Watch This Episode of MwahTV That Answers The Question - What Does Brand Strategy Mean?
In this episode of Mwah TV, I’m going to explain my answer to the question - What does Brand Strategy Mean?
Too much confusing jargon.
Let’s bust that and leave you with a proper understanding.
There is a really strong chance that you don’t fully understand what Brand Strategy really means.
This is not your fault.
You see the creative minds that make up this world have over-complicated things. How one agency speaks about brand strategy will be totally different from how another one does it. It’s no wonder that you might be feeling confused. Getting to grips with exactly what brand strategy means is made much more difficult as a result of this. Today I’m going to clear it up for you whilst keeping it as simple as possible. I’m going to tell you what you need to know as a busy business owner so you can go away and think about how this affects your business goals right now.
What it is NOT
Let’s begin then by covering exactly what brand strategy IS NOT! I want to start with the term brand to kick us off.
- A Brand is NOT a LOGO
- It's NOT A COLOUR or SET OF COLOURS
- A Brand is NOT a Product
- Nor is it A Mission Statement
- A Brand is NOT a Photograph
What It IS
A brand is a perception and a feeling or collection of emotions.
Think about a generic mug of coffee. Then think about a Starbucks.
Those emotions you just felt in comparison is what a brand truly is.
And your emotional response has been made up and orchestrated in a very intentional way to ensure that as many people as possible - who want something more than a generic cup of coffee - feel the same sort of way about getting a Starbucks.
Even if you think that it is not for you
… and side note here.
If you are a person who just thought “well I hate Starbucks Laura” that’s ok too. The brand is made to turn off people like you.
This is done to turn on people who are not like you.
What Does Brand Strategy Mean? The Strategy Bit?
Brand Strategy is all about helping a business achieve its goals as a brand faster. In some cases, this involves helping a business figure out what their goal ought to be in response to a set of challenges or obstacles that are holding them back in their progress.
Working on this covers more areas in the brand that we haven’t looked at yet, so let’s just clarify them first.
The Puzzle Pieces
- If your Brand is a perception and set of emotions, then your Branding is how you actively express these emotions.
- You need a brand identity to visually express your branding.
So you can see how these things begin fitting together.
- Brand strategy is the magic glue that melds around all of these things. It’s the HOW and the WHY of your brand, your branding and your brand identity.
Even More Misconceptions & Confusion
Like I already said, it’s easy to see where a lot of people can get confused by this. What makes this more challenging is the way that different people in a business approach it.
There are a lot of end products that happen as a result of branding strategy work. I’m talking about things like:
- Your Website
- Any Brand Photography you commission
- Your Logo
- Your Tagline
- How Customer Loyalty Programme feels and works
- Your Social Media content
- and this list goes on
It feels really difficult to not rush ahead and get these things set up for your business first. Let’s be honest it feels quite exciting to tackle this stuff at the beginning of your business adventure. As they are what the customer sees first, you can get sidetracked into believing that because they are customer-facing, you have to deal with these things first.
Then The Honeymoon Phase Wears Off
It's likely as a busy business owner you have one eye on the things we just covered. After the initial excitement wears off, you quickly realise that you need to get to work on building up the more behind-the-scenes parts of how your branding works. So you split your focus.
You begin trying to focus on the things you know will make more of an impact on your bottom line at the end of the financial year. Things like:
- A Sales Funnel that works
- How you are going to do your marketing (your marketing strategy)
- Filling the gaps in your team.
- Increasing your conversion rate
In truth, the Brand strategy actually comes before ALL of these things.
That’s because a good brand strategy should inform all of these things. And when we get everything into good working order, we call this "bringing your brand strategy into alignment."
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Putting Yourself in the TOP 10%
Right now, most people in my entrepreneurial circles get only 10% of what Brand Strategy is really all about.
I feel like with the surge in entrepreneurism there has been this mad rush to ticking all these boxes and this has resulted in so many amazing businesses showing up as half-baked husks of what they could be when it comes to their brand identity.
Like really thin balloons covered in headshots and social media, but if you walk up to them and nudge them they pop and all that’s inside is air – nothingness.
Finding Your Brand Substance
A business that has a brand strategy and a much richer and deeper considered brand identity becomes more like a watermelon. There is a substance all the way thru. That melon-y substance and seeds are made up of:
- What you sound like as a brand.
- How you look as a brand.
- How you smell and feel like as a brand (tangibly and emotionally).
- Your turn of phrase as a brand.
- What you believe as a brand.
- The philosophies you adhere to as a brand.
- Your principles and values as a brand.
- How you always behave as a brand.
- The storylines of your brand.
- The types of brands your brand hangs out with - and does business with.
- Who your brand is in love with.
- Who your brand is friends with.
- The brand that your brand is arch enemies or rivals with.
Where A Brand Strategist Helps With This
A brand strategist can help you find all of your 'melon-y and seed substance', and what’s more a really great brand strategist will uncover what this is by backing it up with research and factual data.
Then they'll help you interpret this data to help you decide if the watermelon filling that you thought you wanted is really going to be the watermelon filling that you need to get to where you want to be.
What Does Brand Strategy Mean When It Comes To Application?
If you’ve enjoyed learning about watermelon, balloons and how this idea is a great way to understand what brand strategy means, then you might find these episodes a great follow on. I talk in more detail about applying brand strategy to your business in practical ways.
Identify If You Have A Problem That Brand Strategy Can Solve In Your Business
Let's see if any of these problems link to a bigger brand strategy issue that could be going on in your business.
10 Common Myths Business Owners Have About Branding
The 10 common myths and mindsets even successful business owners have about branding. I also explain how these things can hold your business back.
Timestamps for this Episode of #MwahTV
00:00 - Episode Starts
00:27 - Bloopers
00:50 - Why you might be confused by this
01:39 - What this ISN'T
03:05 - What it IS
03:36 - The difference between Brand, Branding and Brand Identity
04:17 - Running at this like a child in a sweet shop
06:15 - Where brand strategy fits with all of this
07:11 - Entrepreneurial HUSKS
09:55 - The role of a good Brand Strategist
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