The Fundamental Elements of a Brand Strategy

brand strategy


All successful businesses may have a lot in common, regardless of the industry we’re talking about. Though one thing we need to point out once again in this article is the undisputed value of a well-established brand strategy. Earlier, we dived into all peculiarities of what a brand strategy is and how it can help you scale your business and enjoy the fruits of its growth.

Staying in line with your very own brand strategy helps differentiate your brand from competitors, makes your customers happy and loyal, and most importantly, drives revenue. Now, we’ll break this down to every single fundamental element of the brand strategy that will turn your company into the superhero of marketing. 

As we know, each brand has its purpose, no matter how much marketing effort the company is yet to put into communicating its values to the audience. It is simply impossible to create something without putting at least the tiniest bit of emotion and motivation into it. To grow further marketing-wise, you just need to find the right key to opening the doors to people’s hearts and minds.

Step by step, every successful brand builds the foundations to the definition and communication of its core values and identity. This increases such crucial benchmarks as brand awareness, customer loyalty, and of course the relevance of the product. 

brand goals and objectives

Developing a successful brand strategy involves considering several key elements that work together to form a compelling narrative. These fundamental elements of a strong brand strategy include:

1. Brand Purpose

2. Target Audience

3. Brand Positioning

4. Unique Selling Proposition 

5. Brand Identity 

6. Brand Messaging and Storytelling

7. Brand Goals and Objectives

1. Brand Purpose

Brand purpose is the guiding principle that drives your business and sets it apart from competitors. It represents the reason your brand exists beyond generating profits, and it's the basic motivation for everything your company does.

A strong brand purpose is essential for creating an authentic and meaningful connection with your audience, as it communicates your brand's values and beliefs, delivering the right emotions that make your target customers believe in your product.

Aligning brand purpose with business goals

As with all marketing strategies, the effective brand strategy helps stick to the point and is actually the perfect match for the overall goals of your business. The purpose of the brand should be set clearly and delivered across all reasonable channels you may want to use for your brand communication. In the later steps of your company’s journey, the power of your brand will become the key non-material asset and most likely cost a lot more than the material ones. That is, of course, the case if from the very beginning, you are serious about the brand strategy you pursue. So let’s see how it all starts.

Here are some steps to help align your brand's vision and purpose with your business goals:

1. Identify your core values and beliefs as a business. 

2. Visualize and present the influence you see your product having on the industry. 

3. Establish your brand's unique value proposition that sets it apart from competitors.

4. Define your brand's long-term vision and mission.

5. Ensure that your brand purpose is consistently communicated across all marketing channels.

Case study: LUSH

Take LUSH, a cosmetics brand that is globally recognized for its commitment to ethical sourcing, environmental sustainability, and fighting against animal testing. Their brand purpose extends far beyond selling bath bombs and skincare products. Instead, LUSH is driven by a purpose of "making effective products from fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils, and safe synthetics" while actively campaigning for the environment, animal rights, and human rights.

This purpose is not just a statement on their website; it's deeply integrated into their business model, from the ethical sourcing of ingredients to their fight against unnecessary packaging. LUSH's strong brand purpose resonates with their customers and distinguishes them in the cosmetics market, proving the impact a clear brand purpose can have.

2. Target Audience

The first thing you need to do to deliver any message is to specify who you’re sending it to. This works for everything, starting from the daily communication you execute in your life. Sending an email, finding the chat with your friend, you name it. With building a successful brand strategy, it’s all the same. Visualize your target persona, ideal customer, or buyer persona - there are countless ways to name the phenomenon. The idea remains the same. Based on the target demographics, behavior patterns, and pain points you want to cover with your product, you need to create such a brand persona. Your marketing will become much easier once you do.

