Your Brand Strategy Framework: How It All Fits Together
Are you looking for a way to differentiate your brand in the marketplace and create a strong, lasting impression? Having an effective brand strategy framework in place can help you do just that.
A brand strategy framework is the foundation of any successful branding effort, defining your target audience, your competitive positioning and messaging, and a host of other elements designed to make your brand stand out from the competition.
Creating a strong brand strategy no longer has to be a daunting task – with this comprehensive guide, you can get to know all the key components of a brand strategy framework that will help you develop a truly effective brand strategy for your own brand.
Brand strategy framework basics
Unforgettable branding is powered by its strategy framework. That's what strategic brand management is all about.
A brand strategy framework is a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps needed to create a successful and powerful brand. It encompasses all aspects of branding, from target audience identification to message development, competitive positioning, and more.
Having this framework in place helps businesses craft and communicate a unified brand experience that resonates with their target customers effectively across all touchpoints.
The development of such a framework ties together all of the key components of your branding strategy, and can be used as a great business strategy to enable brand communication and recognition.
The beginnings of a brand strategy framework
In our No Blathering Guide to Brand Strategy, we outlined the first steps of a successful brand strategy framework. These steps come together to create a powerful vision statement that guides the other different moving parts of your framework.
You may be familiar with the concept of the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Well, switch the when for How and you have the beginnings of a brand strategy framework.
These basic elements are the building blocks of any successful brand strategy and will help you get started in creating your own powerful framework.
Your Who is, as you may have guessed, all about your target audience. This is the heart and soul of any successful brand strategy, so it’s important to get this right.
When defining your target audience, spend some time researching and understanding who your ideal customer is. Who are they? What do they value? What motivates them? How old are they? How do they prefer to find information about brands and products?
Answering these questions will help you develop a strong picture of who your target audience is. Then, you can dig a little deeper into your target audience:
What issues do they face? Where do they live? What lifestyle do they lead? Where do they work? How do they get around? What is their family structure?
This really helps you get to know your target audience better, allowing you to create more detailed user personas and, ultimately, a more powerful and meaningful brand experience.
The What of your brand strategy framework refers to the dream that your brand is selling.
What is at your brand core? What do you offer your audience and what is your brand promise? What do you want people to think about when they see and hear about your brand? What is your ideal brand perception?
Get clear on what makes your brand unique, what sets you apart from the competition, and how you want to position yourself in the market. Once you have that clarity, it can help inform your brand personality and brand voice across all channels.
Emotional storytelling is a core part of a comprehensive brand strategy, so be sure to express how your offerings will help improve people’s lives and exactly what they’ll gain if they choose your brand. Remember: keep it creative.
The How of an effective brand strategy framework relates to how your brand is going to capture your consumers interest. It’s all about how you communicate your brand message in a way that resonates with them.
Think carefully about how you want to shape the customer journey - from first contact to customer loyalty - and consider what channels are best suited for delivering your message.
Consider visuals too: use compelling images and branding elements (such as typography, colour palettes and bespoke icons) in your brand messaging to capture people’s attention.
And remember: be consistent! This is key - creating a cohesive brand identity across all touchpoints is essential for building recognition and trust.
Your brand framework's Where relates your brand positioning.
Where is your brand positioning itself in the market? Where do you want to be seen and heard? Where does your target audience spend their time online? Where do you want to focus your brand marketing efforts?
The answers to these questions will help determine where your brand stands in the market and which channels are best suited for reaching your target audience.
Consider where they’re spending their time online, as well as what traditional media outlets they may be paying attention to (your user research will help with this) and tailor your brand strategies accordingly.
And finally: your Why. The Why of your branding strategy framework must answer this question: Why is your customer going to go with your brand over other brands in your market?
The answer to this question is your unique selling proposition (USP).
Think about your brand values, your true brand purpose and the value proposition you want to offer your audience. Then, find ways to communicate these in a way that resonates with your target audience and drives them toward making a purchase decision.
By understanding the heart and soul of your brand - the Who, What, How, Where and Why - you can go on to develop an effective brand strategy that speaks to your customers and drives conversions.
