Brand strategy: Finding the hidden truth
Is it time to rethink the way you approach brand and growth marketing for a world where consumers expect more? A brand strategy is the place to start.
A key identifier of brand success is recognition. When customers can find your products or services and easily identify them as part of your brand, you know you’ve made a lasting impression. A great example is Uber, whose services are distinguishable from a mile off, from Uber Eats to catching a ride.
However, marketing budgets are under unprecedented pressure. More than ever before, marketers have to achieve more with less. If we believe that a strong brand is key to the long-term health of businesses, many brands face great risk – both to our commercial prospects, and to the reputation of marketers as drivers of growth.
But as marketers we are always looking for opportunities and now more than ever is the right time to for businesses to rethink the way they approach brand and growth marketing – and reframe it for a world where consumers expect more. A brand strategy is the place to start.
Contrary to popular belief, establishing a brand strategy isn’t just an imperative for multinational corporations and larger companies with complex brand architectures and sub brands. It's an essential first step of building any brand, big or small. This is because brands arise through experiences and these experiences need design.
To create good design we start with strategy. This enables us to define how the market experience should feel across all touchpoints, what makes a brand special, what role the brand takes on and how market-defining moments arise.
“Brand strategy is about finding the hidden truth – uncovering that one giant opportunity in the landscape.”
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a clear articulation of who you are and why you exist. It answers the big questions like: What makes you unique? What are you here to do? Why should your customers care? How should your customers feel when they interact with your business?
It’s not uncommon for some businesses to struggle to answer some of these questions. That’s because the answers to these questions are often hidden, remaining in the shadows, until they are uncovered through insights, frameworks and deep thinking from within the organisation.
Brand strategy is about finding the hidden truth – uncovering that one giant opportunity in the landscape.
Core to a branding strategy is finding your why. The ‘Why?’ is your reason for existing, and you’re your customers and prospects should care about your brand.
Finding your 'Why'
Today’s brands encompass far more than just a logo. Visuals only get you so far – when your customers pull back the curtain, what do they find?
Brands in today’s world they take responsibility for their actions and for their identity. Just think of your brand as a person – the sum of many interesting and unique attributes.
First, you might notice their physical appearance – the clothes they wear and how their hair is cut – reflects their personality.
Next, their profession – what they do tells you a little more about who they really are. Digging deeper, their attributes extend past the superficial. You might learn more about how they think, what motivates them, how they act – and what they stand for and believe in.
By using a solid framework for building brand strategies, these core attributes are brought into the light, shared and communicated in a way that is unique and compelling.
Why do you need a brand strategy?
A strong brand strategy ensures that the brand experience is cohesive and consistent, from the very first impression to every interaction that follows. It’s a core idea that supports every aspect of how the business presents itself to customers, employees and competitors, whether that be verbally or visually, on or offline.
A brand strategy acts as a blueprint to inform creative discussion, product and service development, brand communications and digital innovation. It’s a common language that provides context and aligns to the big picture (your business strategy) of what you as an organisation are trying to achieve.
With a strong brand framework, every decision is made much easier: from which programs you offer, to which language to use in a social media post or what creative to use in Google Ads.
A brand strategy will help you understand who you are, communicate your brand consistently and effectively, attract the right customers and position your brand competitively.
Better Known is a creative consultancy building better brands at the intersection of people, design and technology. We work with businesses across Australia to define their brand strategy to better connect and engage with their audiences.
Think your brand can do better? We’re here to help.