First of all, what is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is your brand’s game plan. It defines your long-term goals, outlines your brand promises, and details how these will be shared with your audience. Additionally, your brand strategy should identify your ideal customers and your competitors.
Without a strategy, you’ll fail to create a consistent and thoughtful brand. Earning awareness, equity, and a positive perception will be left to chance.
Even if you make business decisions with your head rather than your heart, you may not have a proper brand strategy in place. Here are 3 signs your current brand strategy is not cutting it.
1. Your customers misunderstand your brand
If your customers are consistently unsatisfied with their experience or constantly asking for solutions you don’t offer, it’s likely that they don’t understand your brand.
Look at the negative comments your brand receives. Are these critiques necessary, or has a customer found themselves in the wrong place? Even with a perfect strategy, your brand will not appeal to everyone. It’s not meant to appeal to everyone. In fact, the right strategy will make this loud and clear.
Use your marketing material to thoroughly introduce your brand to your target audience. Reveal not only what your brand does but also how it does what it does and why it does what it does.
The “how” and “why” of your brand will ultimately outline the “who” of your brand. Who is your brand for? The right customer will understand and relate to your mission and qualify themselves as the right customer for your brand. The wrong customer will steer clear. This is a major time and reputation saver!
Don’t forget: in order for your audience to understand your brand, your brand needs to understand your audience.
When crafting informative content, consider what language, imagery, examples, and creative formats will resonate with your audience the most.
2. Your sales and marketing efforts are not aligned
Your strategy should foster communication and understanding between your sales and marketing team.
It’s your marketing team’s job to warm customers up to your brand, get them excited about your product, and direct leads towards your sales team. Your sales team needs to close the deal and report back to your marketing team on real-life customer interactions and experiences.
Each team gains different but equally valuable customer insights, and if this knowledge isn’t shared between the two parties, your qualified leads will be confused and instantly put off by your inconsistency.
Think about it: well-targeted marketing will attract the right audience, but if this audience feels more understood by an ad than the actual people representing your company, the customer’s experience will be bungled.
Make sure these two teams are not operating in isolation chambers. They are both driven by the same goal, and your brand strategy should clearly state what that is.
Additionally, both your sales and marketing team need access to regular, up-to-date data from multiple customer touchpoints. This data will allow your brand to deliver targeted content and equally strategic in-person interactions that earn much better results.
3. Your brand retention is low
Without a brand strategy, you won’t be able to truly make an impact on your audience or your market.
You need more than just a desirable product to capture and retain customers. Your brand strategy needs to highlight what makes your brand polarizing. How are you different from (and better than) your competitors?
Define your unique offering, brand personality, and brand values. Combined, these will help you capture your audience’s attention and communicate with them in a more memorable way.
A good brand strategy will also inspire innovation, which will keep your audience engaged and reward their loyalty to your brand.
Your brand strategy should include a mission that resonates with every key stakeholder as well as a brand vision that outlines where your brand is headed and what your customer (and employees) will have access to if they stick by your side.
Make the most of your brand
Strategy sessions and collaborative workshops can reveal your brand’s strengths, hone your innovative edge, and help you build a competitive brand.
Our VantagePoint™ Workshops provide the tools and instructions you need to build a super effective brand strategy. Download our VantagePoint™ Workshop tools here.