By Joshua Atkins, founder and managing director of Jublo
A lot of the time, companies come to us with a marketing problem and rather than just focus on that one area, we like to take a step back and zoom out to look at the whole picture. We find that more often than not, the original problem is simply the symptom of a brand and brand strategy that is no longer working.
What is Brand Strategy?
A brand is more than just its logo or tagline. The creative side of a brand is important, it has to be recognisable, representative of the company and appealing to your customer, but brand strategy goes beyond the visual. It is everything that goes into how your brand is perceived by existing or potential clients and employees. It includes customer experience, your culture and your values. A strong brand increases your company’s value and can help position your company as a market leader. Our friends at Forbes report that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Our Head of Marketing and branding expert, Laura Kenny advises that there are various stages to creating a brand strategy – and that each is integral to building a strong and authentic brand.
How to Develop a Brand Strategy
My biggest piece of advice is that you need to really listen during this exercise to what your own people are telling you about your company, a brand that is not authentic to the experience of its internal customers (your team) will never build trust with its external customers. We’ve all been there before; a brand has made us a promise about what we can expect from working with them or purchasing from them and our real experience has been vastly different. The relationship is now damaged, and we no longer trust them.
To build a brand strategy you need to focus on the core elements of your business and what your purpose and positioning are:
WHAT you do
HOW you do it better
WHY you do it.
You need to get to the heart of these – and push yourself to make it as simplistic as you can. Simplifying the answers to these questions can help you get to the core of your brand’s purpose.
For example, at Jublo our WHAT is that we translate languages and provide digital services. HOW do we do this? By empowering our people and working smarter. WHY do we do it? We want to make the world a more connected place.
It is so important that the brand is authentic, and to make sure that everyone who works for your company feels heard – you could use an anonymous brand survey to get a wider and unbiased input as well as speaking to your key stakeholders within the business. The survey can include: what employees think of the current branding, how they would describe the business in a few words, what they think is most valued within the business, what the company does well, and what they believe makes you different from your competitors. By finding this information, we get an idea of how aligned your company is, if everyone within the company has similar answers it means that your vision is clear, if not, this is a real opportunity for you to understand why and communicate clearly your vision for the future and review the company’s core values.
Next, you need to do market research – looking at what competitors in your industry are doing with their marketing. This should start with an analysis of how they speak to their customers through their marketing, specifical things like tone of voice, use of imagery, layout, blog content and CTAs. It’s important to look at their website, social media or email marketing to see what works or doesn’t work.
We maintain one of the best ways of understanding your future audience is to talk to your current customers. How did they find you? Why are they loyal? Have they been tempted away by your competitors? What could you improve? Their feedback can provide golden insights when you are looking at how your brand works or doesn’t work for you. If you have time to, interview them or if you’d prefer to work with a larger group then create a survey and incentivise your customers to complete it.
How does your brand sound?
What is your personality? The tone of Voice? Tagline? When a customer reads your website or social media posts, the writing style should be consistent and appropriate for your industry; whilst underlining your USPs and using your values to connect emotionally to your potential customers. At Jublo we are experts in our fields, but we like to keep things conversational in tone as we are chatty and friendly with our clients, so when they read our website they know from the tone of voice, what kind of people we’ll be like to work with. We take our work seriously and it’s important to us but we like to have a good time too.