First Comes Brand Strategy, Then Comes Advertising
Think you’re ready to launch your advertising campaign? Not so fast. If you haven’t yet determined your brand strategy, you may be putting the cart before the horse. Which begs the question: What exactly is a brand strategy? Defined by HubSpot, it’s a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand – the combined components of your company’s character that make identifiable.
Here’s a closer look at why building a brand strategy for advertising comes first.
Why You Need a Brand Strategy
Companies rely on advertising for several reasons, including to inform, persuade, and remind customers about their products and services. You can even use multiple channels – like radio, magazine, social media and online – to reach your target audience.
Branding, meanwhile, comprises a name, logo, design and other elements that make it easy for customers to identify a company among its competitors. A good branding strategy, therefore, delineates the means through which a company will establish and reinforce its brand.
As such, advertising campaigns with a strong brand strategy provides a consistent brand experience across all channels, which helps you better resonate with customers at every touchpoint. This helps to maximize the effectiveness – and ROI – of your advertising.
What Makes a Strong Brand Strategy?
An effective brand strategy comprises several components, including the following:
A vision statement embodies the “why” and “how” of a company. Essentially, it answers the question: What is the purpose of your business – beyond making money? Consider IKEA, for example. While its business may be selling furniture, its vision is “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” This vision is a key part of IKEA’s branding strategy, and is integrated into all of its advertising efforts.
How can you know how to best catch the attention of your target audience if you don’t understand them? Enter customer research. Customer surveys, browser cookies, Google keywords, and other specialized research tools are a few of the ways to discover what your customers want and how they want it. This allows you to craft a brand that resonates with your target audience, and in turn, deliver ads that drive awareness and action.
Today’s consumers are increasingly wary of ads. In fact, one survey revealed that just 4% of people believe the advertising industry behaves with integrity. The takeaway? Authenticity and loyalty matter. And one of the best ways to deliver on this is by keeping creative and messaging consistent across all marketing channels.
Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
What is the benefit of your product or service? How do you meet your customers’ needs? How do you distinguish yourself from the competition? Keeping these questions at the forefront of your brand strategy ensures that both your branding and your advertising will hit the mark.
Attempting to advertise without a brand strategy is akin to taking a trip without knowing where you want to go. Conversely, the elements of a strong brand strategy can provide you with a roadmap to reaching your destination – a successful advertising campaign. Be sure to build a strong, consistent brand strategy that best represents your company, and subsequently, boosts the results of your next advertising campaign.