Branding strategy: 7 essential elements to create a solid brand

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Suppose you’ve noticed that your brand, if you can call it that way, is dysfunctional , or maybe have a definite brand, but this does not reflect really who you are and what you do. 

Before you obsess over what color range chosen for the logo or what tone to use to address your audience on Twitter, you have to stop and analyze the big picture. 

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What is a brand strategy?

By definition, a brand strategy is a long – term plan for the development of a brand solid in order to achieve specific objectives. First, let ‘s clear the misconception about brand strategy: your brand is not a product, a logo, a website or a name. In fact, your brand is much more than that; It is something intangible. However, it’s that difficult idea to define what distinguishes the powerful brands of the mediocre.

So, to keep control of what many marketers consider it an art rather than a science, we have broken down 7 essential components of a comprehensive brand strategy will help keep your business in the orbit for many years. 

7 components of a comprehensive branding strategy

1. Objective

“Each brand makes a promise, but in a market in which consumer confidence is low and budget constraints are high, distinguished from other brands not simply involves making a promise but have a definite goal , says Allen Adamson , president of the North American region brand consulting and design firm Landor Associates.

Although you need to understand what the promise of your company to define brand positioning, know why you wake up every day and going to work is even more important. In other words: your purpose is more specific because it’s what sets you apart from your competitors. 

How can you define the purpose of your business? According to the website Business Insider Strategy, the objective can be considered from two perspectives: 

  • Functional:  this concept measures success in terms of immediate and commercial reasons; p. eg., the purpose of the company is to generate profits. 
  • Intentional:  This concept focuses on success and its relationship to the ability to generate money and bring something to the world.  

While generating profits is important for all businesses, we admire brands that emphasize their desire to achieve more than profitability, as IKEA:

IKEA branding strategy

IKEA’s vision is not only to sell furniture, but “improving the lives of people”. This strategy is attractive to potential customers, and demonstrating its commitment to deliver value beyond the point of sale. 

To define the purpose of your business, keep this example in mind. While a profit is a priority, operate only in terms of this idea will not allow you to distinguish your brand from others within the same industry.

Want some advice? Do some research further. If you need inspiration, check out this publication with inspiring examples of corporate mission and vision .

2) Consistency

The key to achieving consistency is to avoid talking about issues that are not related to your brand or improve. Did you add a new photo to Facebook business page? What does it mean for your company? Is it aligned with your message or was it just something funny that could be confusing to your audience? 

If you want to establish a solid platform for your brand, you must make sure that all your messages are consistent. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition and this strengthens customer loyalty.  

A good example of consistency is the Coca Cola Company. Because of its commitment to consistency, every element of your marketing strategy is integrated with the rest to perfection. This has helped them become one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Even in their social networking accounts, for example, brand consistency is very clear:

Coca Cola branding strategy

Coca Cola branding strategy

Coca Cola branding strategy

Coca Cola branding strategy

To prevent potential customers have to strive to connect all parts of your company, consider the advantages of creating a style guide. In this, you can set from the tone that you will use to emplearás color scheme or the way you posicionarás certain products or services. 

If you take the time to define and agree on these considerations, your brand will be greatly favored. Want to know more about style guides? Check out  this article  in which we highlight a number of brand looks incredible.

3) Emotion

Customers are not always rational. 

How else can you explain that a person pay thousands of dollars more for that for a cheaper but equally quality Harley motorcycle? A kind of voice within that person told him to buy a Harley.

But why?

Harley Davidson  appeals to the emotions creating a community around the brand. They created the (Harley Owners Group) HOG group to connect customers with your brand and so that they could connect with each other. 

HOG branding strategy

By giving customers the opportunity to feel part of a group that has more in common than just a set of motorcyclists, Harley Davidson is positioned as an obvious choice for anyone who is thinking of buying a motorcycle. 

Why? People have an innate desire to relate. Research psychologists  Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary describes this need in his hypothesis of belonging, which states: “People have a basic psychological need to feel connected with others, and these affectionate links close relationships are a part important of human behavior “.

The sense of belonging, that is, the need for love, affection and being part of a group, occupies a central place in the Maslow pyramid, which aims to categorize the different human needs.

¿Moraleja? Find a way to connect with your customers on a deeper and emotional level. Do you transmit tranquility? Do you make part of the family feel? Would you you make life easier? Ask yourself questions how are you to strengthen the relationship and strengthen their loyalty. 

