Brand Strategy: Your Guide to a Winning Branding Strategy

Brand strategy should be well-designed and adequately executed across all your business functions for it to succeed. An effective branding strategy aims to improve brand awareness, competitive advantage, financial performance, client experience, and loyalty.

In this regard, when formulating a brand marketing strategy, your company should first set the goals you envision for your business to achieve. Your strategy for branding is a system and a means to inform your target market of your brand’s existence.

Drafting your brand strategy is a multifaceted process. It involves identifying your ideal customers, determining their pain points your brand intends to solve and aligning your brand personality, messaging, and tone of voice with your organization's overall vision.

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What is a Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is your formal long-term business plan that focuses on how your organization can establish rapport, build customer relations, and win favorability within your industry.

You will use your branding strategy to create a specific image to present to your current and prospective clients. This image targets to leave an impression on your audience, drawing out a brand recall. The objective of your brand marketing strategy is to influence their purchase decision so that they can easily associate with your brand and, consequently, choose you over your competition.

Brand strategy is intangible yet powerful, setting you apart from the crowd. It makes your brand the recognizable and relevant as opposed to some forgettable others. The scope of a well-defined and suitably implemented strategy for branding goes beyond your products or services, your logo, your taglines, or your name.

7 Types of a Branding Strategy

Here are the seven kinds of brand marketing strategy. These can add value to your business by helping you build brand identity and brand equity.

1. Personal Branding

Personal branding strategy is used for an individual instead of a whole company. It defines someone’s character, qualities, personality, or work and positions these aspects as a brand.

Leaders, celebrities, and entrepreneurs are some of the people who use this form of brand strategy to showcase and market the best versions of themselves to their specific audiences.

2. Product Branding

Product branding is one of the more widely used brand marketing strategy types. It is focused on differentiating a specific product from other items on the market under a similar category. The symbols and images on its packaging, plus the logo design, play an essential role in developing the brand identity with USP to make the product distinct.

3. Corporate Branding

Corporate branding strategy refers to the value of a business or an organization through which it presents itself to the public and its people. It covers a company’s mission, vision, core values, and goals. These components are integrated into the messaging and corporate brand voice on any platform, making the company effortlessly recognizable.

4. Service Branding

Service brand marketing strategy leverages consumer needs and demands. You can use a service branding strategy when your business aims to provide excellent-quality client care to offer more value to your customers.

5. Co-Branding

Co-branding is the type of strategy for branding wherein two or more companies form a marketing partnership together. The alliance's purpose is growth for the businesses involved, as each positively impacts the other. Through co-branding, your business can break into the markets of your partner brand.

6. Online Branding

Online branding or internet branding strategy introduces, markets, and sells your products or services on the online marketplace. It includes having your company website and a consistent presence on social media platforms. Any marketing content or material published online that is related to your brand is part of online branding.

This strategy for branding is so popular nowadays with the boom of e-Commerce that even traditional brick-and-mortar shops are also advertising on the internet.

7. No-Brand Branding

No-brand branding is also known as minimalist branding. It is a brand strategy often used by generic products that speak for themselves, minus the need for extras. This strategy for branding does not utilize complex, elaborate color schemes or designs to make them more attractive to consumers.

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7 Elements of a Brand Marketing Strategy

The following are components making up a brand strategy:

1. Purpose

Your purpose is one of the key differentiators between your brand and your competition. It is the “why” behind every product or service you offer. This is where the mission and the vision statement your company adheres to step in.

The purpose of your brand can be viewed in these two ways:

  • Functional – The concept is centered on commercial reasons such as generating profits and revenues.
  • Intentional – On the other hand, this concept emphasizes your commitment to achieve beyond earning, i.e., the good value your products or services contribute to your client's lives.

2. Consistency

Alignment is your key to consistency and harmony. In putting your strategy for branding into action, all the marketing collaterals you put out there should be aligned with your messaging and overall brand archetype.

