In today’s hyper-connected, digital-first world, it’s not enough to have a good product or service. How you present it, how you communicate its value, and how you connect with your target audience is as crucial, if not more.
At the heart of all this lies your brand strategy. But what does a cohesive brand strategy look like and why is it so essential? Let’s explore:
Why a cohesive brand strategy?
“Brand is the story, the perception, the feeling a customer has about a product or service.” – Seth Godin
People resonate with brands that have a clear identity, voice, and message. A cohesive brand strategy ensures consistency, making it easier for customers to recognise, trust, and become loyal to your brand. According to a survey by Lucidpress, consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 33%. That's a significant leap attributed to simply being consistent!
The cornerstones of a cohesive brand strategy
Purpose: Why does your brand exist? Beyond profits, what value or change do you bring to your customers or the world?
Positioning: How do you stand out from the competition? It's about carving a unique space in the market and in your customer's mind.
Promise: What can customers consistently expect from your offerings? This isn't just about product quality but the overall experience.
Personality: This is your brand's human touch. Are you formal or casual? Humorous or serious? Modern or traditional?
Understanding your audience
Brands that resonate deeply understand their audience's wants, needs, and aspirations.
“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.” - David Brier
Creating buyer personas can be a game-changer. It helps in tailoring your messages, understanding where your audience hangs out, and what appeals to them.
Consistency across touchpoints
From your website to your social media, packaging, and even customer service – consistency reinforces brand recognition. A report by McKinsey & Company highlighted that businesses providing a consistent customer journey increased their revenue by nearly 10%.
Today's customers are savvy. They can spot inauthentic brands from a mile away and, more importantly, they value authenticity. A study from Cohn & Wolfe found that 64% of consumers said shared values create a trusted brand relationship.
Adapt and evolve
While consistency is key, staying rigid can be detrimental. Brands need to adapt to changing markets, trends, and consumer behaviours. However, any change should align with the brand's core values and essence.
Measure, analyse, and refine
Every strategy requires periodic reviews. Utilising tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, or customer feedback can provide valuable data. By understanding what’s working and what’s not, you can refine your approach.
Collaboration is key
Creating a cohesive brand strategy isn’t a solo endeavour. A well-rounded strategy is built not only by internal collaboration but also by engaging with external entities. It requires input from various stakeholders – from marketing and design to sales and customer service. Furthermore, conversations with customers are invaluable as they provide direct insights into what they value and expect. Studying competitors gives a perspective on market trends and potential areas of differentiation. Everyone, both internally and externally, should understand and buy into the brand strategy. This collective approach ensures that your brand remains resonant, relevant, and robust in the marketplace.
Continual learning and education
“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints.” - Jonah Sachs
Staying updated with the latest trends, attending workshops, or even learning from competitors can offer fresh perspectives and insights.
Don’t forget emotional connections
Humans are emotional beings. According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious and based on emotions. Crafting stories or campaigns that touch hearts can create deeper brand connections.
The power of visual identity
Your brand's visual identity, from the logo to the colour scheme, plays a vital role in creating immediate recognition. Think of iconic brands like Apple, McDonald's, or Nike. Their visual elements are instantly recognisable, even without the brand name attached. It's essential to ensure that your brand's visual elements are not only appealing but also reflect the essence and ethos of your brand.
Storytelling as a branding tool
Narratives have always captivated the human mind. Weaving a compelling brand story can deeply connect with your audience, making them more invested in your brand's journey. As Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." A well-crafted brand story can evoke those lasting emotions.
Cultivating brand advocates
Loyal customers can become your brand's most potent advocates. By consistently delivering on your brand's promise and exceeding customer expectations, businesses can transform satisfied customers into enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations, even in the digital age, hold immense power.
Ethical and social responsibility
Today's consumers are more conscious of the brands they associate with. They appreciate and are loyal to brands that take a stand, contribute to society, and are ethically responsible. Highlighting your brand's commitment to sustainability, ethical sourcing, or community involvement can differentiate you in a saturated market.
Digital presence and engagement
In our digital era, your brand's online presence is paramount. But it's not just about being online; it's about engaging with your audience. Regularly updating content, responding to customer queries, and being active on platforms where your target audience resides can significantly impact brand perception.A cohesive brand strategy isn't just a fancy term or a buzzword. It’s the roadmap that ensures every aspect of your business aligns and resonates with your audience. It's an ongoing process of learning, adapting, and refining. But, with commitment and clarity, it's a journey that leads straight to success. And if you’re ready to take your brands to new cohesive heights, get in touch today.