Brand Strategy 101 – top tips to consider when approaching a brand strategy or refresh

7th November 2018

Earlier this Summer we unveiled a brand strategy refresh at onebite HQ, overhauling our identity to better reflect our unique personality and how we leverage that to the benefit of our clients. Underneath, we’re still an integrated marketing agency creating strategic work, but it was time to review our positioning and how we were communicating this to the outside world.

As a business, we’ve come a long way in the last thirty years, diversifying our offering in response to the needs of our clients and ensuring we are one step ahead of our competition. In line with an increasingly dynamic and forward-facing sector, we felt it was time to refresh our brand strategy – after all, change is the only constant in our industry.

A brand is your business’ personality – a promise of what people can expect from you. It needs to stem from a truth, otherwise, it won’t stick. There is a common misconception that a brand lives within a logo, but it is more than that. A logo is a visual representation of your strategy and acts to bring your positioning to life, but it is not the only driver in place to achieve your goals.

Here are some top tips to consider when approaching a brand strategy refresh:

Listen to your customer (internally and externally)

A period of research is imperative in order to gain a deep understanding of who you really are as business and what makes you different. Some brands make the mistake of only evaluating their company from an internal perspective. This is an inside-out approach and will not necessarily marry up with your external perception, creating a disconnect and a brand positioning that will never land well.

Social media monitoring tools and qualitative research can provide great insight into how you are perceived amongst your existing and target audiences and can highlight brand perception challenges that you may not yet have considered, helping you establish this truth-based positioning.

What is the one single thing that you want to be known for, and how can you best communicate this to your current or future customers?

Equipped with research and your point of difference, the business should now ask itself, ‘so what?’ to ensure your point of difference is shared externally in a benefit-led way to your customers.

Without a clear idea of why you do what you do, and what this actually means for customers or prospective customers, you risk confusion over your purpose, your positioning and your intended messaging, leaving customers to look elsewhere to find their answers.

Avoid the trap of focusing too hard on quick wins

Whilst quick wins can be tempting to invest in and ultimately provide you with quick relief it is important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same will be true of your brand. Sustainable growth and longer-term plans ensure a stronger structure with which to base your activity around. With any brand refresh, it is important to consider phasing your activity over time, ensuring that your messaging is communicated effectively across all the touchpoints of your company (and allowing customers the opportunity to find it and understand it.)

Stop, revisit and re-evaluate

It is important to remain committed to your brand strategy, to ensure any existing and future activities ladder back to your overall positioning. That said, some of the best brands in the world need to leave some wiggle room for adjustments and as the market, competitors and the needs of your customers will change over time and so must you to remain competitive and relevant in the market place.

It’s becoming harder than ever to be heard. Markets are saturated in almost every industry and competition is fierce with less and less differentiation. Your branding and strategy have to work hard, and it must span every point of contact internally and externally to be believed.

With the right strategy in place, a long-term focus on how and where you will target your audience, and a shared agreement across the company of what you are trying to achieve and why, you are on your way to establishing a brand that will stand out and above the competition.

Author: Vicki Maggs, Account Director at onebite

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Considering a rebrand, or looking to change some design elements of your branding? Contact us today on hello@onebite.co.uk and see how we can help.

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