This is the fifth post in our seven part series on brand. The previous post was “Why is brand voice important?”
Defining Strategies, Goals & Tactics
Before we talk about brand strategy, let’s define the difference between strategies, goals, and tactics.
Strategies are long term, overarching company plans for success. For example, a strategy could be the way a company fills a need within a market. It sets the company apart from others in their industry. In addition, many people believe strategies cannot change. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Strategies may evolve as the company and industry evolve.
Goals are specific tasks that a company wants to complete. For example, “increase sales by one percent this year” is a goal; it is something the company is trying to accomplish within a specific time frame. As companies grow, they meet and reset their goals often!
Finally, tactics are the “how” of goals and strategies. To define it, a tactic is “a planned action or method used to achieve a particular goal”. For example, if the goal is to increase sales by one percent in a year, then a tactic might be to release a new marketing campaign, hit social media harder, or some other goal driven action. Keep in mind that there are often many tactics that could accomplish your goal; choose your tactics by what resources are available to you.
What is Brand Strategy?
Based on our definition of strategy, brand strategy is the overarching company plan that is used to set the brand apart from others in the same industry. It also informs how the company will handle brand creation, growth, and maturity. Another term for brand strategy could be “brand positioning”. This is another way to express how you present your brand to the public and your target market segment. Brand strategy is a key element to your business; So, treat it that way by taking your time to figure out what your strategy is going to be.
Keep in mind that your brand strategy and overall strategy don’t have an obvious line of separation. For example, your brand strategy might include your target audience as an aspect. To learn more about marketing strategy, visit our strategy page.
Do I Need a Brand Strategy?
The quick answer is yes, you absolutely need a brand strategy. Some companies start their business and create their brand without really thinking through a strategy. But, to set your business up for success as you create your brand, you really want to think about how you want to present it; you should figure out what sets you apart from your competition.
One key question to ask yourself is “why should someone choose my company over someone else’s?”. Your answer should not be as simple as “price”, or “customer service” unless that really is the only difference between you and your competitors. Dig deeper. Think harder. Take your time and really develop your idea of what sets your business apart from your competition. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone either. Ask your friends, family, or professionals (like us) to help you determine what your strategy is. You can learn more about our branding and marketing strategy by scheduling a free consultation with our marketing expert.
Examples of Brand Strategy
Setting the Stage
Let’s take a fictitious company called POP (professional organizing and planning). This company is youthful and vibrant. The focus is on helping people to organize their spaces, whether it be their home, office, or vehicle. Now, there are many companies like this that have been established for some time. So, POP needs to find their “niche” to determine their strategy.
POP’s owner is a woman who is pregnant and ready to have a baby. During this time she feels overwhelmed by organizing and preparing her home for the new baby. This sparks an idea! She will focus her strategy towards gaining clients that are new moms. This is the core of her brand strategy. She is specializing in a specific area of her industry in order to fill a gap that exists. This allows her to market in a “more for more” strategy where she charges more because she specializes. Now she has enough information about her brand strategy to move forward with the other pieces of her marketing puzzle.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that brand strategy is an absolutely necessary piece of your business. It helps determine EVERYTHING about your company. And it needs to be deeper than just “price”, or “customer service” though those can definitely be elements of your strategy!