Brand Frameworks: Creating and Managing a Coherent Brand Strategy

Brand Frameworks: Creating and Managing a Coherent Brand Strategy

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Have you recently noticed that your brand has a really professional personality on Facebook but a really informal one on Twitter? Or maybe, the fact that your team has been using different colors in different places for the company logo is bothering you? Congratulations, you have a brand personality issue.

Now, before you start firing all employees for using any other color than the one used in the original logo or, in desperation, take on too many tasks just so they are handled correctly, consider this. Does your company have a clear and coherent brand strategy? Forget clear and coherent, did you even bother making and writing down a brand strategy? If not, let’s get to the basics and see how you can fix your problem.

The definition of brand strategy

Brand Strategy Brand strategy is who you are as a person and what you wanted your company to look like when you first started it. It’s the long-term goals that you set for your company in the beginning.

But, it’s not just the business objectives; brand strategy is a lot more than that. It defines how your brand behaves and acts in all kinds of situations. In short, it is all those aspects that make your brand identifiable and hopefully, memorable.

Experts from well-known web development company in London say that your company’s name, logo, website, and products are just a small part of your brand’s overall personality. What really makes or breaks a brand is the experience that the customers have when interacting with the company. A business can control all aspects of its customer interactions. From the logo, the color palette and the tone of the message to the font type and font color, everything can be planned and controlled. But, the thing that businesses cannot control is the perception that the consumers hold and the emotions that they feel when interacting with the company.

It’s emotions and customer experience why we prefer one brand over another even though both provide similar quality products. It’s the thing that separates the top of the class brands from mediocre ones.

A brand strategy cannot allow you to control the feelings of the consumers. But, a good brand strategy can enable you to influence the emotions of the consumers by introducing your brand values to all your interactions with your customers.

The modern customer experience

customer experience In today’s world, great businesses understand that customer experience can be anything, from a face to face chat to a message on the social media. And, that is exactly why all good businesses are willing to go above and beyond to provide unforgettable customer experience.

For example, for businesses that have a presence on social networking websites (and honestly, which respectable business doesn’t?), they are expected to reply to all messages. Even if the sender isn’t a customer!

That’s because smart brands understand that even if a person is not a buyer, their perception and their word of mouth matters. And it’s these two powerful elements that will drive their sales up in the future.
Today’s brands don’t spend all their resources on their specific target audience. Instead, they make sure they use at least some of their resources to target as many people as they can. That’s because they know, sooner or later, anyone can be a customer.

Brand framework

Brand framework Some brands like creating a thorough brand strategy by writing down every single aspect while others prefer brand frameworks. Expert PHP developers say brand frameworks can be in the shape of pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs, flow diagrams, spider diagrams, etc. There are even some models that you can use to create a brand framework, like the Aaker model.

In simple terms, frameworks have the power to represent your brand strategy in graphical form. Whether you prefer a graphical framework or a written strategy, the choice is entirely up to you. But, if you want to create a brand framework you will need a brand strategy first.

In order to create a brand strategy that will enable you to set your brand apart and provide top of the class customer experience, it’s a must that you use some of these great tips;

Develop a brand mission

brand mission No brand can ever succeed if the sole purpose behind establishing it is to generate revenue. All businesses are established to generate revenue; it’s a completely normal motivation behind launching a company. But, revenue generation is only a part of the process.

All successful brands and companies have one thing in common. Right from the start, they all try to achieve something bigger and more important than money. There are companies out there providing people with affordable housing. And there are brands that donate part of their revenue to help the less privileged. Why do you think they do that when they can easily maximize their revenue generation? The answer lies in the fact that, all great brands stand for something and they have a mission that they are always working towards. Working towards this mission is the main goal, revenue generation is just a part of this process. And that is why a brand mission is more important than revenue generation. Moreover, a brand mission that sets out to achieve something bigger and better than just generating revenue for the company will also be noticed by the consumers.

Businesses are there to generate money, everyone knows that. But, when people start seeing that your brand believes in providing value beyond the point of sale, that’s the moment when your brand will start gaining loyal customers.

So, before you think about making a brand strategy, you need to be crystal clear on your brand mission. Don’t know what your company’s mission is? Here’s what your brand mission should be like; Your brand mission should be about who you are, what your company is about and what you wish to achieve with your brand. It should be as clear and concise as possible.

Think about the thing that you want your brand to be always working towards. You can have more than one brand mission but having just one mission will enable you to stay focused on it all the time. There’s no right or wrong brand mission. It’s just something that you want to spend your time and energy working on. And, if your brand is a for-profit organization, your brand mission needs to be such that while working towards this mission, your brand can generate revenue.

Your business objectives should be clear and concise

The difference between a good and a bad brand strategy is that a good one is built around the business objectives so that it can help the business achieve its goals.

