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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

Why Brand Strategy is Important

There is a common misconception that the terms "brand" and "logo" are interchangeable.

Branding is what a business needs to capture the ideal customer's attention and stand out from the crowd. It is what turns first-time buyers into lifetime customers and what turns indifferent audiences into brand ambassadors. It is the promise you make to your customers, and your business' success depends on how well you deliver on that promise.


In other words, it is an essential asset needed to take a business to the next level.

But why is branding so important? What is involved in branding? And how do you brand your business in a way that resonates with your audience? This article will explore what branding is and why it is important to develop a clear branding strategy.


What is a Brand?


In essence, a brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or organisation. It takes place at every touchpoint, every interaction with the customer, and every time a customer thinks of your brand.


An important thing to note is that the customers control the brand. A company can merely influence the customers' perception of the brand but not control it completely.


Why is Brand Strategy Important?


As already mentioned, your brand is how customers perceive your company or organisation. The brand strategy guides how you communicate and interact with said customers. The strategy defines what the brand is, what sets it apart, how you want customers to perceive it, and explains why the business exists beyond making money.


While having a brand strategy does not guarantee that a brand will be successful, every successful brand has a solid branding strategy that got them into that position. So, it is well worth the effort into creating an effective branding strategy.


Here are four reasons why every business needs a brand strategy:

1) Differentiation

Advances in technology and globalisation have dramatically increased the competition in most industries, and customers now have a lot more choices and less time to sift through them.


The human brain acts as a filter to protect us from too much information. We're wired to only notice that which is different or "remarkable"; so in a sea of thousands of brands vying for the customers' attention, the best strategy is to be different.

An effective brand strategy helps a brand distinguish itself from its competitors and become more recognisable among the noise.


2) Loyalty


"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it", is a famous saying by Simon Sinek, a business author and inspirational speaker. He argues that attracting a loyal customer base is about finding people who share the business's fundamental beliefs and values, which is right to an extent.


An effective brand strategy will communicate the business' beliefs, values, and reasons for existing beyond money; to a group of customers who share these beliefs and will create a strong emotional connection. Over time, this relationship develops into trust.

This strong emotional connection creates a sustainable competitive advantage for a brand that will be difficult for others to replicate and could lead to significant financial benefits for the brand through repeat purchases.


3) Direction


A good brand strategy gives a clear direction to a brand's marketing efforts. An effective brand strategy will set out clear, concise short and long-term goals that the marketing team can aim for.


Goal setting is the backbone of effective branding. Goals give a team a benchmark to measure their performance against, provide focus, and work to provide additional motivation to get the job done.

To ensure a desirable result, the goals have to be grounded in reality and clear enough to be used again as benchmarks for future projects and campaigns. An effective brand strategy will provide S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific: The goal must have a clear, highly specific endpoint

  • Measurable: You need to be able to track your progress accurately, so you can judge when the goal has been met

  • Attainable: The plan must be ambitious enough to motivate the team but reasonable enough that it is achievable

  • Relevant: The goal must be pertinent to the brand and lead to economic or social benefits

  • Time-bound: There must be a clear time frame for the goal; this helps with motivation and keeping track of progress

We will cover how to craft S.M.A.R.T. branding goals in a later article.


4) Consistency


Brand consistency refers to the delivery of brand messaging in line with the brand core messages and values over some time. It involves exposing your brand audience to your core messages, visual identity, and other brand elements repeatedly to solidify and reinforce brand recognition.


An effective brand strategy ensures consistency across brand assets to ensure that the business is immediately recognisable to its target audience. An effective brand strategy will also help the audience build a strong association between its core messages and values and its visual elements.


Cohesiveness is the name of the game. An excellent example of this is Coca Cola would use the same colours and theme to elicit an emotion of fun and excitement in their brand communications.



The key to consistency is to avoid actions and content that do not relate to or align with your brand. The more consistent the brand is with its messaging and visual style, the more likely it is to attract and retain its loyal customers.


5) Attracting and Retaining Talent


An effective brand strategy does more than just promoting the business' value proposition to customers; it also communicates the business' values and mission, which can be an effective tool for attracting and keeping the right people.


When a brand is clear about what it stands for, its message will naturally attract skilled employees who share their views. At the same time, current employees are more likely to stay with a business if the brand's values align with their own.

Closing


This article explained why brands need to develop a solid and cohesive strategy to be able to compete in the marketplace today. Stay tuned to the blog for the next article which will explain in detail, how to craft an effective brand strategy, which will set the brand apart.


If you have any questions on any part of this article, do not hesitate to email me.

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