Brand strategy is a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand -- the combined components of your company's character that make it identifiable.
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.
First, let's clear up the biggest misconception about brand strategy: Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name.
In fact, your brand is much more than that -- it's the stuff that feels intangible. But it's that hard-to-pin-down feeling that separates powerhouse and mediocre brands from each other. So to help you rein in what many marketers consider more of an art and less of a science, we've broken down seven essential components of a comprehensive brand strategy that will help keep your company around for ages.
Brand managers and agency account planners are tactics driven. That’s because 80% of the daily processes within marketing departments and ad agencies are based in project management. Creative Briefs tend to be control documents, rather than a forum for gathering inspirational ideas. Brand managers and their communication partners focus on the best way to manage process and the tight budgets they have been allocated. They usually aren’t thinking long-term when at the crossroads of strategic and creative decision-making. They’re focused on getting a job done (on-time and on-budget). Add the changing priorities of executive management into the mix, and it’s easy to see how messy creative briefs become.”
Instead of focusing on short-term tactics, Dawson urges people to become brand architects which enables teams to design a lasting structure “to bridge brand strategy and brand messaging.” He’s absolutely right. Without a strong brand foundation built on a well-defined strategy, brands have little chance for success. However, it’s hard to stick with that strategy rather than be tempted by the allure of short-term focus.
The best brands stick with their strategies, but those strategies leave room for flexibility as the market, consumers, and competitors change. Think of it this way:
1. Just as your goals in life might change over time, so might your brand goals.
2. Similarly, just as you might modify your plan to achieve your goals in life, so too might your brand marketing plan change.
3. Finally, just as you seize opportunities to move closer to your goals as they arise throughout your life, you’ll also seize short-term opportunities to grow your brand and move closer to achieving your long-term brand goals as those opportunities are presented to you.
A specific, achievable brand strategy is an essential component of any business, because it affects every area of your business.