A successful brand strategy is a long-term plan that a business focuses on to improve and sustain its brand image. Your brand strategy can absolutely make or break your business. So what could be the secret ingredients for a successful brand strategy that would really work long-term?
Some of the most successful brands (think: Apple, Disney, and McDonald’s) are successful because they know how to appeal to customers through excitement and emotion. To these brands, it’s more than just business. They have brand strategies that transform their brands into something that makes sense to customers and entices them to remain loyal.
These six tips are the secret ingredients that will take your brand to the next level for better customer engagement and loyalty and an all-around, more defined brand.
- Know Your Customers
As a business owner, possibly the most important thing you can do is know your customers. Really know them. Study their likes, their dislikes, their behaviors, and their lives. Your customers are the people who provide your business, so if you don’t make them happy, you have nothing.
You’ll want to understand how to keep customers coming back. Therefore, you must appeal to them. Take advantage of today’s technology. Social media is one of the best tools to help you get insight into your audience.
Google Analytics, for example, tells you the demographic information of your website visitors. You’ll get basic information, like age and gender, of your visitors, and you can see what their behaviors were when they visited. What pages did they visit? What did they want to know more about?
Take that information and tailor your brand to it. Do what you can to appeal to the masses, whether that means changing your brand’s mission statement (if you remain truthful!) or tweaking commercials to intrigue your audience.
- Create a Relatable Story
Once you know what your audience likes and dislikes, you can create an engaging brand story that appeals emotionally to them. To be a successful marketer, you should understand how to tell a story. Advertisements, essentially, are stories that attempt to convert, right?
Older brands can rely on retelling their histories to create a sense of nostalgia with long-term customers. Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken are good examples of how to re-create history through a brand story.
However, newer brands must create a story that can last through generations. First, define a purpose for your brand. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to help your audience?
Your story should be a good mix of your mission statement, the things you want your business to accomplish, and how your business can help others. The more your audience can relate to your brand’s story, the more successful and memorable it will be.
- Remain Consistent and Authentic
Do you notice that the most successful brands are those that remain consistent in their branding and mission and authentic to the message they send? That’s because their authenticity helps them gain trust and a loyal fan base.
To create a successful brand strategy, your brand must be honest and remain faithful to its customers. Your audience can’t trust a flip-flopping message and will be turned off by advertisements that contradict your mission statement.
Of course, your brand image can only be as authentic as those who are supposed to uphold it every day: Your employees. Your team is one of the most important secret weapons in keeping consistency throughout your brand.
Train your team based on the principles you want your business to grow upon. Don’t settle for anything less, and make this a priority within your company. Have the same expectations for your social media managers as you do for yourself and you’ll have a team that understands the importance of upholding your brand image.
- Be Ready to Change
No one likes a brand that is never ready to adapt to the modern world. Don’t worry, you can remain authentic to your brand’s image while keeping up with current trends.
Your brand strategy should be flexible. Keep your goals and mission open for tweaking as your audience, competitors, and business trends change. This is especially important in the world of the internet and social media.
How can you change some features of your brand while remaining true to its core values? Focus your changes on advertising, promotions, and other marketing techniques. Give your brand a face lift, if you will.
Consider modernizing your product packaging to appeal to a younger or older crowd. Target a new audience in a television commercial or consider new methods of marketing, like YouTube, to authentically grow your audience. All the while, keep your brand’s basic values and mission intact by clearly relaying your messages through your new marketing strategies.
- Study Your Competition
A planned out, detailed brand strategy means little if you understand nothing about your competitors’ brands. It is time to spy on the competition at this point.
No, there isn’t anything wrong with doing so. This is how some of the world’s biggest brands keep a leg up on others in their niche. You must learn as much as you can about what your competitors are doing well and not-so-well. Then, take that information and run with it.
First, see what your competitors are doing right. Are they skilled at marketing through social media? Do they have amazing commercials that equal high conversions? The idea here is not to copy what they’re doing, but do it in your own way. Use their ideas and make them fit with your brand. But, do it even better because that’s how you succeed.
Then, try to find some things that your competition doesn’t excel at. Maybe they’re struggling to appeal to a younger audience. This is where you can step in and win over the younger audience. Seize the opportunities!
- Prepare for the Long-Term
If you’re only creating a brand strategy to get you through a dry spell, you’re doing it all wrong. The key to a successful brand strategy is to create one that will last through generations to come. You’ll want people 20 to 50 years from now to immediately recognize your brand and explain it easily.
In the modern world, creating a strong presence on the web and in social media is extremely important for brand longevity. This is where you’ll want to focus a lot of your attention for a long-lasting brand strategy that moves through generations.
Although short-term goals of advertising, lead generation, and attending business events are important to build your brand, your long-term strategy is what will eventually create success.
Create long-term relationships with your customers through your blog and social media networks. Write evergreen content that will still be helpful to your audience several years into the future. Doing so will have a positive effect on your customers’ experiences with your brand for years to come.
A successful brand strategy is one that is customer-focused, has a relatable story that a brand adheres to through its mission and branding, studies its competition, and prepared with long-term goals.
Your brand strategy is what will eventually set you apart from others in your niche and will define your business. Learn what your audience likes, wants, and needs and align your brand’s mission to meet those specifics. A strategically-defined brand will bring customer loyalty, trust, uniqueness, and an overall better business strategy and higher conversions.
Related: How To Build A Strong Brand Voice