10 Apr Developing a Professional Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is the methodical process that begins with market research but has an indefinite end. Ultimately, a brand strategy needs to be concrete at the time of inception, but it must be dynamic over a long timeline. Markets and consumers are ever-changing– a professional brand strategy is designed to be adaptive, but also has core values that should remain constant. However, if your core values change, a new brand strategy is required.
For example, I’d like to reference SeaWorld as a perfect representation of a new brand strategy rollout due to a fundamental change in their core values. If you went to SeaWorld 15 years ago, you were likely there for the purpose of entertainment; all of the marine-animal-shows, amusement attractions and rollercoaster rides demonstrated that SeaWorld was in the business of entertainment. However, the company has since crafted a new brand strategy because their core value is no longer to entertain the masses, it is now for conservation purposes. There is more focus on the preservation of marine life, establishing their branding on the level of a Zoo rather than an entertainment hub.
At Mad Mind Studios, we understand that brand strategies need to be dynamic and adaptive, and here are some rudimentary methods to developing a professional brand strategy.
Market research should always be the first step before constructing an adaptive brand strategy. Your industry will evolve, and you have to be knowledgeable about where the industry is heading so your brand become variable with it. A brand strategy that accounts for the future will likely be a more successful one and may even accelerate the industry-evolving process by your business shaking things up. Another component of market research is looking at your competitors and their branding— is there brand strategy up-to-date and adaptive to industry changes? Analyzing your competitor’s mistakes in their marketing plan would also be beneficial in your market research as it can help you avoid pitfalls that would be damaging to your brand.
Conduct a Brand Audit
Whether your product or service isn’t on the market yet or you are established in the industry, a brand audit is necessary to analyze what your current plan is. A brand strategy is somewhat dependent on the brand audit, as the introspective analysis will yield results that will lead to a more creative approach to your strategy. The audit will analyze your logo, tagline, typography, iconography, colors, social media, and more in order to devise a thorough analysis of your current strategy. Once the audit is finished, it is then wise to begin strategizing the placement of your new branding, taking into account the positioning and the effective management practices involved.
Position your Brand
I recently wrote a brand positioning blog post that outlines exactly how to go about it and the necessary components to successful branding. Essentially, brand positioning is the figurative place that a company takes residence in their target consumer’s mind. In this position, the consumer’s will have a definite idea in how they will benefit from your business when they think of your brand. There are four pillars to brand positioning, including the target client, target category, client benefits and ethos. To learn more about brand positioning, check out this blog post!
Managing your Brand and Brand Strategy
Brand management is something that should not be overlooked. Yes, you’re brand strategy is in place, but how will it be managed across all marketing platforms and in adapting the strategy to the evolving industries? This is where having a branding firm working with you could do wonders for your business. While you are busy with your company’s operations, sales and analytics, a professional branding agency can manage your brand for you, and conduct market research periodically to determine the current brand positioning and adapt the brand strategy. It would be wise for you to make sure that your brand is being managed and monitored so the positioning of your company is not disturbed.
Developing your professional brand strategy is difficult to do by yourself, and we would highly recommend getting consulting about your branding before embarking on this journey. At Mad Mind Studios, we can provide consulting, market research, brand audit, brand positioning and brand management to help your brand flourish. Contact us for your free consultation!