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What's Brand Strategy

What’s Brand Strategy | The #1 Definition

To find out what’s brand strategy, I need to paint an image in your head – to put you in a situation.
After all, few things explain reality better than a good story. Here it goes:

Imagine you’re at a networking event in a different city and you meet a local millionaire. Despite being constantly surrounded by people wanting his attention, he gives you 8 minutes of his time. His name is Michael, and he has invested in over 100 companies and enabled dozens of successful exits for their founders. As the good salesperson you are, out of those 8 minutes together you spent 6 talking about him, what he does, and his future plans.

Then Michael finally asks, “what do you do?”

Instead of pitching hard, you go for a soft, more intriguing answer that piques his curiosity. As you speak, Michael steps closer to you, leaning forward and trying to hear you better despite the music filling the air inside that room. You got him. “Tell me more,” he says, and you go on but halfway through his assistant comes and grabs him: they want to introduce Michael to a popular up-and-coming politician – and that was the main reason why Michael was there, so he has to cut you short.

“Let’s keep this conversation going,” he says swiftly. “I gotta go, but I’d love to have you at the gala my charity will be hosting this Friday. It’ll be at the Opera House, at 8pm. I’ll have Nate put your name in the list.” Before you can even react, Michael walks off and his assistant Nate steps in to ask for your business card. You give it to him and he vanishes about as fast as he came in… but there’s a problem:

You don’t know who will be attending the gala.
You don’t know the dress code.
You know nothing.

This is the situation most companies find themselves in: They know their product, they know what they do, and they are skilled at sales and outreach… but they don’t know who the customer is, what do they want, what jargon they use, how they think, what their biases are. The list goes on and on, but you get the point: They’re lost at sea and the ocean is full of sharks.

The solution is Brand Strategy.
But before we answer what’s Brand Strategy, we need to return to our example.

What’s Brand Strategy | The Event

Hiring A PR Expert

You decide to take action quick: You look up Michael’s gala online. You don’t know the name of the charity, and he doesn’t have a personal website, so it takes about an hour of googling to fin the charity’s name. You finally breathe and, proud of yourself, open their LinkedIn profile just to find out that their galas are invite-only and, for the privacy of many high-profile figures involved, they post no picture publicly.

You’re back to square one. On one hand, you’re honored Michael invited you.
On the other, you feel the pressure of walking into a completely new environment where you will also have to put on your A game.

You go back home with a bittersweet feeling of absolute hype and an overwhelming performance anxiety. You talk about it with your wife or husband who, lo and behold, comes up with a fresh solution: Hire a local PR specialist who is renowned for their vast network of companies, event managers, charities, and politicians.

The next morning, the specialist opens the door of their studio one minute later than the time advertised on Google, and their office phone it’s already ringing: It’s you, ready to invest in them… and you do. The results? You find out:

  • Who is attending the event
  • How they will dress
  • What magazines and newspapers they read
  • Which news channel is their favorite
  • What are their political affiliations
  • Which businesses they run
  • What’s their estimated net worth

With all that intel, you not only can dress properly, but you can even tailor the answer to the question “what do you do?”
Even better, you can think in advance about which questions to ask them.
You know which topics to touch because you align with them on those.

You know which topics to avoid because on some things you’re a contrarian. You also know that you only get one chance to make a first impression, because you know that whatever the first perception people have of you is, it becomes the reality of who you are in their heads.

And that’s where we circle back to defining what’s Brand Strategy.

Just as an architect draws out a building plan before they start building, you need to develop a brand strategy for your business.

Carly Williams, HubSpot

Answered: What’s Brand Strategy

Your brand is your reputation.
It is nothing more than the perception people have of a person, a product, or a service.
Brand is what they tell their wives and husbands at home after they find you or work with you.

So, what’s Brand Strategy?

Brand Strategy is the science of influencing that perception to gain a competitive advantage.

S.H.

In Brand Strategy, we put your customers at the heart of your business. We uncover how they think, what they feel, how they behave, who influences them and where they dream to go. We then find out your core truth, and we meet your audience in the middle so that you can serve them more, serve them better and beat your competitors.

In a nutshell, through Brand Strategy you will discover:

  • Who you are
  • What you stand for
  • Where you’re headed
  • What impact you have
  • Who is your ideal customer
  • What are their needs, pains & goals
  • How you can communicate with them
  • What will your company culture be like
  • Why your customers should choose you
  • Why future employees should choose you
  • Where are you better than your competitors

Now that we answered what’s Brand Strategy, there is more that you need to know.

What’s Brand Strategy | Strategic Advantage

Beyond The Answer: Why Does Strategy Matter?

Answering what’s Brand Strategy is not enough – you also need to know why you should even care about it.

You see, times have changed. If back in the day all you needed was an amazing product to start printing money, nowadays you are competing with thousands of players, from freelancers to established corporations, offering the same thing. Not only that, but the internet and social media changed the world: If once upon a time corporations could set the rule and sell lies to people, today we have citizen journalism, review portals, and influencers giving their takes on everything and anything.

In the digital age, companies are accountable to the public… but it goes even beyond that.
In the digital age, the public expects companies to behave humanly.
To have opinions. To take strong stances and shape politics.

So, what’s Brand Strategy? Nothing more and nothing less than your best tool to help you maximise your chances of success in a time where competition, noise, and technology are all progressing at tremendous speed. It is your tool to connect with your audience and increase loyalty while either decreasing advertising costs, or making your advertising more effective.

Navigating this era without Brand Strategy is like going to Michael’s gala without knowing anything about it: Not just a risky endeavor for just reputation, but potentially one that might cost you your best shot at success if you don’t play your cards correctly.

Brand Strategy is influence at scale, to scale your influence by the right people.


If you want to know more about what’s Brand Strategy and how it affects businesses, check out our Strategy 2024 Report – it’s free.

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