You will not want to publish a social post that veers from what your business stands for, confusing your target audiences. For instance, you should not incorporate anything irrelevant in your website design that may hinder your brand voice.

Another example would be the tone and style of your blog writing. When distributing promotional articles, ask yourself how you would like them to sound based on your creative style guide—fun and approachable yet at the same time professional or strictly formal and commanding authority.

3. Emotion

Apart from tapping into logic, your brand strategy should, more importantly, connect with your target market on an emotional level.

Besides practical needs, people’s decision to buy things or subscribe to services is fueled by their emotional desires that they want to be fulfilled.

They may be longing for belongingness. That is why brands evoking a certain connectedness to others appeal to them. It can be the happiness that they are looking for when making a purchase. Some consumers act on impulse so they instantly decide to buy when the product branding is anchored on urgency. Some lean toward brands that guarantee peace of mind. The list goes on.

You can learn from this the importance of creating a genuine bond with your audiences—leverage emotional triggers to support this bond and, eventually, earn their loyalty.

4. Flexibility

As a business owner, manager, or marketer, you should be capable and willing to adapt to changes to stay relevant.

While consistency helps you standardize your branding strategy, flexibility allows you to adjust or tweak your tactics as necessary. You should find balance and cohesiveness between these two elements.

Get creative and think out of the box to generate and maintain people’s interest in your brand. If a particular approach to your brand marketing strategy is no longer working, it may be time to shake things up and make changes.

5. Employee Involvement

Your employees are also your brand advocates.

This is why it is crucial to communicate your company’s goals, mission, and vision with your workforce across all teams and departments. In this way, your employees will be well-informed about your brand strategy and well-versed with your communication style with clients.

Since your employees are living representatives of your brand, their strong knowledge of your branding strategy can help strengthen your brand name and reputation.

6. Loyalty

Remember always to reward your brand loyalists, fanatics, advocates, and your client base in general. Acknowledging, reciprocating, and cultivating customer loyalty will give way to more repurchases and, thus, higher profits for your business.

Loyalty is a crucial area in any strategy for branding. Reinforcing your existing positive relationships with your current consumers establishes the tone for what new clients can most likely expect from their future transactions with you.

7. Competitive Awareness

Competition is a challenge for you to keep enhancing your branding strategy and always find greater value in your product or service offering.

Because you and your competitors are trying to win the same customers in the same industry, you must stay up-to-date with how they are managing their brand marketing strategy. Invest time in studying the areas wherein they excel and their tactics that seem to be working less efficiently.

Gaining knowledge about these details can help you tailor your tactics and methodologies to bridge gaps in your own strategy for branding.

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How to Develop Your Brand Strategy in 6 Steps

Formulate and finalize your branding strategy that powerfully recounts your brand story by following these steps:

Step #1: Define Your Belief System and Principles

Like every other brand out there, yours should also uphold a set of beliefs and principles that influence how you operate your business—from product research and design to take action to promote the final product.

When you have these principles and beliefs laid out, you can efficiently bring your employees together, build a community for your customers, and realize the future you mapped out for your brand.

In setting out your belief system and principles, you have to be clear on these components:

  • Your purpose describes why your brand exists
  • A vivid vision that drives you forward and is incredibly influential in securing your success
  • The mission specifies the processes you have to take to fulfill your vision
  • The core values that guide your decisions, tactics, methods, and overall brand marketing strategy

Step #2: Express Your Brand Essence Through Proper Brand Messaging

Your brand essence is the makeup or composition, while your brand messaging is how you communicate what makes up your brand.

Brand essence comprises:

  • Determining your personality
  • Finding your unique voice
  • Identifying and setting your tone

These values are most important when talking about your brand essence:

  • Honesty
  • Authenticity
  • Consistency
  • Authority

Considering your needs and goals, you can use these messaging elements or possibly combine two or more of them:

  • Your brand promise
  • The story behind the brand
  • A brand manifesto
  • The origin story of the founder
  • An elevator pitch

Step #3: Compose Your Visual Identity

Forming a solid visual identity entails that beyond creating a design for a social post today, you are also sketching your brand’s outlook.

