Running an online business can often feel overwhelming and akin to being lost in the woods without a map. Trying tons of different tools and marketing strategies becomes tiring quickly and it can seem like you’re shooting in the dark and hoping that something will stick! Fortunately, you can use brand strategy to put your business on the right path to reaching your goals and target audience.
Remember that feeling of being lost in the woods? Brand strategy is essentially a guide to help put you on the path to success by mapping out your unique business goals, values, and audience. The goal in creating a strategic brand is finding the overlap in your business solutions and your audience’s needs. By using brand strategy, you can create a thoughtful brand rooted in purpose that helps communicate your unique solutions to your target audience. This also translates to creating a visual identity that’s a reflection of your strategy which aids in carving out your unique niche. Often times, we get so caught up in running our business that we can forget the bigger picture and more importantly: why we started it in the first place!
Asking yourself questions like: What inspired you to start your business? What makes your business different? What does your business stands for? Are key in unveiling your unique business foundation. Asking yourself why is one of the most important things to keep thinking about. As you come up with answers, keep digging deeper by asking why you made each decision along the way.
For example, maybe the reason you started your business was to create a better work/life balance.
→Why was creating a create a better work/life balance important to you?Maybe it was important so that you could spend more time on wellness and self-improvement.
→ Why was it important to make time for wellness and self-improvement? Perhaps it was important to make time for these things so that you could continue growing, learning, and focusing on the bigger picture in life. As you continue to dig deeper, you might discover at the the core of your business you feel a desire to empower others to also prioritize their life and wellness by putting themselves first.
You can keep asking yourself why, and use this method as a filtering process to get to the root of your why and think about what your purpose is. The why really serves as the foundation for your business and it is crucial to spend some time thinking deeply about why your brand exists and your vision for the future. Having a simple statement that can clearly and quickly communicate what you do and who you serve to potential customers is a great place to start. Here’s a quick formula:
We [help/empower/other verb] [target audience] by [transformation they will experience] through [your service/solution].
→Here’s an example: We help copywriters reduce project overwhelm through streamlined systems.
Once you’ve solidified this, you can think about other aspects to your brand.
Brand values are another important part of creating a stand-out brand that differentiates itself amongst a sea of similar businesses. Defining your values will help attract the right customers, as it will help them feel connected and aligned with your business. Think about how you can showcase how these values are applicable to your brand.
→Maybe sustainability and being eco-conscious are important facets of your brand. If you sold physical products, you could showcase this by using eco-friendly inks and recycled packaging materials.
Positioning your brand as a unique entity with a clear purpose is an important way to carve your own niche within your industry. Here are some questions to think about: Who are your competitors? What sets your business apart? How can you differentiate yourself from your peers? Are there any opportunities or gaps that can be filled by your business?
Consider what kind of personality and tone of voice you want to convey in your messaging. How do you want you brand to comes across? Perhaps friendly & approachable, or ambitious & elegant. Communicating with your target audience in a way that is empathetic and understanding of their needs helps to build connection, community, and a lasting brand.
When it comes to your target audience, who do you imagine would be an ideal client that you’d love to work with? It can be helpful to look beyond the basics, like their age, location, and occupation. Think about what kind of people they are and what problems they may be facing. What issues are they struggling with? How can you help? What ways can you position yourself to serve them and meet their needs?
Maybe they have a desire for community and value friendlier brands, or perhaps they value simplicity and straightforwardness. These are things to keep in mind for brand design as well, since these values can translate in a direct way. For example, utilizing a bold and minimal design that communicates a product name or benefit quickly and succinctly.
These are some basic frameworks and questions to consider for creating a strategic brand that is evocative and thoughtful. If you’re curious about brand strategy and need help creating a plan for your own business, get in touch with me and let’s chat!