Finding your one and only

1. Find the common features, trends, and patterns that unite your potential audience. 

2. Research your competitors' target audience to find potential gaps or opportunities to fill in the niche.

3. Survey your current and potential customers to gain insights into their preferences, needs, and motivations.

4. Use all possible channels to gather information on customer interests and pain points.

Case study: Levi Strauss

Levi Strauss & Co., the American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's denim jeans, is surely one of the many excellent examples of effective audience targeting.

Being a traditional brand, Levi’s was one of the most influenced by the significant shifts in the fashion industry of the 21st century. Younger consumers were increasingly drawn towards more fitted jeans styles, departing from the baggier cuts that had been popular in previous decades. In response to this shift, Levi's introduced a new line of jeans: the Levi's 511 and 514, slim and slim-straight styles designed to appeal to this fashion-forward, younger audience.

Though for us to study, it’s not all about the product, it’s also about the marketing strategy to promote the idea of change and adaptability. So they launched a comprehensive campaign that targeted the newly discovered demographic - younger early adopters of fresh trends. Levi’s had to meet them and communicate their new approach through increasingly popular channels like social media, and influencers, but at the same time staying relevant in the offline field as well.

You could see everywhere that there was a change going on. With dynamic visuals and contemporary messaging, it was quite easy to deliver the idea. As a result, the newly introduced styles quickly became some of Levi's top-selling products, breathing new life into the brand itself.

brand strategy levi's case

3. Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the distinctive place that your brand occupies in the minds of your customers. It's all about finding how competitors operate, in which areas they are just too strong to compete, and if there are any opportunities they might have missed. More than just a catchy tagline or a unique logo, effective brand positioning communicates the unique value your brand provides, why it matters to your target audience, and why it's better than the alternatives.

Case Study: Slack

Slack, the widely-used collaboration software, is a brilliant example of successful brand positioning. Back in the day of its foundation, the competition was just too technologically and financially advanced, so it was no use trying to outperform the technology used by such mastodons as, say, Microsoft. So Slack didn't try to outdo these competitors on their own terms. Instead, they positioned themselves differently.

Slack's brand positioning focused on making "work life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive." They weren't just another communication tool; they were a platform to improve the way teams work together. Their colorful, playful branding stood out in a market filled with more traditional, corporate-style solutions. Slack's positioning spoke to the pain points of modern teams and offered a refreshing alternative.

Eventually, Slack quickly gained popularity and became a beloved tool for teams worldwide, demonstrating the power of effective brand positioning.

Mastering Brand Positioning

So, how can you nail your brand's positioning? Here are some key techniques:

1. Identify your unique selling proposition

What makes your brand different? Why should customers choose your brand over others? Your USP is the cornerstone of your brand positioning.

2. Study your competitors

Understand how your competitors position themselves. Look for gaps or opportunities where your brand's personality can stand out.

3. Craft a positioning statement

This statement should clearly communicate who your audience is, what your brand offers, and why it's unique. This will guide your marketing and communication efforts.

4. Stay consistent

From your support team in daily communication with customers to the CEO themselves in their interviews, each written, visual and verbal communication should be based on the tone you pick for your brand and ask this “Why?” question in a harmonious manner. 

And always remember, effective brand positioning is about more than standing out — it's about standing for something that matters to your customers.

4. Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition is another critical part of your brand strategy. It's the unique value your brand offers, the reason why customers should choose you over your competitors. It's your brand's stand-out feature, the very heart of what makes you unique, your superpower.

Case Study: Miniso

Miniso, a global retail brand co-founded by Japanese designer Miyake Jyunya and Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guo Fu, showcases a compelling example of a strong USP. Despite the highly competitive and saturated retail market, Miniso has carved out a significant presence globally, and their USP is instrumental to their success.

Miniso prides itself on its commitment to simplicity, offering well-designed, good-quality items at reasonable prices. They break the stereotype that affordability cannot come hand-in-hand with style and quality.

Miniso's product range is expansive, covering home furnishings, digital accessories, health and beauty products, stationery, and gifts. Their dedication to the philosophy of natural, waste-free, and simple living has found its way into the hearts of millions of customers worldwide. 

