Brand strategy is such an understated word. As marketers, we sometimes truly do not understand the full extent of the word and often abuse it. Strategy is the overall game plan to reach a long-term goal. For brands, these goals could be anything from increasing brand awareness to expanding market share. A strategy would be the outline of the plan on how to reach these goals. All other decisions taken by your marketing department or company are sub-plans of this grand plan. The brands you love and admire the most have a clear-cut strategy on how to make you, their loyal customers, engage with them on a constant basis.
Strategy is often viewed suspiciously by key decision makers. Often marketing managers state the word strategy is used by agencies to offer unnecessary additional ( and billable) service. A brand strategy is not something to be ignored or taken lightly. In fact, here are four most important reasons why every company should have a well-defined strategy:
Your strategy is the master plan and the bedrock on which all decisions pertaining to your brand is based on. Strategy builds on your company’s vision, mission and values and makes sure these are incorporated in every decision made by the company. Strategy makes you look at your brand’s origins and compels you to question why your brand started out in the first place.
If your long- term goal was a destination, then your strategy is the route to get to that final destination. Your brand strategy will tell you how to reach those goals related to your brand. A thorough strategy will guide your employees in every brand-related task they carry out – from the layout of your website to how you answer calls from customers. This means employees do not diverge from your overall plans and goals when making decisions. Also, your company does not lose effort in bringing unfocused employee activities back to the original plan.
Once a strategy is formulated, you and your employees know what to achieve and how to achieve it. I t is now clearer and easier to create smaller goals and tasks, in line with your strategy, to reach your final goal. Your employees will now be more focused, and this enables everyone in the department (and even in the organisation) to work towards the same objectives. As a result, all customer touchpoints provide a consistent message about your brand. This consistency ensures that customers know what to expect when they interact with your brands – this puts customers at ease and increases brand awareness and loyalty.
Just like how your brand is something more than the logo and the colours, a strategy is more than choosing this logo and colour palette. A brand strategy is the plan to make sure your customers (both existing and potential) view your brand in the way you desire.
Simply having a strategy does not guarantee your goals will be met. Apart from being goal-centric, your strategy must be customer-oriented. In the end, your brand is how your customers experience it.Additionally, all decisions derived from the strategy should also be goal and customer focused. A strategy is something you should be spending a substantial amount of time on. And remember, always stay true to your company values and mission to develop an authentic strategy.