A 7-pillar brand strategy framework to power your brand
As experts in designing brands from the ground up, a brand strategist can help you craft an authentic and successful brand story, build your brand identity and create powerful visuals to communicate this unique message.
Whether you’re just starting out or already have an established business, working with a branding expert can help you get ahead of the competition by giving your brand an edge that stands out.
If you’d like to know more about working with a branding specialist, contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Competitor analysis & user research
In any brand development strategy, competitor analysis is essential. It’s important to understand where you stand in relation to other players in your market: what are their strengths and weaknesses? What do they offer that sets them apart from the rest?
By understanding the competitive landscape, you can shape (not steal!) your own brand messaging, build a unique brand identity and shape your customer journey in a way that makes your brand unforgettable.
On top of this, user research is crucial to your brand strategy. By getting to know your audience and understanding their needs, wants and behaviours, you can create a brand story that resonates with them – one that speaks directly to the people you want your brand to attract.
Check out our guide to Conducting User Research Like a UX Pro today.
Brand vision statement
This is where your W's from earlier come in. Your brand’s vision – and vision statement – should capture the essence of your Who, What, How, Where and Why in a succinct and inspiring way.
It’s an opportunity to define your company’s mission, core values and ambitions and set out a clear path for where you want to be in the future.
Put together a core vision statement that communicates the ‘big picture’ of your brand, and make sure it reflects your company’s values and culture.
The best vision statements are believable yet aspirational. They provide focus and direction for the entire organisation – both internally and externally – while also inspiring people to become part of something bigger than themselves.
Once you have your brand vision statement, you can use it to inform your new visual identity. This includes your logo, colour palette and typography – and all of the other design elements that make up your brand’s look and feel.
Your visual identity should evoke emotion and set you apart from the competition. It should be instantly recognisable and memorable, but also flexible enough to work across different applications.
Think about your Who, What, How, Why and Where to create a visual identity that truly and accurately represents your brand. Then, use it consistently across your website, social media and marketing materials to create a memorable brand experience.
Brand guidelines are one of the great pillars of a branding strategy. They help you to manage, protect and grow your brand over time by providing clear direction, definition and rules on how your brand identity should be used in different contexts.
Brand guidelines provide a standard for how your logo, colours and typography should look when applied across various channels. However, they also dig deeper into the look and feel of your brand.
Guidelines for tone of voice in brand communications and employee behaviour can also be included in your brand guidelines. Think about the cohesive story you want to tell and how every interaction with your brand contributes to this.
One thing that cannot be forgotten in the brand strategy process is your digital design. Your digital channels account for a large portion of your overall brand perception and first impressions, so it’s important to make sure they reflect the quality of your branding.
Think about how you want people to interact with your landing page, website or app, and use this as an opportunity to further develop your brand identity. Make sure all digital design elements are consistent with other applications of your branding, from colour palette to typography and iconography.
Your digital design should also be responsive and optimised for different devices and platforms – so make sure you test it on a range of browsers and screens before launch.
The final pillar of your brand strategy should be a well-developed brand content strategy.
This means the content you create and share. Content can be used to engage with current customers and build relationships with new ones, so think carefully about how each piece of content contributes to your overall story.
Your marketing campaigns should be based around key topics that are relevant to your target audience, while remaining consistent with your brand identity. Consider how you can use imagery, videos and words to communicate your brand’s message in an interesting and engaging way. Using an online video editor can help you create high-quality videos that align with your brand’s message and resonate with your target audience, increasing the chances of a successful marketing campaign
You should also think about the channels that best suit your content strategy – from newsletters and blogs to social media platforms such as YouTube or Instagram. Each platform has its own set of rules and guidelines, so make sure you factor this into your strategy.
With our 7-pillar brand strategy framework, you can create a roadmap for success that will ensure your brand stands out from the crowd.
An expert brand strategist from Huddle can help you to develop a strategy that will allow you to reach your true potential and make sure your brand looks, feels and behaves in the right way.
With years of experience turning great businesses into unforgettable brands, we’ll work closely with you to craft an effective brand strategy that is tailored to meet the needs of your business and customers. So why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you!