Miniso's commitment to quality and originality is another key aspect of their USP. The brand constantly refreshes its items, introducing new products every one to three weeks, keeping the offering exciting and dynamic.

Despite their ambitious and aggressive expansion plans, Miniso remains confident about their USP. They are not only diverse in their offerings but also offer better quality at lower prices. This conviction in their products and their USP has fueled their growth, with plans to increase their global presence to at least 6,000 stores worldwide.

This compelling USP has helped Miniso carve out a niche in the competitive retail market, proving the power of a compelling USP.

Crafting Your Unique Selling Proposition

Here's how you can identify and promote your USP.

1. Identify what makes you unique

What do you offer that no one else does? This could be anything from a product feature to your pricing model.

2. Communicate your USP effectively

Once you've identified your USP, it's crucial to communicate it effectively to your audience. This should be a key focus in all your marketing and sales efforts.

3. Deliver on your promise

A USP is not just a marketing gimmick. It's a commitment to your customers. Ensure you deliver on this promise consistently.

A strong USP is the pillar of your brand. It gives everybody the reason to believe you. So, make sure you craft a USP that truly represents your brand and resonates with your audience as a part of your branding strategy.

slack brand strategye

5. Brand Identity 

Brand Identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as colour, design, and logo, that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers' minds. Brand identity humanizes your brand. Imagine an avatar of your business as a person in social media or the way it would behave at a house party you’ve been invited to. This is the way you create and share experiences with the world. 

Case Study: Deezer Music

Deezer Music, a global music streaming service, provides an excellent example of a strong visual and verbal brand identity.

Deezer's visual identity is vibrant and engaging, utilizing a bold and unique colour palette that stands out in the crowded music streaming market. Their logo, a stylized "D", is simple yet immediately recognizable.

In terms of verbal identity, Deezer’s tone of voice is friendly, informal, and playful. What they see in their users is long-lasting friendship. They create a full-on community for music lovers all over the world. To be approachable, they stay close to the heart of their community, helping them feel involved and belonging. Deezer is a go-to music personality for those who trust in the service.

Crafting Your Brand Identity

Here are some techniques for developing your brand recognition and a powerful brand identity.

1. Define Your Brand Personality

Just like people, brands have personalities. Are you quirky, serious, innovative, traditional? Define who you are as a brand.

2. Create a Visual Identity

This includes your logo, colour palette, typography, and any other visual elements that represent your brand. These brand elements should reflect your brand personality and be consistent across all platforms.

3. Establish a Brand Voice

Your brand voice is how you communicate with your audience. It should align with your brand personality and be consistent across all communication channels.

A strong brand identity creates a brand experience for your customers to play with in the first place. that resonates with your target audience. It's an integral part of your brand strategy if you seek to make your brand as approachable and appealing as possible. 

6. Brand Messaging and Storytelling

This is the part where you concentrate on your team’s storytelling skills. You need to have stories that convey the purpose and vision of your brand. By shaping the brand’s perception on the market, you get bonus trust points from your customers. If the messaging is correct, you get closer to them at a deeper emotional level.

Case Study: Duolingo

Long story short, Duolingo triumphs and reigns on the throne of efficient messaging and storytelling. Duolingo's brand voice focuses on making language learning accessible, fun, and engaging for everyone. Their tagline, "The free, fun, and effective way to learn a language!", encapsulates this mission perfectly. And even if you sometimes forget that learning a language is not just fun but also quite beneficial for your everyday life, boy will the owl remind you to complete these Spanish lessons!

Their storytelling approach is evident in their marketing campaigns, app design, and user experience. For instance, the character Duo, the friendly green owl, serves as Duolingo's mascot and is central to their brand story. Duo is not only visually appealing but also plays a crucial role in creating a sense of companionship and encouragement throughout the user's language learning journey.

