In previous articles, we’ve explored the many deliberate choices that go into building a successful company brand. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between branding and brand strategy so you can identify the areas of change required in your own business.
The Dynamic Duo Behind a Booming Business!
In a way, branding is much like the process of crafting a successful online dating profile. You have to be mindful of what you say, how you say it and of course your visual identity will play a part in attracting people’s attention.
You also have to have a strategy for how you’ll interact with prospective dates (in the case of business, prospective customers). How will you convince them to choose you over others? And how will you clinch the deal once you meet a great potential date (or in your business’ case, your ideal customer)?
Whether it’s the dating world or the marketplace, the same principles apply. To be successful, you have to have solid branding in place. But you also need a carefully considered brand strategy to make it all work.
What is branding? It’s like your online dating profile
While marketing tactics can grab a customer’s attention for a short while, branding creates long-term customer relationships that lead to repeat purchases, customer referrals and positive word of mouth.
With branding, you not only cultivate consumer awareness, you build trust in your company, your products, your services and your staff. That breeds a loyal brand following. In other words, an eager market that is primed to buy.
Branding is all about your company’s image and how you present your business to the public. It’s like your online dating profile. You’re constantly crafting it, recreating it and updating it to appeal to your desired targets. And that’s the same idea behind business branding. It’s the process of actively shaping and communicating your company’s brand or image.
Branding and Brand Strategy together make a powerful GPS?
Your game plan for attracting the right customers
Let’s assume your branding is solid. You have a killer online dating profile. But what happens if no one sees it? Or the wrong ones respond – people that are not good matches?
How do you attract the right ones? How do you successfully “woo” them? And how do you get them to stay and not stray?
That’s where brand strategy comes in…
It’s kind of like a road map for your business. Think of it like a GPS system that guides you, so you’re focused, clear on what you want and how you’re going to get it. It also ensures consistency when it comes to your company’s messaging, your visual identity and your communication campaigns.
That means, the right brand strategy can have a huge impact on your business.
When you’re clear on who you are and what you have to offer, you unleash a tremendous power to influence customers and win them over. You control not only the positive aspects of your brand image. You can also minimize and control the bad messages that are likely to turn customers away.
Brand strategy also allows you to tap into that “sweet spot” where your unique business strengths intersect with a customer’s desires. When a customer sees that their values align with your own, there’s a special resonance that happens, where they feel closer to your brand and more receptive to your message.
But you have to have a game plan, short and long-term, for how you will capture and keep your customers and their wandering attention.
After all, there is so much competition out there. It all boils down to how will you stand out and your brand strategy maps that all out.
So, what’s the Difference between Branding and Brand Strategy?
To recap, branding gives you:
- A way to generate new customers
- The opportunity to create customer trust and loyalty
- A chance to communicate your business value
- A definitive way to stand out against competitors
While brand strategy gives you:
- Control over your brand’s “image”
- A road map that guides your customer’s experience
- A plan for how you’ll target the right customers who are more likely to buy
- A communications plan for how you’ll interact with your target customers
- A more effective way of closing sales
However, one won’t work without the other.
Imagine your brand foundation: built for growth and future success
Unlock Access to Our E-book:
The Small Business Guide to Brand Strategy
This guide is full of information on how to create an overall brand strategy that will help you successfully market your business. It helps you craft an authentic brand story, then helps you uncover when, where and how to communicate it to your target audiences.
If branding was a car that got you from A (customer awareness) to B (closed sale), brand strategy would be the GPS you need to navigate you from point A to B. Without a map, you can end up lost or off-track. Your brand strategy will ensure that you reach your goals, whether that’s to put your business on the map or make it grow.
(Brand strategy concepts can also be applied to the online dating world. Neat bonus huh?)
Need a customized brand strategy that specifically works for you? Contact us for a free one-on-one phone consultation. We’d love to hear your business dilemmas and help you figure out a way to solve th