Crafting a successful brand strategy combines strategy and creativity/artistic identity to come up with the personality of your brand. Even though the process of strategizing for a brand is often the same, the results are always different depending on the mission, voice, and identity of the brand in question. This is why strategists can be in the midst of planning their umpteenth campaign and still require a boost of inspiration to take them over the finish line.
When a marketing expert hits a roadblock, a speedbump, or just needs an outside opinion to inspire them to move forward with the campaign they’re creating there are a few things they can do. Because the marketing community is such a vast, widespread, and historied one there is a wealth of guiding resources and inspirational content that strategists can use to help them during their campaign.
For modern marketers on the move, there is hardly an easier way to become inspired than listening to a social media marketing podcast or tuning into a Clubhouse chat room filled with experts on your topic. Before we explore the best accounts to get inspired, let’s review what brand strategy actually is and how you can build a brand strategy.
Building a Brand Strategy
Your branding can make or break how audiences feel about and interact with your brand. The moment they feel put off or disengaged from your brand is the moment they turn their attention to other brands to fill their needs. Designing a comprehensive brand strategy is about catching the attention of new audiences, but it is also about laying the groundwork for sustainable, long term customer relationships. With 59% of shoppers saying that they prefer to buy new products from brands they trust, it’s clear that connecting with consumers in a genuine way is the key to customer retention.
Step One: Determine your brand identity.
The process of building your brand strategy is to construct the long-term goals that you hope to achieve with the evolution of your brand. The first step in the process is to develop a comprehensive understanding of your brand identity. This brand identity will be how your brand stands out in the minds of consumers and will dictate the first things that come to mind when someone interacts with your brand. We aren't talking about your logo or your products, determining brand identity is about getting to the root of how people feel when they come into contact with your brand.
This intangible feeling can be a difficult thing to articulate, to help determine your brand identity, you can ask yourself questions such as:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What was the driving force behind the creation of your brand?
- In 100 years, how do you want your brand to be remembered?
- If you could sum up the mission of your brand in one sentence what would it be?
Once you’ve answered questions like these for yourself you should have a pretty solid understanding of your brand identity. Now, you just need to introduce your brand to the world.
Step Two: Find your target audience.
A brand is nothing without an audience. Before you can proceed with your strategy development, you first need to determine who your target audience is so that you can tailor the campaign to their lifestyle and customer behavior. It doesn’t matter which demographic you choose here, or how specific that demographic is. Whether your target audience is Millennial parents, Gen Z students, or midwest Baby Boomers the important thing is that you have a clearly defined demographic for which to aim your branding at.
To complete this step, there are a few questions you can answer to help you clearly define your target audience:
- Who are you hoping to connect with through your brand?
- When you first created your brand, what was the initial audience you had in mind?
- Who does your product benefit?
- What type of lifestyle does the person have who uses your product?
- Who is your ideal customer?
Step Three: Write your mission statement.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your brand identity and your target audience you can begin drafting your mission statement. This step shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it’s true that your mission statement can be edited or tweaked when necessary, your mission statement will serve as your brand introduction for new consumers. If it isn’t an accurate representation of your brand values or isn’t written in your unique brand voice then you run the risk of losing an audience before you even have a chance to connect with them.
Your mission statement should include your brand purpose, but can also include details such as these to make a more lasting impression on your audience:
- What makes your brand stand out from all the rest.
- The unique qualities of your brand.
- A peek behind the curtain at the history of your brand.
- Why does your audience need your brand in their lives?
Additionally, write your mission statement with your target audience in mind. Remember those questions you answered to determine your brand identity and audience? Feel free to revisit those when writing your mission statement to ensure all of your brand messaging is cohesive and constructed with your long-term brand goals in mind.
Step Four: Begin incorporating visuals.
While it will be your mission statement that connects with your audience, it’ll be up to your branded visuals to grab their attention in the first place. This is the step where you will determine your color palette and fonts, and create your logo (the elements of your brand style guidelines). The key here is to create visuals that are aligned with your mission statement and brand identity. Without taking your entire brand into account before creating these visuals, you may have trouble presenting yourself as a unified brand to audiences. After all, it only takes 90 seconds of viewing for a customer to make a judgment about your brand. To make a lasting first impression, make intentional decisions about your brand visuals.
If you haven’t already, this is also a great time to check in on your competition. Your brand visuals need to catch the eye of your audience members but they also need to stick out in your industry. If your logo is too similar to an existing brand— especially an existing brand that you are in direct competition with— you may have a difficult time distinguishing yourself from them down the line.
