Branding Basics - How do I use my brand strategy?
Together with your competitive positioning strategy, your brand strategy is the essence of what you represent. A great brand strategy helps you communicate more effectively with your market, so it is vital to follow it in every interaction you have with your prospects and customers.
Both your competitive positioning strategy and brand strategy are used during:
- Your client's actual experience with your business itself
- Your outbound marketing communications to this client before, during and after the delivery of service.
How should I be using my brand strategy?
Your brand strategy will used at every single client touch point and should deliver and reinforce the concept of value your brand aims to occupy in your clients' and prospects' minds. So for example, you'll communicate your brand strategy through your pricing strategy, corporate visual identity, messages, brochures and website (to name just a few).
Other areas your brand strategy impacts upon:
- Your brand strategy may also call for a need to implement a better CRM system (to manage customer relationships in a fashion commensurate with your new brand).
- Your criteria for recruiting and rewarding employees should match the criteria of your brand values. I.e. you should look for the right skills and aptitudes that will represent your brand promise effectively.
- All key outbound communications (specific strategies should be formulated for these under a comprehensive marketing plan). The list of outbound communications is generally extensive for most businesses, hence for the purposes of brevity below are some brand execution ideas for key online communications only:
- Media releases - An editor giving your brand value credence is worth its weight in gold.
- Blog coverage - Being covered in blogs goes a long way to establishing your brand position.
- Social Media - The fastest way to brand believability is to hit a homerun in the social media stratosphere. There are hundreds of social networks, so I would suggest showcasing your brand values in those where your target market participates.
- Brand leadership advertising - Once your brand position starts achieving traction in the blogosphere, social media and mainstream press, further reinforcing that with leadership advertising can be invaluable.
- Web Video - Web video is a must for any company looking to build a believable brand promise. Short "how-to's" and free advice in your area of expertise, followed by a client testimonial posted on YouTube and your website (and even sent to clients and prospects as part of an e-nurturing campaign) are the latest tool in the big brands' toolkits.
- Webinars are a low cost way to generate leads and deliver value in line with your brand promise.
- Search Engine Optimization - Being 1st page of Google for your target marketâ€™s key search terms builds a believable message.
- Websites and Microsites - Can you craft a microsite around a specific customer demographic? When researching your market you should discover different segments, from which you will be able to isolate the specific problems your brand solves for them, hence microsites could be built around these. Content on these microsites would be personally-relevant and speak directly to these markets, building brand loyalty.
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