighted after being satisfied with the product.

    The customers might be surprised by your product and say “Wow, I did not know it would be this good” or “Cool, I’m gonna tell my friend about this.”

    Engagement Stage: This is where the customer here feels a sense of belongingness with the brand. 

    He or She likes the brand and its values and is willing to socially associate the brand with themselves and also advocate about it.

    He or She may say something like “I really love this company and I feel that I really belong with their brand.”

    Brand Satisfaction

    Empowerment Stage: The last stage or the Top Level stage of brand effectiveness measurement is Empowerment. 

    At this level, the customer feels transformed and felt a change after engaging with the brand.

    These could be any emotional or personal growth the customer could experience in association with the brand.

    At this stage, he/she is emotionally connected with the brand, with a belief, they could not have such kind of transformation without the brand.

    This is  where customers say,

    “I would not know what to do without the help of this product- this company.” 

    Or they might say things like “Without their products, I would not make as much money, or I would not be as happy.” 

    “My life would not be as good if you would take that brand away from me.”

    One of the best examples to explain this concept of the brand ladder to measure the effectiveness of  a brand is the community Internet Lifestyle Hub 

    Anyone who is a part of this community feels transformed or energized in some way or the other.

    Members here have experienced a change in themselves in terms of mindset, financial growth, and personal growth.

    Brand Effectiveness

    The community is formed on strong core values and principles with a vision to collectively empower every human on earth to live a lifestyle of freedom.

    People in this community are not just delighted with the products or courses they enroll in but also engage themselves in different activities and challenges in the form of a Hackathon.

    Members go through different coursed to gain clarity in terms of their own vision, strategy, and marketing goals.

    Members learn new kinds of stuff and are equipped with handy tools to implement and teach the learning to the world.

    The Internet Lifestyle Hub believes in the strong code of contributing to society by donating regularly to different causes across the globe.

    The founder of this community has made sure we are not just satisfied with the courses offered but we are equally delighted with the value of the content and bonuses offered.

    Members have seen tremendous growth in terms of results once they are empowered with the skills and knowledge provided through this brand.

    I believe in the values and core values of the community and i strongly feel 

    The 4 stages of the brand ladder effectiveness based on customer engagement are truly met and adhered to in the Internet Lifestyle Hub community.

  3. 3 SImple Brand Strategy Framework

    A Brand Strategy Framework can be simplified in 2 steps and areas below

    Defining The Unique Positioning and Messaging Of the Brand

    • What is the deeper value or problem the brand is going to solve for its customers
    • What is the message the brand is trying to convey to its customers?
    • Defining The Unique Positioning and Messaging Of the Brand
    • What is the deeper value or problem the brand is going to solve for its customers
    • What is the message the brand is trying to convey to its customers?

    Designing an Identity

    • Identity should acknowledge the message defined in the first step
    • All  Identity artifacts should be cohesive in their brand messaging, presentation, and marketing.
  4. 4 How To Develop A Brand Strategy

    In a nutshell, there are 2 major things you need to develop a great brand strategy.

    • Clarify Your Brand Messaging and Positioning
    • Designing The Brand Identity

    The number one step is to Clarify the objectives of the brand

    What is the product or service all about for their customer? 

    what is their unique positioning in the market? 

    What could the unique selling proposition of the brand if there are multiple other brands out there with the same niche? 

    How does it differentiate the brand from the rest of the businesses out there in the marketplace? 

     As said earlier, the brand is a perception from your customers. 

    As a brand strategist, it is your duty to build trust in the market, make sure the brand builds a unique positioning and the brand has a clear-cut differentiation in the market.

    You should have clarity in the below question,

    Is there a clear message the brand is portraying out there?

    What is the perception of the customers towards the brand?

    Are the products and service messaging designed in unison with respect to the position of the brand?

    Only once you have a clear picture of the above questions in your head, you go through the second step which is Designing brand identity.