Step Five: Introduce your brand to the world.
Now that you’ve completed the look, feel, and voice of your brand you can begin putting all of it to work. In addition to incorporating your branding on your company website and across all of your social media accounts to present a unified, branded front to audiences you will also want to incorporate your branding in:
- Your product packaging.
- Your company blog or newsletter.
- Your digital and print advertisements.
- Your sales and customer support efforts.
Once you’ve officially introduced your brand to the world, stop giving yourself a round of applause or pat yourself on your back. Then, it’s back to work analyzing the engagement levels of your marketing efforts to gain insights into how your brand is received by audiences.
The Best Brand Strategy Podcasts + Clubhouse Accounts for Marketers
Podcasts have long been a streamlined way to gain a lot of new information really quickly. With podcasts on every possible niche topic one could think to talk about out there, for brand strategists and marketers looking for an inspiration boost or crash course, where do you start? I’ve rounded up some of the best podcasts and Clubhouse accounts that you can begin tuning into today to take your branding and marketing efforts to the next level.
The Best Podcasts for Marketers and Brand Strategists
Marketing School with Neil Patel & Eric Sui
Source: Marketing School
Two of the friendliest and most familiar faces in the marketing industry, Neil Patel and Eric Sui use their podcast to deliver actionable marketing advice to a wide audience. Each episode is between 5 and 10 minutes long, making this the perfect pod to listen to for quick bursts of inspiration. Tune in for tips and tricks you can begin implementing today.
Online Marketing Made Easy
Source: Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield’s podcast is one of the longest-running and most revered marketing podcasts available with almost 400 jam-packed episodes. With a focus on online marketing for the modern brand, each episode features a behind-the-scenes look at what it truly takes to be a profitable marketer in today’s landscape. Tune in for mini execution plans you can begin launching today.
Social Media Examiner Podcast
Source: Social Media Examiner
Oftentimes referred to as the #1 social media marketing podcast out there, the Social Media Examiner podcast hosted by Micahel Stelzner is chock full of insights and in-depth expert advice on how to take your social media marketing efforts to the next level. Tune in for inspirational success stories and invaluable guest interviews.
The Agents of Change with Rich Brooks
Source: The Agents of Change
For all of those marketers and strategists out there looking for tips on how to boost website traffic, convert more leads, and finally master the art of SEO look no further than the Agents of Change podcast. Tune in for mobile marketing best practices and in-depth interviews with leading marketers from around the world.
Christy Wright's Business Boutique Podcast
Surce: Ramsey Solutions
An all-around informational business podcast with a marketing tilt, Christy Wright has been using her podcast as a way to connect women marketers since it was launched in 2016. This pod is intent on supplying professional women with all of the information they could possibly need to succeed in the marketing world. Tune in to the thought-provoking stories about women who have found success in marketing.
Clubhouse Chatrooms for Marketers and Brand Strategists
Women in Influencer Marketing
Source: Women in Influencer Marketing
What started as an offline networking group has expanded into an inclusive online community composed of “powerhouse women who are innovative leaders”, Women in Influencer Marketing holds a monthly Clubhouse networking event where members of their growing community can come armed with their best elevator pitches and spend time connecting with other like-minded marketing experts. Tune in for virtual networking and inspirational stories.
Michael Sanches @marketing
Source: Michael Sanchez
TikTok marketing is a beast, especially for new brand strategists. As the founder of TikTok Marketing Secrets, Michael Sanches is Clubhouse’s resident expert on everything marketing on the booming video social media platform. Tune in for insights into building and sustaining a brand presence on TikTok.
Social Media Mavens
If you are looking to join a community for social media marketing entrepreneurs looking to master the art of brand identity in the digital world, then Social Media Mavens is the Clubhouse group for you. Tune in for detailed conversations about the intricacies of marketing on platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest.
Source: Julie Solomon
Julie Solomon hosts an Influencer Podcast that has hit top charts and will help you start, grow and scale your brand and business and has helped influencers make millions of dollars. There are over 200 episodes to learn her secrets from. Tune in!
Finding inspiration for your marketing and brand strategy efforts isn’t always easy. The next time you are feeling lost or stuck in the process, tune into any one of these podcasts or Clubhouse chatrooms for an inside look into the world of marketing by strategists, for strategists. And for the rest of your marketing needs, here is your Guide to Social Content Strategy in 2021.