We live in such a fast-paced “I need it now” society that often, as business leaders, we find ourselves making impulse decisions to stay with or in front of our competitors. We all know the feeling of ideas popping up in our heads throughout the day and immediately thinking, “I need to work on this now before someone else does!”.
Spur-of-the-moment ideas and those that result from individual or group brainstorming sessions are part of the entrepreneurial journey, but what can you do to ensure these ideas align with your brand’s positioning and not play the role of a distractor?
We must take a strategic approach to decision-making to ensure our moves increase the growth & impact of our brands and never detract. We must not get in our own way, which requires a focus on brand strategy.
What is brand strategy?
By definition, brand strategy is the development of a long-term roadmap for a business to develop a brand that effectively represents its mission & positions them to increase its impact in the market.
Why is brand strategy important to your business?
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to the DNA of your brand, market trends, consumer needs, and competitive environments.
Partnered with brand discovery (research), brand strategy provides the ability to assess your brand and answer tough questions. What does your brand stand for? Beyond the practical everyday functions of your business, why does it exist? What motivating factors drive you and your team to do what you do consistently? Brand strategy answers pre-existing questions and shines a light on areas of your brand that you may have unintentionally overlooked.
Brand Strategy — Provides a foundation for success.
To illustrate the importance of brand strategy in practical terms, think of the construction of a building. Can you construct an office building without a foundation? I’m pretty sure you can, but after its completion, you will have only a short period to enjoy what you’ve created. Not all days will be filled with sunshine, and at some point, you will face inclement weather threatening to weaken what you’ve built and eventually cause a structural collapse. This inevitable collapse could have been avoided if a sound foundation had been established to keep the building strong during adverse times.
Having a solid foundation is as important to your business as it is to a physical location. A weak foundation leaves you vulnerable in ways that can disrupt and even collapse your business. Your business will be only as strong as the foundation you build it upon. Building a strong brand foundation to operate your business on will give you the stability to grow long-term while sustaining shifts in weather (declining growth, exiting of clients, etc.).
Brand Strategy — Provides clarity & direction.
Brand strategy also helps personify your purpose. All of the elements of your brand strategy, positioning, target demographic clarification, messaging, communication, and so on must ring true for everyone who comes into contact with your brand. Your brand strategy should reinforce your business strategy and provide authenticity along the way.