  5. 5 Designing An Identity For Your Brand

    The next step is Designing an identity for your brand. 

    Once the brand messaging and positioning are cracked out clearly in the brand strategy process then we look forward to designing an identity for the brand.

    The Brand identity in a nutshell can be described as 

    • The Logo 
    • The Typography 
    • The Color 
    • The Imagery 
    • The Iconography 
    • Illustrations 
    • Web Design 
    • Product Design and Packaging 
    • Shapes and sizes.

    All the above can be a separate topic altogether which we will discuss in a further post.

    The Logo Itself can be of different types such as :

    Monogram Logos like in MRF for Madras Rubber Factory

    Wordmark Logos like in Nestle

    Pictorial Mark Logos in the Future Group logos. 

    A picture or an image of a bird or lion in the logo can be used separately to represent the whole brand. 

    For Example, the Puma logo where Puma is used extensively outside 

    Mascot Logos for Amul Brand, used mostly for the food and beverages industry.

    Emblem Logos for Teams and Govt. Organization.

    Abstract Logos as in Kotak Group Logos. These marks have a deep meaning behind them and most difficult to understand when you see it for the first time.

    Any of the logotypes can be used based on the application of the logo for the specific brand.

    For Example, MRF is a monogram logo and used based on its application to racing cars and tyres. We won’t expect a nestle logo on the tyres

    It is very important to simplify every logo to an extent it cannot be further done before finalizing the logo.

    The logos can be of different shapes, it is important to choose which shape to be used during the brand strategy process itself. 

    Remember every shape be it a circle, triangle or rectangular shape will add a different meaning altogether to the final design.

    A squarish-shaped logo like the Aditya Birla Group logo shows foundation, stability, and strength which represents the personality behind the company.

    Anything with sharp edges will show more solidness like the MRF or TATA group of companies.

    While a circular logo is more friendly and approachable, it can be easy on the eyes. One good example of this is the SBI - State Bank Of India Logo.

    On the other hand, The ITC logo is more triangular in shape representing Agility, more mobile, and Dynamism. 

    It takes a lot of process at the final stage of a branding strategy to come up with a conclusion for the type of logos, the typography, and the color palettes to be used. 

    But once it's done the designing and delivery phase won't take much time. 

    In the end, you don't want to deliver a pizza when you have ordered a doughnut. 

    The customer is the king and every decision has to be taken from the customer's point of view.

    customer is the king

    It should not keep you or the client in mind. The design should be such that it fulfills the objectives of the client from a customer perspective.

  6. 6 Brand Cohesiveness or Unification

    Your Brand strategy and the Brand Identity should align together.

    Unification in terms of the idea or the message going out in the market. 

    For Example

    There should be a uniformity in all the social artifacts or merchandises if any,

     If Brand A is represented by the color Yellow or Orange all across its messaging or logo 

    then make sure to add an element of the same in all the artifacts or merchandise.

    Anything other than that will differentiate the product from the brand. As if the brand color or message is being diluted and the customer may feel disconnected.

    This is what I meant by making all the elements of Brand Strategy to be cohesive. 

    The positioning of the brand, its message, and the identity design, product design all the elements should be cohesive and uniform.

    It is also necessary for the designers who are working on such brand-building projects to ensure they are sticking to the objective of the brand from the client's and customer's point of view.

    At the delivery phase, they should also make sure to set the brand guidelines thoroughly. 

    The brand guidelines are a set of rules containing the usage of the logos or design across the various channel, be it physical media like a banner or poster or social media posts across Facebook or Instagram.

    These guidelines should be sent across to the client or the brand manager of the client to ensure effective delivery.

    Conclusion :

    Lastly, I would like to conclude that every business needs a brand strategy to differentiate itself from the rest of the competitors out there. 

    Following the steps above can be very useful while building effective branding strategies during the brand-building process.

    Hope you had a great read and got some valuable ideas from this post. looking forward to contributing more content on similar topics.

    Thank You.

    To Your Awesomeness.

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