You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein

The X-Factor in Branding: Your Brand Strategy

— The X-Factor in Branding: Your Brand Strategy — The X-Factor in Branding: Your Brand Strategy

Branding, Business, Strategy

When designing a brand identity, initiating the process with a brand strategy provides a clear path to develop the brand. It offers insights into color choices, helps determine the best typography to convey the brand’s personality, and guides the development of its copywriting, among other crucial elements. This strategy later serves as a guideline for the business to understand clearly how they could construct their communication, structure their marketing, and manage their brand.

Creating a brand strategy takes time for research and analysis, increasing the cost of a branding project. However, it is a must-have for brands that want to do things right from the start.

So what is a brand strategy?

It is a guideline that defines how your brand will establish its character, connect with its target audience, and differentiate itself in its market. A brand strategy lays the foundation for your brand identity. It includes elements like:

Brand Purpose

Why does your brand exist? Brand purpose is the underlying reason for a brand’s existence beyond just making a profit: making a positive impact on society, addressing a higher goal, or contributing to a cause. It focuses on the positive influence your brand will have in the world.

Take for example a brand like Patagonia. Its purpose goes beyond selling outdoor clothing and gear. The company is known for its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Patagonia actively works to reduce its environmental impact, promotes fair labor practices, and donates a percentage of its profits to environmental causes. Additionally, they encourage their workers to go outside and enjoy nature, fostering a connection between their employees and the values they uphold.

Brand Voice

The ‘tone & voice’ of a brand refer to the consistent style and manner in which a brand communicates its messages. The tone represents the emotional expression in the brand’s communication: friendly, formal, playful, while the voice is the distinctive way in which a brand speaks: conversational, informative, humorous, or serious.

Think about Nike, and how its brand is characterized by a motivational and empowering tone. The company communicates with a bold and inspirational voice, encouraging individuals to push their limits and strive for greatness. Their communication often features strong, dynamic language that revolves around concepts of sportsmanship, determination, and achievement.

Brand Values

Brand values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide a brand’s decisions and interactions. They represent the core ideals and ethical standards that a brand adheres to, shaping its identity and influencing how it engages with its audience and market.

Apple is known for several core values that shape its brand identity. Starting with “Innovation”, Apple strives to create cutting-edge products that set trends in technology. Then we might add “Simplicity” for their user-friendly designs and intuitive interfaces. And include “Design Excellence”, since the brand places a high value on design aesthetics and aims for an incredible visual appeal in their products.

Brand Story

A brand story is a narrative that includes the essence of a brand, its history, values, and purpose, often mixing together elements of the brand’s journey, mission, and unique characteristics to create a memorable and engaging account that will be remembered by your audience.

The Airbnb brand’s story is one of connection and the feeling of being at home. The company started with the idea of creating a network of hosts and travelers who shared a love for travel, by offering a platform for individuals to rent their homes. Airbnb fosters a sense of community and cultural exchange.

When creating a brand identity, initiating the process with a well-defined brand strategy provides a clear roadmap, ensuring your brand’s direction aligns seamlessly with all its elements.

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