What Is Brand Strategy?

By Sean Flamand
August 31, 2021

Building a defined brand and reaching your audience with it is a difficult process. In some ways, this is made harder by the confusion surrounding the many terms that, together, account for the entire branding and marketing process. Here at Alter Endeavors, when we discuss branding with clients, they often ask us the same question: What is brand strategy, anyway?

We’ve adopted the term Go to Market Strategy to better describe this service in terms of what we’re actually helping our clients to achieve. But to demystify the branding process a bit, we’re unraveling brand strategy with today’s blog post. We’ll cover what exactly brand strategy is and means, why it matters for your business, and how we approach the Go to Market Strategy with clients. Let’s get started!

What exactly is brand strategy?

Brand strategy is sometimes conflated with brand identity—things like the colors, logos, design, and tone you choose to use for your business. While these aspects are foundational to brand strategy, that isn’t what we’re talking about here.

Instead, brand strategy flips the branding conversation on its head. Rather than a “Who are we?” question, brand strategy seeks to answer the question “How do we connect our audience to our uniquely better?” In other words, brand strategy works outward in—that is, from your audience (outward) to your brand (in). 

Because of what we’ve learned while developing brand strategies for clients, we’ve moved toward Go to Market Strategy as our term for this marketing service. The reason for this is pretty straightforward: your brand strategy is, in essence, how you plan to go to market with your brand and connect your audience with what you have to offer.

Why do I need a brand strategy?

Unlike brand identity, brand strategy focuses on what a client sees about your brand rather than how you see yourself. It zeroes in on what makes you uniquely better to your clients.

Brand strategy matters for a few reasons. For one, your brand’s uniquely better is the one thing you do that other people can’t touch. If you want to have any chance at dominating your market or niche, your marketing needs to revolve around that. An effective brand strategy ensures that all of your marketing efforts are coordinated around the specific goal of matching your audience to your uniquely better.

Further, many things can go wrong in your marketing if you don’t have an effective brand strategy. For example, you might run a Google Ads campaign that drives users to a page, but the content on the page may not match what the user expected from the ad. You might advertise on the wrong platforms and fail to reach your core audience. Or you might wind up with poor user flow on your website, such as by using the wrong calls to action throughout your content and highlighting services that they may not be interested in.

With an effective brand strategy, you have not only a brand identity, but a complete understanding of your audience and how to effectively connect that audience to what makes your business exceptional.

How we develop a brand strategy

While brand strategy and brand identity are separate concepts, it’s hard to develop a cohesive brand strategy without first establishing that identity. That means the first step in this process is to establish all the necessary elements of your brand. 

This starts with much of what you’d expect: colors, design, the tone of your content, and much more. But even during this step, we have an eye toward brand strategy. Throughout the process of developing a brand identity, we keep an eye toward the brand’s audience—and whether the brand they see matches up with what the brand is trying to convey.

With the brand identity established, we collect research on our client, establishing what their market looks like and evaluating the best ways to get them conversions. We figure out who we’re trying to reach. Who is the ideal client? What does your brand have to offer, and what are potential clients seeing based on that?

This includes competitor analysis as well. We evaluate competitors to see what they’re doing in terms of digital marketing. We establish aspects of their marketing strategy that might be good or bad, as well as whether this is relevant to our client. 

Finally, with all the research completed, we craft a cohesive strategy for how to go and get these customers. The ideal brand strategy can look like any number of things. It might mean doubling down on your strengths—for example, if you have good organic traffic already. Or it might mean improving your social media presence, either by making this a stronger focus or by switching to platforms where your audience is more likely to be. 

However the end product looks, the overall objective of brand strategy is to identify your audience, meet them where they are, and bring them back to see what your brand does best—and from there, hopefully, to convert them into a customer or client.

Alter Endeavors Can Provide the Perspective You Need!

As a business owner, you live and breathe your brand. For many, that means brand identity comes naturally—but conveying that identity and vision effectively to your audience is where things get tricky. 

Here at Alter Endeavors, we specialize in bringing your audience to your uniquely better. While you’re in your business every day, we can help you step out of it, understand your position in your industry, and dominate the space that only your brand can dominate. If you’re ready to connect your audience to everything your business does best, we can help! Contact us today to get started.

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