Three Ways To Implement Your Brand Strategy
Rounding out the Branding Basics series with three ways to implement your brand strategy. If you missed the first three posts, I've talked about the difference between brand and branding, the goal of branding, and 7 components you need to develop your brand strategy. If you're anything like me, I like order so take a look at those posts before diving into this one.
Once you have all the components to your brand strategy, it's easier to implement because you now have clarity. Clarity around your brand and now your visual identity, marketing and advertising become more effective.
This is the first place people typically start when first launching their brand but once you've defined your brand strategy, establishing your visual identity becomes a piece of cake. Visual identity begins with your logo suite and continues to your website. In 2017, an accessible and nicely design website is non-negotiable.
Collateral is just as important as your website. Not to be confused with a type of secured payment for a debt. Collateral is a tangible piece of material that is used to promote or support your products or services. Social media graphics, business cards, letterheads, mailers, menus, powerpoint templates are all examples of collateral pieces. Each of these important to your brand as it represents your brand when you aren't in the room.
Having quality photos and videos are also a must for your brand. We've become such a visual culture that having generic stock imagery is not enough. You have to invest in imagery that showcases your product/service and capturing your brand's essence, showing to your target audience you are taking your brand seriously.
Your logo suite, website, collateral pieces and images/videos are the pieces to the visual identity puzzle.
We're defining Marketing as the process that defines how to best align your product or service with the target audience. Meaning your product or service must solve a problem or fulfill a need of your target audience. Once that's established, you must position yourself as a thought leader by sharing content that will establish trust with your audience. For example, if you offer vegan meal planning services, one of the pieces of content you may offer is a checklist of vegan staple items you need in your home. If your target client is transitioning to veganism, they are not only downloading this checklist but they are most likely going to follow you on social media because you've fulfilled a need and become a trusted resource.
Social media is not the only way to market your brand. Consider influencer or affiliate marketing. Both influencer and affiliate marketing leverage another brand's or person's audience to promote your product or service.
If you have a local brand, consider direct mail marketing or showcasing your expertise as a contributor in a local publication.
All of these efforts are considered a 360 approach and you need all of these elements for a comprehensive approach.
Did you know that advertising is a subset of marketing? It's the paid placement of your brand's message in public spaces. Facebook ads, Instagram ads, outdoor ads, classified ads are some forms you can use to amplify your message. Reserve advertisements for new product or services launches because your ads will be seen by a new audience and you want them to experience your latest offerings.
With this trifecta, you are well on your way to branding success!
This wraps up the Branding Basics series and I hope you've enjoyed. Share in the comments your biggest takeaway from this series!