So, the first step in making a brand strategy is writing down your goals. But, the thing with business goals is that they are often confused with the company’s mission.

For example, let’s say, a fitness brand wants to become the “most preferred fitness brand by the youth” in the country that it operates in. That is their mission. Their business goals have to be more specific than that. Their business objectives could include points like; opening branches in all major cities, achieving a set growth rate, increasing the sales by a set percentage, etc.

And the one thing that really helps distinguish a business objective from a mission statement is that business objectives have deadlines. Deadlines are what put the pressure on employees, which, helps increase productivity and that, empowers the business to actually realize its objectives.

Ensure your brand is consistent

be consistent If you heard the words “Coca-Cola”, the first thing that would pop-up in your head would the words “Coca-Cola”, written in Spencerian script style in white font color over a plain red background. Do you know how Coca-Cola achieved that? Through brand consistency.

Brand consistency is all about using only that material which either somehow advances your brand or is related to it. For example, let’s say a fitness brand made some political jokes on Twitter. Not only does the brand risk confusing its customers by making them think that the brand is about politics but it could also alienate a big part of the brand’s target audience.

But, if the fitness brand talks about its products, strength training, cardio, gyms and other related topics, the brand not only conveys what it’s about but it can also earn more customers this way. Just like if a quiet and serious person started joking and laughing excessively would feel weird, a brand that doesn’t have a cohesive messaging across all platforms looks off and weird. Being consistent with your brand’s tone and messaging is what will make it recognizable later on and being recognizable is something that earns a brand its customers’ loyalty.

Professionals from web design agency London say if you want your brand’s personality to look on point across all platforms, you should rely on a style guide. A style guide can make rules regarding what kind of tone your brand’s messages will use, what font and color scheme will be used, what kind of promotional art your marketing will rely on, etc.

A style guide can be as detailed and comprehensive as you like and the great thing about them is that by investing a bit of time and energy into them, you can ensure your brand has the same personality and tone across all platforms.

Connect with your customers on a deeper level

customer Do you know why people buy Beats headphones when they can buy the same quality headphone for about $30-$45? It’s because people feel the need to belong to something. People want to feel connected.

Today, brand recognition is also a factor behind Beats’ success. But, in the brand’s early days, people didn’t buy these headphones for their audio quality, they bought them because they wanted to feel connected to Dr.Dre (famous singer and the founder of Beats).

And not just Dre, from Eminem to Kanye West, everyone was using Beats and so, people bought these headphones to feel connected to such huge icons.

Moreover, it wasn’t just about feeling connected to them either. The fact that such huge singers and artists were using Beats headphones accidentally created the feeling that Beats headphones had unmatchable audio quality, making them a must-have for any audiophile.

In short, Beats used fame and an unintentional false sense of high audio quality to make its customers feel like they belong to something important.

Another example of a brand connecting with its customers is when Coca-Cola introduced the “share a Coke with ‘random name’” tagline on its bottle wrapper. It was a huge success for the brand and they saw a big increase in sales. They even started using taglines such as “share a Coke with your Mom” or “Dad” and those became even bigger hits.

The relationship between a brand and a buyer can be very shallow. Every brand is just trying to sell their product and maximize revenue generation and people have gotten wise to it. This is why connecting with your customers on a deeper level has become so important. It lets them know that they belong to a strong community and that your brand cares for them.

And for your brand, establishing a meaningful relationship with your customers will increase sales and earn customer loyalty. So, reach out to your customers and try to establish a relationship deeper than that of a buyer and seller. You can either use own way to connect with them or mimic a famous brand. What’s important is that establish a deeper relationship.

Keep an eye on your competition

business competitors “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Yep, we just quoted the Godfather. You know what better than learning from your mistakes? Learning lessons from someone else’s mistakes. Or more specifically, your competition’s mistakes.

Your competition has a brand strategy too and any smart brand would keep a watchful eye on its competition’s brand strategy to see what’s working and what’s failing. If you can, improve on their strengths, add your own spin to it and make it your own. Also, there might be some good ideas in your competition’s failures too, see if you can do better than them.

Be flexible, be creative

flexible Being consistent with your brand is important, but, if you’re too consistent, your brand can become boring. Leave consistency to broader things, like; the company logo, message tone, font type, color scheme, etc.

But, when it comes to marketing, be brave, bold and creative. This is how Old Spice came back from the dad category to the cool category. And this is how Gillette doesn’t become some brand used by dads around the world.

Experimenting with your style is how you attract the attention of a different audience group. So, have a look at your marketing and if it hasn’t really been producing great results, or if you feel it can do better, try doing something new and brave.

So there you have it. These tips will form the heart of your brand strategy and set your brand on the path to greatness.

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