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Building a long-term brand strategy – what you need to know

The most important thing to know about developing a long-term brand strategy is that it takes time and effort. You cannot just jot down a few notes and hope to get away with it. You need to spend time developing a thorough awareness of your brand and what it has to offer to customers.

The reason for this is that a well-informed strategy that is research based is easier to implement and is more likely to produce good results in the long term.

Brand strategy – what does it mean?

It's often difficult to accurately define a brand strategy, but you need to think of it as covering every aspect of your brand, from what your business represents, to what it delivers to customers and how it communicates through marketing. If often helps to see what is happening in the wider marketing world, as communicated by professionals like Glenda Wynyard. This insight can be useful when you are developing the processes and messages for promoting your brand.

It can be difficult to measure the success of a brand strategy as one of the main metrics involved is brand sentiment. It's important that you get an accurate view of sentiment for your brand as failure to do so can lead to reliance on misleading data; for instance, knowing that you are being talked about on social media is a good thing but if you do not know what people are saying, you do not know whether the talk is positive or negative.

Knowing what you have to offer

In order to create a brand strategy that works, you need to define what you brand is and what it represents. You can do this by answering a series of questions.

  • *  What potential problems can your brand solve?

  • *  What does your customer profile look like?

  • *  Who are the competitors in your field?

  • *  Why should people trust your brand?

  • *  How should people feel about your brand?

  • *  What is the story behind your brand?

  • *  What personality do you want your brand to have?

Once you have all of the information in place, you can start to develop logos and slogans that are ideally suited to your brand marketing.

Telling your story

When you are developing a brand strategy, it's a good idea to think as though you are telling a story.

What to say to customers?

You need to define the start of, or change in, a story. This is the problem that your customer has; a kitchen that is too small or a winter coat that needs replacing, for instance. The middle of the story is about what your brand can do to resolve the problem and the story ends with the customer being satisfied with the solution. Obviously, your story needs to encapsulate different customer experiences, so you need to spend time creating a story that works.

How to talk to customers

It's not just what you have to say that is important, it's how you say it. You need to use language that encourages engagement and that inspires loyalty in customers. The way you tell your story needs to be memorable so that people will always associate it with your brand. You need to spend time crafting a story that stirs emotions and motivates people to act.

Building a long-term brand strategy is not something that you can do quickly and easily. Investing time and effort in the process means that you are more likely to experience positive results.