4) Flexibility

In this changing world, marketers must remain flexible if they want to be relevant. One advantage of this is that it frees you to get creative with your campaigns.

You might think: “Wait, how am I supposed to maintain consistency while remaining flexible?”

Good question. While consistency aims to set the standard for your brand, flexibility lets you make adjustments to increase interest and differentiate your approach to competition. 

In other words, “l os effective identity programs require a level of consistency that allows them to be identifiable, but also enough variations to keep the freshness and human quality , ” says the  president of peopleDesign,  Kevin Budelmann.

A great example of this kind of strategic balance is the Old Spice Company. Today, Old Spice is one of the best examples of successful marketing in the world. However, until recently, I use this perfume was an unspoken requirement for all parents. Now, it is one of the most popular brands for men of all ages.

Your secret? Flexibility.

Aware that they should do something to secure a place in the market, Old Spice partnered with advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy in order to position your brand to a new customer base. 

Old Spice branding strategy

Image credit: Works Design Group

With new TV ads, a new website, a new layout and new product names, Old Spice caught the attention of a new generation and younger making strategic to its already recognized brand improvements. 

So, if your old tactics are no longer effective, do not be afraid to change. Who has worked in the past does not mean it’s working now.

Take the opportunity to engage your followers most original and innovative ways. Are there new partnerships can establish your company? Are there attributes of your product than ever you starred? Use them to connect with new customers and remind old why you choose.

5) Employee Involvement

As mentioned earlier, achieve consistency in your business is important if you want to generate brand recognition. And although a style guide can help you achieve consistent digital experience, it is equally important that your employees know how to target customers and represent the brand. 

If your posts on social networks are lively and fun, not make sense that a client call and attend to a serious and monotonous representative, do not you think?

To avoid this kind of experience incompatible knows the approach Zappos.

If ever you contact a customer service representative Zappos, you know what I’m talking about. Otherwise, check out this SlideShare in which are some of the stories of the most inspiring customer support.

Zappos is committed to ensuring that not only the brand, but all brands, are consistent in their digital and human interactions. So he has spent an entire department to the cause called Zappos Insights. 

To ensure that all employees adopt the core values of the company  and to help other businesses to implement the same strategy, Zappos has achieved a reputation for attention to solid, useful and human customer.

6) Loyalty

If you already have an audience that chooses you, your company and your brand, do not sleep on our laurels. Reward them.

These customers have taken the time to write about you, talk to your friends about your product and act as ambassadors for your brand. Cultivate loyalty make them choose your brand over and over again, and generate more profits for your company.

Sometimes a thank you is all that is needed. Other times, we must go further. Write them a personalized letter. Send them a special gift. Ask them to write an assessment and highlights its contribution to your website. Or you can do all the above.

When we reached the 15,000 customers in HubSpot, we wanted to thank them in a major way, while remaining true to our brand. To celebrate, we launched 15,000 orange tennis balls table from the balcony of our room floor and we spell the word “thank you” with a golden globes:

And although for some it has been a strange thing, for those who know our brand, this gesture had all the sense in the world. 

Loyalty is a fundamental part of every brand strategy, especially if you want to support your sales organization. At the end of the day, noted a positive relationship between you and your clients shows prospects what they can expect if they choose to do business with you. 

7) Recognition of competition

Take the competition as a challenge to improve your own strategy and increase the overall value of your brand. They are in the same business and are looking for the same type of customers, so watch what they do.

Do any of your tactics are effective? Do some fail? Define your brand positioning based on their expertise to improve your business. 

A great example of how to improve your brand by learning from your competitors is to Pizza Hut:

Pizza Hut branding strategy Twitter

When a pizza fan wrote a question on his Twitter account, Pizza Hut did not waste time. They responded in a fun way in a few minutes before Domino’s had the chance. 

If Domino’s were attentive to its competitors, you must act quickly know that the next time a similar situation arises.

For HubSpot customers, be aware of your competitors mentions on social networks is easy with the monitoring tool Social Networks. Check out  this article for more information about setting flows custom social networks. 

Although be aligned with the strategies of competitors is important if you want to improve your brand, do not let these determine each step you take.

Of course, maybe you sell a product or a similar service many other companies, but you’re in business because your brand is unique. If you concentrate on every move he makes your competitor, you lose what sets you apart. 

What do other stress components when developing a marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below. 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2012 and was updated for purposes of accuracy and completeness.