When you think of “branding,” you’re probably thinking of the bright and bold logos and color palettes of some of the most recognizable companies in the world—like the black Nike swoosh, the yellow McDonald’s M, or maybe the green Starbucks mermaid. And while logos, colors, and fonts are absolutely part of a holistic brand strategy, the truth is that branding is SO much more than just that.
Today we’ll take a look at what branding actually is, why it’s so important, how to develop a brand strategy for your business, and how you can start to bring it to life through your website.
Defining Brand Strategy
Your brand strategy is a comprehensive brand blueprint that includes your mission, core values, and signature approach. It takes into consideration your competition so you can position your brand favorably, and gives you clear insight and understanding into your target audience.
Crafting a strategy is a foundational part of developing your business. It includes all the elements of how you’ll present your business to the world. Your strategy will inform your marketing, sales, and messaging strategies to make sure every aspect of your business is consistent in its purpose and goals. More than that, it will provide a roadmap for how to grow and scale your brand in the future.
And yes—your brand strategy can and should include the visual and graphic design elements for your business. But that shouldn’t be the first or only thing you think about!
Why Brand Strategy Matters
Some small businesses think a brand strategy is just for large organizations, but it’s so not true! Branding is just as important for your small business, and it will help you start off on the right foot with clarity, consistency, and direction. Your brand shows the deeper purpose of your business by articulating and communicating your core values.
A well-defined brand strategy is critical in creating the right relationship with your audience. A brand should evoke an emotional connection with your ideal clients, and give them a specific feeling when they interact or engage with your business. It gives people a way to perceive your business and understand what sets it apart from your competition.
Your brand strategy gives you clarity on the meaning behind your business—that’s what makes your clients stick around. Maybe your brand conveys a high level of professionalism, quality, or customer service. Maybe it shows how much you care about serving your community, protecting the environment, or supporting a certain cause. Ultimately, it makes your audience feel like they know your business on a personal level, and helps develop trust and loyalty among your ideal clients.
Creating Your Brand Strategy
Designing a brand strategy isn’t something to take lightly. Your strategy will impact every aspect of your business. And while you can absolutely do a rebrand if you need to (see this blog post for signs of when a rebrand might be in your future), it’s always easier if you can get it right the first time.
When first starting out with your business, it’s key to ask yourself the right questions. Why did you create your business? What values does your business embody? How do you want customers to feel when interacting with your brand?
Part of developing a brand strategy is doing background research on everything from your ideal audience to your competition. There are always more questions to tackle:
- Who is your target market?
- Why should people buy your product or service?
- What are the pain points of your ideal client, and how are you the solution?
- How can your business stand out from the competition?
- What is your messaging style, and how will you position your brand?
Once you’ve nailed down your brand identity and what your business stands for, you can start designing logos and picking color palettes, fonts, and imagery.
After your brand strategy is fully fleshed out, it’s finally time to go into web design. Trust us, you won’t want to start before then—otherwise, you’ll most likely end up redesigning, rewriting copy, and rethinking your entire brand identity. Save yourself time, money, stress, and questioning your business by focusing on brand strategy upfront.
If you’re eager to have a website to show off your business but still need some help working through your brand strategy, never fear! We offer a brand strategy + website experience package that will guide you through the whole process. Send us a message with any questions and we can help you out.