“I’m gonna launch my own brand” said almost everyone since 2013. When Instagram began taking over social media, brand became everything. And seven years later, it’s still going strong.
But starting a brand is one thing – maintaining it is another. While it may have been easy to come up with a name and a tagline, when you’re confronted with picking packaging, managing communications, meeting customer needs over time… you might start wondering what you got yourself into.
The fate of your long-term success lies in one thing: a brand strategy. A sound brand strategy gives order to chaos, helping you to get started on the right track.
We dove into the depths of what makes a successful brand and the strategies to follow to ensure you build yours right from square one.
Here are five helpful tips to get you going:
1. Understand your consumer
You’re creating a brand to fulfil a demand for what someone wants or needs. This in mind, start off your brand strategy by getting under the skin of your potential consumer and understanding them. What do they feel and think now? What do you want them to feel and think as a result of trying or buying your brand? What problem does your brand solve; what need does it meet? How can it be better than the other current brands out there?
2. Understand your category
Once you understand who your potential consumer is, learn how they feel about the category you’re innovating into. What are the key drivers of your category? How do people particularly feel about the category? Knowing which drivers are the most important to people in the category you’re operating in is paramount to building a brand strategy. Start thinking about which of them will be most important in the category you’re in.
Chances are, you’re not creating a completely new category – you’ve likely got a competitor operating in the same space. Know who they are, and how people feel and think about them. Then, think about how you’ll be different.
Coming to grips with your competition and knowing the white-space opportunity your brand has is extremely key. It’s a correlation between what people feel and think they need from the category, what they’re currently getting from the brands out there and what’s unmet which you can fill.
What is it that your brand is providing that no one else is currently offering, that people genuinely want and need?
4. Understand yourself
So you know your consumer, your category, and your competition and where your brand factors into it all. That’s fine for now – but what about the future? You need to understand the full scope of your brand to truly understand what it aims to achieve in the long term. That way, when you make short term decisions, they are in line with your longer term brand strategy.
Set a clear purpose for your brand: What does your brand stand for? What are its morals? Lock those in and never go against them. Integrate them into the way you look, into the way you speak and into the way you feel.
Authenticity, now more than ever, is something your brand strategy must strive to achieve. You must understand who your brand is, and never waver from it.
5. Understand your goals
What do you want to achieve for your brand? Understanding what you want to achieve – whether that’s greater distribution, higher penetration, gaining market share, etc. – is extremely important to your overarching brand strategy. Why? Because when you understand your own business objective, your marketing objective starts to come to light. The tactics you employ will be heavily weighted towards helping you realize that business objective. Consider what you want people to feel and think as a result of your marketing efforts and how that response will help you to meet your overall business objectives.
Start Your Brand Growth Strategy Right
Our Brand Management platform, ProQuo AI, provides small and medium sized businesses with an always-on understanding of where their brand stands. AI-Powered brand guidance tells brands what they need to do, daily, to be their best.
This enables businesses to build their brand strategy on ProQuo AI. Our 16 Drivers are proven to lead to brand growth, increased loyalty, and online engagement.
So, before you begin creating your own brand growth strategy, you can find out which of the 16 Drivers are most important in the category you’re operating in. Understanding your brand and your competitors’ performance against each of these Drivers is essential. With this information you can quickly learn what it is you need to do to effectively compete in your category, as well as where to focus to drive a competitive advantage.