By holding on to storytelling and consistency across all channels, from the in-app tone of voice to CRM marketing, Duolingo has successfully crafted the legendary brand experience that will help them stay recognizable for years to come. 

case study dezeer, duolingo

Crafting Your Brand Messages and Stories

Here's how you can craft impactful brand messages and stories.

1. Identify Your Core Message

This is the main message you want your audience to remember about your brand. It should be a reflection of your brand values and purpose.

2. Know Your Customer

Understanding your audience is key. What do they care about? What motivates them? Use this insight to craft messages that resonate.

3. Tell a Story

People relate to stories more than facts. Share your brand's journey, your victories, and even your struggles. This makes your brand more relatable and authentic.

4. Be Consistent

Ensure your messages and stories are harmonious across all platforms. This helps to reinforce your brand and build trust with your audience.

For this part, don’t just try to sell your product - try to stay real. Share your unique journey and beliefs in a compelling way. 

7. Goals and Objectives

The success of your brand strategy largely depends on the goals and objectives you set. These provide a clear direction for your brand, help you to measure your progress, and guide your decision-making process.

When it comes to brand strategy, goals and objectives should be S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This ensures they are realistic, clear, and measurable, which is crucial for tracking your progress and adjusting your strategy as needed.

Basically, you’re not just aiming at simply “making brand stronger”, you need to make it happen by setting detailed goals like “doubling website traffic by means of implementing the product marketing campaign over the period of three months”.

smart goal setting for brand strategy

Guidelines for Setting and Measuring Brand Strategy Objectives

1. Align With Your Brand Purpose

Your brand strategy objectives should reflect your brand's purpose, brand vision and values.

2. Be Specific and Set Key Performance Indicators

Vague brand strategy objectives are hard to measure and achieve. KPIs are the measurable outcomes used to track the progress of your objectives. They could be anything from website traffic, social media engagement, to sales figures.

3. Review and Adjust

Regularly review your brand strategy objectives and KPIs to see if you're on track. If not, adjust your strategy or set new objectives as necessary.

Setting clear and measurable goals and objectives for your brand strategy gives you a roadmap to success. Your actions and decisions marketing-wise will then become informed, focused, and understandable for your team. Just in case, we’ll remind you that objectives are not eternal, everything changes, so you should be ready to adapt.

For example, if you had made a bet on event marketing in 2019, the crisis of 2020 would shatter this idea into pieces, and you would have to significantly reorganize your resources rather than trying to overcome the inevitable and pursue the event way no matter what. 

Need a Helping Hand?

And that’s it! We've covered all the fundamental brand strategy components, unearthing the key elements that can make your brand truly shine. Let's have a quick recap:

1. Brand Purpose. The core idea guiding your brand's journey.

2. Target Audience.
The people or businesses you're building all this for.

3. Brand Positioning.
Your very own place and offering in the market.

4. Unique Selling Proposition.
What makes your product special.

5. Brand Identity.
The human-like avatar of your brand that translates your brand values.

6. Brand Messaging and Storytelling.
How you share your story with the world with a distinct brand voice.

7. Goals and Objectives.
The milestones on your roadmap to success.

These key elements of a brand strategy will eventually form the perfect picture of your brand with each piece playing its role in driving your success. Now you're ready to craft a brand that stands out. Though however difficult or, on the contrary, simple it may look for you, there’s always a helping hand.

Go Bolder!

At Bolder, we're all about making purposeful brands stand tall and proud, and we do it with a keen understanding of your audience and market. You are a visionary with your product that is supposed to change the world for the better, and we believe in building strategies that stand the test of time, not just fleeting trends. Our approach is centered around ensuring that your brand strategy stays relevant and creates a long-lasting impact.

So feel free to dream big and never give up, we've got your back. With a personal touch and expertise in marketing, we will help you make your brand strategy bolder and stronger. After all, your brand deserves to be bold, and together, we can make it happen!

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