Brand Identity Series part 5 ”Define Your Brand Strategy”

Once you understand your brand you can focus on your brand strategy.  This strategy will define your approach and outline your methods for conveyance.  Then, you will be ready to work on the specific tactics to and steps of your action plan.

If you have followed the steps above, you should have a clear understanding of your customer and your competitive environment. Your strategy is built on this information. The first question to ask is Where will you position yourself? This is the time to decide how to approach your environment to successfully brand your company or your products.  Factors to consider are brick and mortar vs. online, stand alone stores vs. strip or indoor malls, creating your own store or wholesaling to retailers, and combinations of these.

As always, it is important to develop a brand that is distinct from your competitors. It is not enough to emulate a dominant brand. As the old saying goes “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”  In reality, you probably don’t have the resources necessary to duplicate their strategy, especially if they are a bigger, more established company. Seek out a niche of the dominant business’ market. You can successfully determine that niche by asking yourself, “Where are they vulnerable?”

If your business specializes in a specific product area, such as hairbows, build a brand of sweet, girly, pretty, and frilly.  If your advantage is consulting or ideas, make sure your brand is innovative, exciting, and cutting-edge. If you are the lowest price option, make sure to look conservative with money but still maintain a clean, easy to use website design.

Your branding strategy will set the overall limits of your branding “playing field”, now it’s time to design the game plan.

NEXT: Identify Your Branding Game Plan

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based on the article by Michele Schermerhorn

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