Continuing our talk from the previous post in this series, a brand strategy is figuring out what you want, your prospects, and customers’ to experience when encountering and interacting with your business, product, or service. It’s how you want people to feel about your business compared to everyone else’s business.
It answers the questions:
- Why does your business exist? What impact do you want to make in the world or change do you want to create in your customers’ lives?
- What is the one thing you can say your business does differently than your competition?
- What are your offerings?
- Who is your ideal customer?
Your brand strategy determines almost every decision you’ll make in your business. Most importantly, it’s how you’ll make an emotional connection with your customers–it’s all the reasons why they’ll pick you instead of the alternatives.
Brand strategy comes before designing logos, picking photos and colors, or messaging. It comes before marketing.
If you want your marketing efforts to be successful, you must be clear about the brand you want to build. You need a strategy before you dive into tactics.
Brand Strategy – The Basics
I’m going to do my best not to use industry “brand-speak” or jargon and explain how a brand strategy helps attract customers to your business.
You will first need:
1. A solution to a problem that your customer is facing
You should offer a solution to a problem that many people face that is painful enough that they are willing to pay you for relief.
If possible, it is best for people to already have a need and be aware that they need a solution. Think of a lock and key. You don’t make a key and go searching for a lock. You find a lock and make the key to fit.
This is where folks start to panic and ask, “What if people don’t know they need my offering?” No worries, that is where brand strategy comes in. It explores your customers’ needs more deeply to uncover their frustrations and desires. It allows you to craft with clarity a brand message that can speak your customers’ language.
You must use the same language that they use for them to understand your offering and identify with it. The goal is to get them to think, “That’s me! I have that problem! I need that solution, and it fits into my life!”
The brand strategy process begins with having an offer that solves a specific customer need and how you will guide them to their desired outcome, one that differs from your competition.
What problem do you solve? Are you crystal clear about it? Are you sure people have this problem and know that they need your solution?
Once you answer those questions, it then becomes a matter of attracting customers who need your solution.
Your next step is to identify:
2. People who have the problem that you solve
- What sort of people are they, and what qualities do they have in common? Do their values align with yours?
- What categories can you put them in?
- What industries do they come from? (What are you most familiar with?)
A great way of finding your ideal customer is to use the PVP approach (ok, it’s a little jargony.) The PVP approach helps you determine what particular customer brings you the most fulfillment, value, and profitability.
Start by selecting the different types of people you think are served by your offer then rate on:
- Personal fulfillment – How much do you enjoy working with this type of customer? Rating how much you enjoy working with this customer.
- Value to the marketplace – How much does this customer value your work? Are they willing to pay more money for your work?
- Profitability – How profitable is the work you do for this type of customer?
Once you narrow down your selection, take efforts to really get to know your customer. The more you understand who they are and understand what motivates them, the better you can speak their language. That makes it easier for you to attract them to you.
- What is their desired outcome?
- When you solve their problem, what does the future look like for them?
- What do they struggle with?
- What causes their pain and frustration?
- How do they describe their problem and with what language?
- How can you join their conversation in a way that’ll get their attention?
Awesome! You now have a solution and have identified the people who need it most and whom you want to serve.
Next, you’ll need:
3. A reason for them to see you as the only possible choice to solve their problem
When someone realizes they have a problem, they take to Google and start researching before considering paying for a solution. There are many options for them to consider, so at this stage, it is up to you to clearly communicate why you are the best and only choice.
This means explaining why working with you is different and describing the specific benefits and outcomes they can plan to expect. Then, answering any concerns they have, overcoming all their objection, and answering any concerns they have, proving all of the claims you’ve made.
You’ll need to communicate your values, your philosophy, your personality —what it’s like to work with you. These are points of comparison and differences that will help your customer recognize you above all the others.
You’re probably wondering how in the world you are supposed to communicate all that. Well, mainly with words or messaging, but also visuals. Visuals are essential for recognition and memorability. They facilitate understanding and help establish credibility and trust.
Are you able to clearly define who you are? What makes you the most different from the competition? What are the specific reasons your customer should choose you over all other options? Can you prove it to them?
If you can figure out these first three parts of your brand strategy, you’re well on your way to creating a plan that’ll help you attract clients.
Be sure to check out the next post in this series, “WHAT IS THIS BRAND THING? (3 OF 3)”
Have Questions? Schedule a Free Brand Assessment Today!