Brand strategy development in simple words is the act of creating and building upon your professional services brand. As part of your professional services branding, a strategy is an inter-departmental and long term plan. This plan helps your organization achieve its pre-defined and specific goals.
Brand strategy development, being a long-term plan, has a crucial part to play in your brand’s success and timely achievement of its goals. This strategy deserves all the attention, brainstorming, skills and effort a company can invest in it.
Do you know why?
The fact is that a brand strategy, which a company defines and executes well, has a direct impact on all the aspects of your business. These include the competitive environments and the emotions and needs of your consumers.
Brand Strategy Development
Like we said, brand strategy development is primarily the act of building your professional services brand. But this process is far from straightforward. It is a highly complex process and is best if you carry it out in three essential segments.
- In the first phase, focus all upon finding the right notes for your strategy development and ensuring that each align with your business objectives.
- In the second phase, build and arrange the tools that the company needs for communicating its brand image to the masses. These tools include a website, a logo and a tagline.
- In the last phase, start building upon your newly developed strategic plan. Implement it throughout your workplace and operations while simultaneously encouraging team players to strengthen it along the way.
Although the importance of brand strategy is a highly acknowledged fact now, yet there is a wide debate on the appropriate route of development. Some businesses take the time to develop a strategy in the early stages of their business lifecycle. For other companies, outsourcing the task to an external agency works better.
It is much better if you can develop the whole strategy in the early stages of the business cycle. It will help you see “the picture of the business” as a whole and fill in the gaps during the process. However, you might not manage to do everything accordingly as all of us know the things that are so time-consuming when opening a business. Fortunately, there are a lot of professional business coaches nowadays who can help you while developing the brand strategy, creating high-performance teams, boosting profits, and enjoying more free time
There are also many businesses that choose to let their brand strategy evolve organically over time. The appropriate measure in our opinion is to use timely and relevant insight for creating a brand strategy. Let’s take a look at how you can do that below:
1. Outline Your Brand’s Purpose
If you want your company’s brand strategy to perform exceptionally well, the first important step is to recognize and outline its purpose. Now many people falsely assume that outlining a company’s purpose and objectives is fairly easy. Truthfully though, it is one of the most deceptively difficult tasks.
In outlining the purpose, prioritize your focus on the value you want the company to deliver to its customers. Next, you must also factor in the financial performance. For this vital process, you must analyze things like what is it about your products that your customers will find attractive. Also probe into analysis like how the business can help its customers solve their problems etc.
This deeply probing exercise will help you discover and underpin the company’s brand strategy. In time, this discovery will be the reason behind your personable, long-standing and recognizable brand.
2. Objectives- They should be SMART
Every business is now highly aware of the SMART objectives that are crucial to a successful brand strategy development process. Do you know what SMART stands for? It means:
- S= Specific
- M= measurable
- A= Achievable
- T= timely
By following this simple and effective guideline, you will ensure that your brand strategy is grounded in relevant and profitable goals, both for the business and market’s sake. A successful brand strategy is one that factors in key strategic areas in addition to financial performance.
Hence, make sure your strategy combines daily operations, product development, reach, and brand perceptions with growth ideals.
3. Align Your Strategy with Market Environment
It is not only important to discover and clearly outline your company’s own purpose. The other equally important step is to understand the environment it will exist and operate. Every business is clearly aware of the fact that it cannot exist in a vacuum and that it will have to acknowledge fierce competitors.
They’re always there and they are always competing for every consumer’s attention too. Moreover, competitors also continuously offer comparable products, all of which you cannot ignore. Hence, if you wish to create a brand strategy that will remain grounded in the realistic market environment, then you must understand how your competitors will act. You must watch how their clear KPIs performances constantly and also take notes of their product branding processes.
4. Brand Strategy Development- Be Strategic
Now that you have outlined your company’s objectives, understood the market environment and learnt the SMART guideline, it’s time to form a plan. The major portion of your brand strategy comprises of the plan to meet your goals and objectives.
The more strategic you are, the higher the chances of succeeding. Hence, your strategic plan must involve investment plans. Your strategy must outline steps for attaining the SMART goals. You must include strategic actions that will not prove inflexible as the business grows and expands.
Remember to make your plan as detailed as can be so that there is no confusion about your brand’s identity and its strength. Here is what your brand strategy development plan must include:
- Sealing consistency through visual guidelines and brand language
- Factoring in future acquisition and expansions through investment plans
- Enabling brand values
- Outlining principles, values and missions that will directly impact company culture
Also Read: How to Design IT Environment Management Strategy?
Finally- Polish the Brand Strategy
Once you have aligned, formed and structured all the essentials, remember to ensure that your brand strategy is anything but static. You cannot expect to make a strategy and then leave it as it is for life. Brand strategy development is a continuously evolving process and you must test, refine and develop it as needs arise. Perhaps the follow factors will help you gauge the performance of your brand strategy plan.
- With the changing competitive landscape, is my company’s brand strategy still on point?
- Am I employing the right tactics for achieving the SMART objectives and the core objectives of my brand strategy?
Brand strategy development is the creation and implementation of a strategic plan that helps meet business goals and objectives. The strategy must have clear definition and excellent execution for a brand to be successful and highly-reputed in a marketplace.
Brand strategy must begin in the first stages of a business lifecycle. While it is important to discover, outline and establish the core mission and objectives of the business, the strategy must also be flexible. As time goes on and business continues to grow and expand, the strategy will only be successful if it evolves smoothly with the growing needs.