Your branding strategy is going to depend on essentially three key factors:
Brand mission - What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to be? What are you trying to deliver to your audience?
Product/Service Essence - What are the key descriptive elements of the product or services you are offering? What is its “personality”?
Core Target Audience - Who is your ideal consumer? What are their demographics? What are their purchasing behaviours? What are their likes and dislikes?
Once you have nailed those down, you need a little creativity combined with logic to create some brand assets that reflect your brand mission and identity and will also make your brand recognizable as a source of something desirable for your core audience. These assets include:
That should be simple and reflects the essence of your brand. I generally recommend a recognizable icon that works with a stylized version brand name (i.e. pick a font and spacing/sizing that your brand name always uses), but can also stand alone. And select specific colours that represent your brand logo - can do a white/light version that will work on black/dark backgrounds, and vice versa. And you can also pick one colour, if that colour represents the vibe of your brand.
A design scheme
This includes colour, general spacing, sizing, layout, photography, graphics and font guidelines, for marketing materials.
This scheme should demonstrate the vibe of your brand in a way the research and competitive analysis shows is appealing to your core audience. When a consumer sees your website, then your business card, then a promotional flyer or Facebook ad, they should immediately know that they all came from the same brand mindset.
A selling points short list
This can help for creating a consistent sales message. Knowing the main reasons why your core audience will want to buy your product or services (and conversely, what the sales barriers might be for making the purchase) will keep your message clear and reinforced across sales and marketing platforms.
A tag line
This should be that gets the point of who you are and what you do across quickly and concisely. It should be based on the defining characteristic or mission of your brand that sets you apart from others. Some popular examples: Disney - The Happiest Place on Earth, Budweiser- The King of Beers, Meow Mix - Tastes so good cats ask for it by name, Hallmark - when you care enough to send the very best.
Your brand’s voice
This will make you continually add value, demonstrate thought leadership in your industry and engage with potential customers. This is a newer concept in this digital day and age, but you can’t ignore the fact that there are endless digital ways to stay in front of your audience between selling moments that will grow your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Take some time to think about what topics your brand is an expert in and what industry information, news or entertainment your audience might be interested in receiving from you.
This type of content can be used on many digital platforms relevant to your audience. From there, you should have all of the basic assets needed to create a slew of marketing initiatives to get your brand out there.
Peter Sabuni is a marketing and brand consultant