Can we talk a moment about strategy? Do you have a brand strategy? Do you even know what I'm talking about? ----- A brand strategy is specific, long term goals that are achieved with the evolution of a brands success. A well-defined brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. Your brand is NOT your product, logo, name, or website. Your brand IS the intangible stuff, it is your company's character. ----- There are 7 components that make a good brand strategy: 1. Purpose 2. Consistency 3. Emotion 4. Flexibility 5. Employee Involvement 6. Loyalty 7. Competitive Awareness
---------------------------------------------------------------------------Purpose: WHY do you wake up everyday and go to work? Or rather, WHY do you wake up everyday and remotely work (thanks Covid)? Knowing your brands intention is so important and will define your purpose. NARRATIVE's purpose is helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed with unique storytelling and branding. By doing that - I am making the world a better place so that you amazing entrepreneurs can accurately and successfully get your product or knowledge out there! If you aren't sure on your purpose - or just can't put it into words - check out other brands you admire and read through their mission statements. Reading through other statements will help you craft yours!
Consistency: Consistency contributes to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty. The most difficult part of consistency is to avoid talking about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand. Question: Have you added a new photo to your business' Facebook lately? What does it mean for your business? Does it align with your message, or was it just something funny that could possibly confuse your audience? There are a lot of people out there who want to be REAL with their audience and show that they are a real person behind the account - but you can become quite confusing if you are representing an athletic brand yet posting about a new car that just came out.... Now, if you were in that new car wearing your athletic clothes and talking about how your clothes in said car make you feel like a million bucks - maybe. Try to tie the things that you want to talk about but have nothing to do with your brand in - or just don't talk about them. Need some inspiration on consistency - check out @cocacola or @britandco 😀
Emotion: People LONG for connection, especially in our current social climate. Do you find yourself making irrational purchasing decisions because the brand of the product you are purchasing has made you feel at home, connected, or offered you peace of mind? Yup. That's emotion. Use emotional triggers in your branding to get deep with your customers and followers. Give them peace of mind. Make them feel like part of the family. Solve their problems. Make life easier. Foster loyalty.
Flexibility: Let me ask you this - are you branding the same way you did prior to COVID? Are you branding the same way you did last month? Are you sending the same exact message you did a week ago? The answer should be NO. You must be flexible and adjust to the changes around you. You may be thinking, "Wait a sec, how am I supposed to be consistent while also being flexible?" Hmm.... While consistency sets the standard for your brand, flexibility allows you to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competition. In summary, keep it fresh and human.
This one is simple. Write down your businesses core values. Share those values with your team - make sure you are all on the same page and express those values through all of your interactions. Remember when we talked about consistency? Your team needs to consistently send the same message that aligns with your values to your customer - or you will create confusion. Take a moment, write down your core values.
A few examples could be:
Loyalty: You have a dog - you taught that dog to SIT when you say "sit". You reward said dog when he does, in fact, sit. That creates loyalty. What do you do for your customers? Do they receive a "treat" when they remain loyal to you and share what you have with their groups? Do you have a plan in place to reward your customers and followers? Think about what you might do at 1K, 2K, 10K followers. What about 100 sales? Think big. Announce it. Get people excited to follow you on this journey. This is where SWAG would come in. If you don't have swag, you should start thinking about what type of swag you would hand out. Stickers, magnets, hats, decals, tattoos, etc. Remember, even the swag serves as a marketing piece as long as your name and logo are represented!
Awareness: There is so much to say about awareness. This is specifically competitive awareness. Know what your competitors are doing and learn from them. One simple way you could start - find 3 competitors that you admire. Research their social media, what hashtags are they using to get engagement. What are they posting about? What type of sales are they running? Now go to their websites - how are they describing their product? What makes your product better than theirs? What is their price point? Study your competition.