Having a workable brand strategy is what sets businesses apart.
Sherpa is renowned for the robust and intense Brand DNA Workshops that we hold with our clients, steering them towards market-centric organisations. Our brand strategies then map out how they will differentiate and connect with their target audiences.
It has been said that alongside the Excel spreadsheet, a brand is the most powerful business tool a business can have. The challenge is that most businesses do not understand brand strategy, thinking that a brand is wishy-washy or that zillion Rand budgets are needed to build brands.
Before getting to a brand strategy, what is a brand?
Many people think that a brand is a logo, corporate ID system or even signage. It is none of these. A brand is how people experience your company, what it is that they associate with when they think of your company or see your logo. When enough people are saying the same or similar things about your company, then you can say that you are on your way to becoming a brand. You’ve then achieved a major milestone.
What does your brand strategy include?
The framework is the Brand DNA, which shapes your brand. It describes the following elements which all work together to create your brand.
The first element is the brand vision, which right upfront describes how you will make the world a better place for your clients. Sounds dramatic but why would you switch to another product or service unless it puts you in a better position? The brand vision sets the tone. Next, we flow through to brand objectives. What job must your brand do? It’s an important driver of the business and you need to measure whether it’s doing it’s job or not. What do you want people to say about you? What kind of impact will it have on client retention? And client acquisition? Must it improve your ability to attract talent?
The ‘brand stream’ keeps on flowing, now into brand values – a crunch area as we build the brand platform. What are the three or four functional aspects of your product, service or company that matters most to your clients? It is often not what you think. This is a critical part of the brand strategy as it creates the tangible and intangible connect with your target audience. Here, we travel through 3 tiers to arrive at your brand values. Brand positioning follows, creating absolute clarity and focus. What do you do? For whom do you do it? Why is it important? For many, the fun part comes now. Brand personality. Is your’s a serious, solid brand? Or is it fun loving, cheerful? Female? Male? Adventurous? Conservative? This will give a clear sense of how you present yourselves to the market in order to, again, connect with people looking for those attributes in a brand.
We’re now in a position to define the brand strategy. How are we going to take it to market? Who will take it to market? What channels or platforms will the brand be presented on? What angle will the strap line take? Ultimately, the brand strategy will cover three or four strategic statements, which then need to be ‘resourced’ with elements and ultimately, activated.