A brand strategy is similar to the blueprint for building a house. It is the plan to consistently communicate the value of a brand to the target audience.
In the house analogy, you could build a house without a blueprint. You could buy a bunch of wood, nails & drywall and just start building. You will definitely proceed more slowly, make mistakes and waste a lot of money with an unplanned approach.
A brand strategy outlines the following:
- What does the brand do for people? What exactly is the product or service?
- Does the brand solve a painful problem or bring pleasure? (A)
- How do people feel after using the brand's product or service?
- Who will benefit MOST from the brand's product or service (the target audience?
- What do we know about the target audience?
- What elements of A resonate BEST with the target?
- How do we explain the product or service to the target?
- What specific words / phrases / imagery do they connect with best?
- What is the result of using product / service that should be the emphasis (this is referred to as the "why" vs the "what")
- using the information above, how can the information about the offer be consistently and effectively communicated to the target? This is usually a combination of different media tactics
- Which is the communication tactics are working best?
- How can cost effective testing be implemented to determine which elements of a tactic are most effective (the copy (words), the imagery, the offer, the media)
A brand strategy system evolves with the brand. Each element outlined above is regularly reviewed & revised based on new information, customer feedback and changes in the market. Effective marketing programs are quick to react so that they never become stale or ineffective.
The cost to a brand of proceeding without a strategy:
- The marketing messages go to the wrong people
- The marketing messages are not clear or are confusing which means the target does not connect with the brand's value
- Lost revenue because customers who would like to buy the product or service are not reached by effective marketing.