In a previous article, we explored the definition of a brand. Now, let’s examine the significant payoff that comes with investing in the development of your brand. But how exactly do we do that? Let’s find out.
Think back to when you first conceived the idea for your business. Did the product magically appear out of thin air? Probably not. You likely went through a planning process, considering product creation, required materials, budgeting, and more. Similarly, when it comes to branding, you need a strategy. This article will provide an overview of what goes into a brand strategy session.
Where to Begin?
First and foremost, it’s essential to recognize that the old belief of “if I build it, they will come” no longer holds. As the CEO or business owner, investing in developing your identity and brand is one of the best decisions you can make for the long-term success of your business.
Developing your brand identity involves understanding who you are, what you stand for, and why your audience should choose you over your competitors.
Here’s a short list of essential topics that typically form part of a brand strategy session:
- Brand Audit: Assessing your current position in the marketplace by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, including a review of competitor brands and website performance metrics like traffic and bounce rate. Surveys with employees and customers can also provide valuable insights.
- Purpose: Simon Sinek famously said, “It starts with why.” Your brand needs a higher purpose beyond making a profit. A compelling sense will attract an audience who shares your values, fostering a deep connection.
- Mission + Vision: While these terms are used interchangeably, it’s essential to differentiate between them. Your vision is where you want your brand to be in the future, while your mission describes what your brand is currently doing to achieve that vision.
- Values: Your brand’s core values communicate how you conduct business based on a belief system shared by everyone from the CEO to customer service agents. These guiding principles define your brand’s identity and should be authentic and meaningful.
- Audience Personas: Understanding your audience is crucial for resonating with them effectively. Developing customer personas based on demographics and psychographics helps you create targeted messaging that speaks to their preferences, likes, dislikes, fears, and more.
- Brand Personas: Your brand should have a distinct personality that can engage with its audience on a human level. Some strategists use Jungian archetypes to explore what your brand looks like in the eyes of your potential customers. These archetypes range from the Innocent and Sage to the Hero and Explorer.
- Voice: How your brand sounds and the tone it uses are essential factors in building a consistent and relatable brand. Your target audience and brand personas are crucial in determining the right voice for your brand.
- Competitor Audit: Comparing your brand to competitors helps identify gaps where you can stand out and gain a competitive edge. However, it’s essential to refrain from copying what others are doing, as this can lead to your brand getting lost in a sea of noise.
While this list is not exhaustive, it provides a glimpse into the elements commonly found in brand strategy sessions. Other factors like SEO and communication strategy also influence brand development.
A brand strategy session typically lasts from 6 to 16 hours over two days, with some strategists providing materials ahead of time to ensure you’re prepared.
Before hiring any agency or brand strategist, ask questions and determine if they fit your brand well.
Investing in your brand is an investment in your business’s long-term success and recognition.