Since you already have your goals, purpose, brand essence, and messaging in place, you can move forward with visualizing your brand identity using the following:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Imagery
  • Logo

Here are the characteristics of a compelling visual identity:

  • It is adaptable in that it can be adjusted and modified according to your business growth and expansion plans. Whether introducing new products or services, venturing onto a different marketplace, or even branching out into another industry, your visual identity should be flexible to keep up with any possible changes.
  • It is comprehensive, and can provide your creative team with the necessary tools to perform on the job and execute your brand strategy.
  • It is intuitively designed and accurately constructed so that all visual components are aligned and complementary with each other.

Step #4: Write a Branding Guide

Compile your branding guidelines in a playbook. This guide is your constant basis and reference for creating content and distributing it.

When you have a brand playbook, you can more easily manage consistency and cohesiveness in your marketing and promotional initiative. It will also serve as a metric for the quality of your content for brand marketing strategy. In addition, it acts as your compass, empowering you with a clear pathway and gearing you up for continuously producing high-quality content.

Step #5: Have Key Professionals

You are not expected to design your brand marketing strategy independently, and you do not have to. You need a team of branding specialists who can help you devise, revise, and breathe life into your strategy for branding. Your dedicated branding team should consist of the following:

Brand Shepherd

The brand shepherd, also known as the creative lead, is responsible for the general alignment of branding with your organization’s goals.

Their role involves:

  • Closing any gaps between the business and the brand
  • Interfacing with the higher management
  • Supervising overall marketing
  • Challenging the team by asking tough questions to help solidify the brand strategy

Marketing Lead

The marketing lead is responsible for aligning marketing initiatives and projects with the brand strategy.

Their duties include:

  • Coming up with promotional activities and other marketing programs
  • Managing and maximizing content creation and distribution
  • Coordinating the use of branding resources
  • Making sure collaborative work within the team is seamless

Culture Lead

The culture lead takes on the role of cultivating a culture that exhibits your brand’s core values. They are community builders who promote the business through brand values. The main goal of the culture lead is to attract consumers who can take part in establishing your brand.

Communications Lead

The communications lead is the main PR person on the team who is responsible for sharing and disseminating brand knowledge.

They perform branding documentation and create a repository of branding collaterals. Also, they educate customers and colleagues on your company’s branding strategy.

Step #6: The Value of a Brand Marketing Strategy

A reliable and enduring strategy for branding is essential in selling your products or services and potentially expanding your market reach. It translates your competitive positioning and works to keep your brand in the mind of present clients and prospects.

Here are the advantages of having a definitive brand strategy for your organization:

  • It generates higher revenues and creates long-term brand equity.
  • Because it is your go-to reference for all brand-related projects, it future-proofs your brand and your business as a whole.
  • It prevents you from falling into client communication issues or conflicts.
  • A reflection of your company’s core values and goals, it eases your decision-making process in the areas of marketing and business methodologies.
  • It is a thoroughly documented continuing marketing plan that allows well-oiled business operations and makes you hit your targeted goals.
  • A clearly-articulated brand, helps your company carve out its place in the industry.
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Takeaways on Creating a Brand Strategy

Working side by side with your competitive positioning methodologies, your brand strategy functions as the heart and spirit of what your products and services represent.

Not all brand strategies are made equal. Some of them work out just as previously imagined, while others do not pan out well. To ensure the success and effectiveness of your branding strategy, you must document and compile your processes for brand strategy development, jotting down notes every step of the way. This can help you trace your steps back whenever you need to reassess the direction you are headed with your brand marketing plan.

Finally, a good branding strategy, above all, enables you to communicate with your target audiences, interact with them, and begin a lasting bond with them.

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