Creating a new brand is exciting. We think about what our logo will be like, what colours we’ll use and what we’ll say to our customers.

It’s easy to let the excitement steamroll into manifesting all the tangible things that we associate with a brand. But it’s never a good idea to run before you can walk. Although these associations are key to gain and maintain recognition, if there’s no underlying structure things can get inconsistent and confusing, pretty quickly.

We often have businesses come to us with these types of issues and our response is always the same: You’re missing a brand strategy.

What is a brand strategy?

Imagine building a house without any architectural plan. It’s likely to creak, leak and eventually, fall to pieces. This same theory applies to building brands.

Your brand may look and sound great. But if there’s none of the consistency that comes from a thought-through plan, then things can get fractured — and confusing — fast. The fallout of mercurial brand expressions is a loss of belief, alignment and endorsement from its audience.

A brand strategy will provide a conscious foundation to your brand, answering the question ‘Why?’ with clarity and reason. It provides guidance on how your brand should look, speak and behave. It gives your brand its reasons to exist and goals to strive for. Most importantly, it influences how your brand connects with its audience and maintains its allegiance over time.

There are many different aspects to a brand strategy; we’ve outlined a few essential ones that help to create a robust — and influential — foundation.

Brand purpose

Every business, product or service should have a clear reason for why it exists; one that should provide a tangible benefit to its audience. Sure, we all want our balance sheets to be amazing. But that holds no sway with your customers.

Audiences connect with brands on a more emotional level. They need to see their values and aspirations reflected in the products and services they believe in — and trust. A brand’s purpose should dig deep into its essence, be the reason it was created in the first place and inspire others to believe, and share in, that purpose.

Brand vision

Where are you headed as a business? And what do you ultimately want to achieve? Your brand vision should answer these questions. It’s your ambition for the future; it should inspire and motivate everyone in the business and have a clear end goal.

If we can’t see where we’re going, how can we expect to arrive at our destination? An organisation’s brand vision should set the intention for everything it wants to achieve — and be inspired by a brand’s passion for what it does.

Brand strapline

Brand values

A brand’s values are what it stands for, its ethos and code of conduct. Values guide the behaviour and evolution of your brand, influencing brand characteristics and the expectations of audiences.

Brand values are a directional force that helps a brand achieve its vision. They should always be authentic, realistic and attainable. Limit the number of values you define for your business; keep it to a maximum of 5. They need to resonate with both consumers and employees, while also being easily remembered and acted upon.

brand positioning
brand strategy diagram

Brand promise

A brand promise is something that audiences can depend on from a business, each and every time they interact with it. It validates the expectation that customers have on experience, quality and outcome. It also gives a brand value in the minds of those connected to it.

A brand promise must be consistently fulfilled to reinforce consumers belief in the brand and needs to be compelling, inspiring, clear and credible. Organisations must have total confidence in their brand promise; it should instil faith in consumers.

Establishing a solid brand strategy will enable your brand to perform and evolve with purpose and authenticity. It will guide your day to day actions and communications — and galvanise attitudes and behaviour within your organisation.

Once you have the strategic blueprint to your brand, you’ll have the opportunity to form stronger (and more sincere) bonds with the people who experience it.

Need a brand strategy that helps your business to stand apart? Let’s talk.

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