What Are Branding Strategies? (With Definition and Benefits)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated July 9, 2022 | Published November 5, 2021
Updated July 9, 2022
Published November 5, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A strong brand can help a business succeed. A successful brand speaks to consumers' emotions and tells a company's story. To develop a brand, you may employ strategies to shape how customers perceive your brand, affecting how they choose to interact with your organization. If you're helping to establish a brand, learning more about branding strategies and how to create one may be beneficial.
In this article, we answer "What are branding strategies?", outline the elements of a strong brand strategy, explain the benefits of using one, and share some steps you can take to create an effective brand strategy for your organization.
What are branding strategies?
Before developing a brand for an organization, it's important to understand what a branding strategy is. Branding strategies are tools that organizations use to:
Discover who they are
Determine what makes them unique
Uncover how they can effectively communicate their brand identity to consumers
Effective branding strategies can have a considerable impact on long-term success. These strategies often determine how the public perceives the organization and affect whether they decide to become customers. Businesses usually try to connect with the public by relating to them. Effective branding strategies strive to:
Define the benefits of an organization
Create a brand image
Highlight unique selling points
Establish long-term goals
Elements of a strong brand strategy
Some key elements of a strong brand strategy include:
Your brand's purpose is the reason it exists. This reason is typically unique, which may help you distinguish yourself from your competitors. When defining your brand's purpose, consider two types, which include:
Functional purpose: relates to determining success based on commercial reasons, such as an organization existing only to make money.
Intentional purpose: relates to determining success based on making money and affecting positive change in the world, such as a cleaning company committed to making the world safer from germs.
Consistency involves using consistent messaging and imagery across all channels and focusing only on topics relevant to your brand. This consistency improves brand recognition, which may help increase brand loyalty. Consider developing a brand style to help achieve and maintain consistency. A style guide or brand kit is a comprehensive guide that defines an organization's brand guidelines. It establishes key branding elements like:
Emotion is integral to the brand strategy because consumers don't always make purchase decisions based on rational thinking. Instead, many customers make buying decisions based on their feelings. Incorporating emotion into your brand strategy helps your organization better connect with your audience. It may appeal to their human needs, which may help create a sense of belonging and foster brand loyalty.
It's essential to build a brand that's flexible and able to adapt to an ever-changing market. Flexibility helps your organization make necessary adjustments to remain competitive. Flexibility can also introduce your products and services to new audiences and enhance the company's overall reach.
Employee involvement involves ensuring your employees' actions match the brand personality you've developed for your organization. This step helps create a more consistent and reliable experience for your customers. For example, if your organization uses friendly and casual messaging on its website, provide customer service representatives with scripts involving similar messaging to assist customers.
Loyalty is an integral part of your brand, which helps you foster a positive relationship with your customers. It may involve showing your appreciation to your customers through rewards, advertising campaigns, or other strategies. Loyalty also helps show potential customers what they might expect if they become loyal to your brand.
Monitoring your competitors is an essential aspect of developing a brand strategy. Evaluate their tactics and identify which are successful and which fail. Also, look for opportunities to engage with your competitor's customers before your competitor can do so. For example, if you see a social media post asking for opinions regarding choosing between you and your competitor, consider replying to the post with a lighthearted message about knowing who you would pick out of the two.
Benefits of a brand strategy
Some benefits of a brand strategy include:
Distinguishing your brand from your competitors: Brand strategy solidifies what makes your organization a unique choice for customers.
Evoking a particular image or feeling: Brand strategy helps customers feel a certain way or envision a specific image when they think about your brand.
Building brand equity: Brand strategy may improve your brand's reputation, increasing the money customers are willing to pay for your product or service just because it's your brand.
Establishing a cohesive brand and shared understanding: A brand strategy clearly defines the purpose, vision, values, mission, and brand attributes of your organization.
Preparing your organization to respond to change: Brand strategy provides the members of your organization with a strong understanding of what the brand is, making them more prepared to adapt to changes within the market.
How to create a brand strategy
You can learn to build an effective branding strategy by following these steps:
1. Define your brand
Begin by defining your brand, which can provide the foundation for your branding strategy. Use this definition as a guide for evaluating all aspects of your organization, including:
The design of your office
Defining your brand includes:
Establishing what the company does and why
Establishing what the company does is as simple as clearly defining what product or service it's providing. You might need to refine your focus if you have difficulty determining what the company does. You may also ask why the business does what it does, beyond the matter of earning a living. Companies often have a mission statement describing the company's purpose and primary intention.
Determining what makes your company different from its competitors
Determining what makes the organization different from its competitors involves examining the competition and highlighting what sets the business apart from the others. Emphasizing what makes a company unique can help lure consumers that relate to or care about what the company offers. For example, a company's unique angle may be that they only use eco-friendly materials or donate a portion of the proceeds to a specific charity or organization.
Ensuring that what your company does matters to consumers
Ensuring that what your company does matters to consumers is a vital part of a branding strategy. When consumers care about a company's products, services, or mission enough to support it by purchasing over an extended period, it helps secure long-term success. Consider researching how consumers feel about a business idea to ensure a market for the company exists. Remember that while not all consumers may care about what the company you work for offers, ensure that enough consumers care and are willing to become customers.
2. Establish brand objectives
Next, establish your brand's objectives. Consider what you want consumers to say about your product or service when setting goals. Some common brand objectives include:
Building brand awareness: When an organization builds brand awareness, consumers recognize and remember the brand as they've become familiar with it.
Establishing an emotional connection: Telling your brand's story and making consumers care enough about it to purchase your products or services.
Creating trust and credibility: Consistently appearing professional and appealing to consumers. This aim also includes having a quality product or service consistent with its marketing strategy.
Setting your company apart from others: What sets your product or service apart from the competition, such as quality, price, location, or mission.
Motivating purchasing: The promotional aspects which entice consumers to become customers, such as sales, deals, or coupons.
3. Identify your target audience
Once you've established brand objectives, it's time to identify your target audience. The target audience is the primary consumer of your product or service and is the audience you can focus on when branding. When determining your target audience, be specific and consider important characteristics, which include:
4. Evaluate market conditions
Next, evaluate the current market conditions. Consider using a tool, like a SWOT analysis, to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your product, service, or the entire organization. This analysis includes examining possible barriers to success. It may also be beneficial to complete a SWOT analysis of your competitors to understand your market better.
5. Update brand packaging
Once you've evaluated the market conditions, update the packaging of your product or service to ensure that it aligns with your brand strategy. Effective brand packaging can improve brand recognition and how customers perceive you in the marketplace. Developing packaging, advertising, and messaging that uniquely represent your organization and brand is essential. For example, if your company is an eco-friendly brand, you may use sustainable resources to create your packaging.
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