Why should you care about writing your brand strategy?
It serves as the foundation for your product, your business, yourself.
Why does that matter?
Without a foundation, one opportunity becomes indistinguishable from the next. This means that every opportunity should be pursued.
Why is that not a good thing?
Well, if you are pursuing everything, no one thing or one person will feel connected to you. Nor will you feel connected. At this point what you offer is purely generic, a commodity and will sell for a market price.
How can we get connected?
By finding out who we are, why we exist and what we are meant to do. Then we have a story to tell, a purpose to convey and a target to engage. Then it gets exciting, rewarding, and worthwhile.
What happens if you choose to work with me?
I will guide you in developing your brand story, brand architecture and brand positioning. These are the three pillars of your brand strategy.
Your story becomes your marketing message; it’s what you tell your target audience. Your story, however, isn’t complete unless it incapsulates the inflection points of your life. I could talk to you for an hour about who I am, but if I fail to convey my inflection points, i.e., the highs and lows of my life, you will never really know me. If we think of ourselves as a gem with many facets, we likely will know many or most of those facets. However, we all have blind spotshiding other facets in our gem. For this reason, we need to engage those closest to us, e.g., a spouse, sibling, confidant, colleague, or friend to help tell our story and reveal those blind spots. Together, we construct a robust story of who we are, illuminating all of our facets; it becomes a story worth telling.
Your architecture starts with your vision, mission, and purpose. Your vision is what the future looks like when you have arrived. Your mission is how you achieve your vision, the strategies to employ to get there. Your purpose, on the other hand, is why you are motivated to pursue your vision. Once we understand and capture our what, how and why, it is important for us to define our beliefs and values.
Our beliefs inform our values. It might be as simple as “I believe that it’s important to honor my commitments.” This may lead me to state that “I value people who do what they say.” After, we define your beliefs and values, I will guide you in shaping your attributes, functional benefits, core message and emotional benefits. Our attributes describe who we are and how we are comprised. Our attributes are statements beginning with “I am.” For example, “I am punctual. I am resilient. I am curious.”
Once you have clarity on your attributes, you can use them to describe how your target audience will benefit functionally from working with you. Your functional benefits are a product of your attributes and should mirror them. For example, if I am punctual, then my clients will benefit by being engaged with me on time, every time. If I am resilient, my clients will benefit by my commitment to helping them get the job done. Finally, if I am curious, my clients will benefit by having me address their need from multiple perspectives.
Once we understand our beliefs, values, attributes, and functional benefits, we then focus on defining our core message. Our core message is a succinct statement of what we want our target audience to know. My core message in this case could be, “You are in good hands with Pete.” Next, I will work with you to describe your emotional benefits. In other words, this is how you make people feel. Continuing with my earlier example, my clients should feel valued, confident, and perhaps even excited about working with me.
Once we have finished defining your brand architecture, I will then help you define you brand positioning. This includes defining who is your target audience. This description, at a minimum, should include a demographic (age, gender, race, etc.) and a psychographic (attitudes, aspirations, etc.) depiction of our target audience. And, whenever possible, we will work together to include the values of your target audience. I then help you define the problem your target audience is trying to solve and what his or her greatest need is. This could be a functional need, an emotional need, or both. Once we understand these two components, we then describe what value you bring, how that value can help address your target’s need and why you are in a position to make that claim. We then work together in documenting your capabilities and why you offer abetter solution than your competition. Finally, I will work with you to identify “proof points” supporting all the claims you have made.
The final element we define is your brand essence. The brand essence is also called the brand mantra or brand promise. It is a short three-to-five-word expression of the most important aspect of a brand and its core brand associations including the enduring “brand DNA” and the most important aspects of the brand. The brand essence is an articulation of the “heart and soul” of the brand that captures the irrefutable spirit of the brand positioning. Its purpose is to ensure that all employees and external marketing partners understand what the brand most fundamentally is to represent to consumers.
When we are finished with these steps, we then take all of the elements of your brand architecture, including your essence, and weave them into your story. You will then begin to see how the inflection points in your life define who you are and what is important to you. Your beliefs and values serve to highlight the steps you have taken in your journey and frequently reveal your behaviors and character. Often an experience in one’s life motivates a person to take action to solve a problem for a particular group of individuals who may have experienced a similar struggle to what that person experienced. This experience motivates us to not only solve that person’s problem, but also to make her or him feel a certain way when then work with us. By including each of these elements in your story, it gains richness and relatability adding to its authenticity.
The defining of these three pillars becomes your brand strategy and serves as the foundation for everything you do. It will serve as your north star. It will also serve as that lens from which you will make decisions, such as who to hire, what opportunities to go after, when to act, and where to go next. More than all of this, by completing this brand strategy course, you will achieve a level of deep thinking needed to achieve this outcome. This will be a period of significant growth for you and others on your team that you involve. After you have written your brand strategy, you will think about things differently and more positively.
How do I get started?
The Self-Paced Brand Strategy Course will set you on the right path to writing your brand strategy. Add to your cart to start your journey today!
Are you a veteran or a woman in business?
I am offering a special discount for those who have served in the military as well as for women who are business owners, entrepreneurs, or are simply looking to develop their brand strategy. If you fall under either of these categories, please reach out to me at email@example.com!