Who the Hell Are You? How You Can Create a Kick Ass Brand Strategy!
You Need a Kick Ass Brand Strategy!
Do you know why most of us own at least one Apple product? Is it because they are cheaper? Hell no! Is it because they are better? No, not necessarily, I remember a few iPhone glitches alone. So do you know why we willingly wait in line, and then pay a lot of money, for Apple products? I’ll tell you, it is because they have a Kick Ass Brand Strategy!
A brand is a personality that identifies a product, service or company, including a name, term, sign, symbol or design. A brand also represents the relationships between customers, staff, partners, investors, and so forth. Boundless
Apple doesn’t sell computers and smartphones; they sell cool tech! Everything in their brand strategy is aligned with that. Their logo is cool, their stores are cool, their technology is cool. Admit it, you played around with an Apple product at least once. You did that because it was cool. And Apple made it cool because they have a kick ass brand strategy. And so can you!
Some time ago I was invited to attend a Branding Conference presented by Tribe of Zero. There were two reasons why I wanted to attend. As a brand strategist myself it is always interesting to hear what other experts in the field have to say. And there were a number of brand experts, but only one focused on what it took to develop a kick ass brand strategy.
Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity. TSL Marketing
The others touched on various aspects of brand strategy in detail, which was informative. But I know that a lot of business owners still think that a brand strategy is knowing where your logo files are. And that’s just not going to do it! So let’s get started by looking at what goes into a kick ass brand strategy.
The Elements of A Kick Ass Brand Strategy
You guessed it, a kick ass brand strategy starts with strategy. The old adage “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” Definitely applies here. Your brand needs a strategy. And not just plain old any strategy. You need to recognize market trends and respond to consumer activity if you plan to get ahead. Your brand has to evolve gradually and strategically over time. Remember wasn’t built in a day. If you want a kick ass brand strategy you need to do it right!
Creativity can really add to your kick ass brand strategy. By adding the right amount of creativity you are making your brand go BOOM, as a friend of would say! (More about that later.) Creativity makes your brand remarkable, lets it stand out from the background noise, and gets people talking about it. Trust me, an innovative brand is a competitive advantage you will want!
If you don’t know where the hell you are going why are you trying to get there? If you want a kick ass brand strategy you need to refine and focus your vision all the time! You simply can’t rock your brand if you don’t know where it is headed. Having a strategic and realistic vision helps to keep your brand on track as you grow and move forward.
The next important aspect of a kick ass brand strategy is your image. And this is important, folks! It doesn’t matter if you are a firm of high-powered attorneys, a gastro pub, a tech startup, or a food truck. This where brands fail most of the time. No matter if you want to portray the suit-and-tie or the Converse All Star look, your brand image has to be professional, be consistent, and make a great first impression. If you don’t rock them the first time, when exactly are you going to do it?
Equally important for your kick ass brand strategy is your voice. No, I don’t mean your engaging tenor. I am talking about the tone of voice your brand uses to communicate with your audience. In order to be heard your brand needs to deliver a consistent message with a unique tone of voice. And that voice needs to be consistent with your brand’s values, personality, and positioning. So listen to what you sound like. Is that working for you?
Did you ever buy a car from a used car dealer? Remember the fake smile the salesman wore the entire time? All he wanted was your money. And it works the same way in creating a kick ass brand strategy. People can spot a fake smile a mile away. Honesty and transparency are the only way to show that your brand is genuine, reputable, and trustworthy. So do yourself a favor; don’t come across as a flimsy brand. Ditch the cheap business cards, clip art logos, and lo-res images; they will only hurt you!
Brand positioning is critical to establishing a kick ass brand strategy. So where does your brand stand? If you want to rock your brand you can’t blend into the background, folks! Remember, your brand needs to go BOOM! And in order to do that your brand has to find a unique position in your market place. Here is a hint: if you drill down and focus on your ideal client it will become much easier to spot a unique position yourself.
Part of your kick ass brand strategy is to have your brand everywhere. That means you need to have a credible presence both online and offline. Online your brand needs to be consistent across your website, blog, and all social channels. Make sure your voice, image, and message are the same to avoid brand confusion. And make sure your brand representatives are rocking your brand in person, and that includes business cards and printed materials.
If you want a kick ass brand strategy you can’t have a snoring brand! Is your brand coming across as bland or stale? In order to keep your brand fresh, and in front of your audience, you need to publish fresh content that is relevant to your audience on a regular basis. A great way to do that is to establish and keep an active blog. Don’t believe me? You are reading this post, aren’t you?
Part of creating a kick ass brand strategy is to keep an eye on both your competition, and any newcomers on your block, figuratively! If you want to keep rocking your brand you need to stay one step ahead at all times. So keep your ears to the ground and your eyes open to what is going on in your industry or field. Remember, those booms are just not as effective if your audience heard them before!
Building your kick ass brand strategy is not the hard part, maintaining one is! In order to maintain your brand you will need to always actively listen to your audience, and anyone else talking about you! That is key to understanding what people are saying about your brand. Knowing what is being said when you are not in the room is essential.
Start Creating Your Kick Ass Brand Strategy!
OK, now that you know what goes into a kick ass brand strategy you are ready to start rocking your brand! Start by going through our list and determine which elements you already have, which ones are not working for your brand, and what is missing.
The elements of a kick ass brand strategy are roughly arranged in the order you need to create them. As mentioned earlier you really do need to start with a strategy, and there are many steps before you really need to deal with things like analysis or reputation.
Creating a kick ass brand strategy is the most important thing you need to do if you want to rock your brand. Remember, you only get one chance to make that first impression, and most of your clients will connect with your brand long before they will connect with you.
Therefore you need to take this very serious. I have seen tons of businesses fail not because they had a lousy product, or provided no value for their customers. They failed simply because they did not rock their brand!
If you want a kick ass brand strategy I really recommend that you engage a professional brand strategist to walk you through it. If that is beyond your budget at least engage the services of a professional designer to create your logo, and have someone who knows what they are doing assist you with the other steps.
Making Our Own Kick Ass Brand Strategy go BOOM!
Remember at the beginning of this post I mentioned I had two reasons for attending the branding conference; I told you the first one already. The second reason was I really wanted to experience one of the presenters in person, and possibly meet her. And boy, am I glad I did!
Talk about a high energy (#highlycaffeinated?) brand strategist! Isabelle Mercier Turcott, Founder and Catalyst at LeapZone Strategies on Vancouver Island, B.C., will make your brand go BOOM, like it or not! She understands rocking your brand better than most, and she inspired me to write this post. Merci, Isabelle!
Isabelle also inspired me to look at our own kick ass brand strategy. The #highlycaffeinated, colorful and energetic ESPRESSO.digital brand always worked for us. But Isabelle gave us some new ideas how we could rock our brand even harder.
Maybe you already noticed some changes. There will be others, so stay tuned. Remember, even kick ass brand strategies need a kick in the rear once in a while if you want to keep rocking your brand!
And if you have a chance to see Isabelle rock a presentation and go BOOM in person you really should!
We Can Create a Kick Ass Brand Strategy!
Here at ESPRESSO.digital, we offer a full range of brand strategy and development services, including creative services, brand strategy and design, content strategy and creation, digital marketing, and community management.
Contact us to learn more about our business brand development services, and how our team can help you create a kick ass brand strategy and really rock your brand.
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