In a world full of buzzwords in the brand, business and marketing world, it is often difficult to keep track of everything. In addition, one constantly reads the two terms business strategy and marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the term brand strategy is still used far too rarely in the context of the other two strategies. Yet the brand strategy is the foundation for the success of a start-up or later scale-up.
What is a brand strategy?
To describe the goal of a brand strategy, we would first like to explain the meaning behind this term. A brand strategy differs significantly from a business and marketing strategy. A brand strategy is a long-term strategy, whereas a marketing strategy is short-term. These two differences alone also illustrate why brand strategy must come first in order to be successful later via marketing. Both work together hand in hand in the end.
A brand strategy gives you answers about who you want to be as a brand and what position you want to take in the market with your start-up. It also gives you clarity about who your ideal customer is, so that you can later use marketing to reach them with the right message. The task is to use insights to understand who you want to be as a brand and how you want to be perceived in the minds of your customers. Or does an already existing customer target group have the right perception of your brand as you want it to be?
What goal should it achieve?
The goal of a brand strategy is therefore to bring together our own identity and the perception that we want to consolidate in the minds of the customer target group. If it is a new customer target group, the goal of the brand strategy is to get clarity on how you will create a certain perception of your brand in the long term. If an existing customer target group has a completely different perception of your brand, we are talking about a classic „brand gap“. Whether new or existing customers, your goal is to bridge the brand gap with a brand strategy.
Insights help you
By interviewing your target customer group, you will gain a lot of valuable insights. Forget about studies like the Sinus Model (German studie), which gives you an interesting overview, but doesn’t give you answers to what your customers really want. Choose a smaller group and interview them to find out what their everyday life is like and what their challenges are. You can also ask specific questions about your existing brand and how it resonates with them. With these insights, you will be able to create a plan to achieve a desired image or as we say, a „conscious“ positioning in their minds in the long run.
Maintain your brand strategy
If you have created a brand strategy and thus a plan for how you want to be perceived by your ideal customers in the long term, this is not the end of the story. This is often a big mistake that can be seen again and again in companies that have defined their brand. They do not develop their brand further, which leads to their brand becoming diluted or losing relevance. The market and therefore people’s needs are constantly changing and brands have to react to this. This doesn’t mean that brands should follow trends – good brands don’t – but that you adapt your brand to the market.
The goal is to maintain the perception and focus on the core of the brand as described above with your foundation that makes up your brand. Brands are constantly changing and this can be observed very well at regular intervals with big brands when the brand design/brand identity gets an update or the communication is sharpened. Nevertheless, these brands remain true to their foundation and core.
In other words, successful brands keep moving, build on their foundation, and align their own desired perception with their customers as well as employees. This is why the regular exchange with one’s own customer target group is so important in order to maintain the correct perception as well as the relevance of one’s own brand.
Need help with your brand strategy?
To achieve and maintain the desired perception among your customers, you need a concrete approach. In our Brand Strategy Sprint we develop your brand strategy together with your team – fast, focused and with your customer target group. This gives us the insights to position your brand so that it is perceived correctly and you become successful with your start-up.