A brand strategy: why do you need one?
Sometimes a brand will knock on our door for merchandise that 'fits' their brand. But then we discover that they have no idea what that actually means. Why is that? Because they have overlooked a very important part of their communication: their brand strategy.
You might be thinking: oops, I don't know anything about a brand strategy either. Not to worry! But do get to work immediately. Because before you can start launching powerful campaigns and kick-ass merchandise, you have to define a brand strategy that will form the guiding principle throughout your entire brand history. That may sound like a lot of work, but believe us: in the long run it will save you a lot of trouble, because those who really know their brand have already done half the work for each action. Yes, even designing merchandise goes a lot smoother when you know what you want to project!
Selling? Yes, but also connect.
As a brand you want to sell products. Logical, because that's what pays the bills. A vision and mission, that's not how you pay your phone bill, is it? True, but it will help you make targeted choices that will get you much more out of your brand in the long run. A strong brand strategy makes your brand sustainable, future-oriented and will give you insights that will allow you to play the market even better.
Change your mindset from 'selling' to 'connecting'. Instead of focusing purely on product sales, try to fit your brand into their lifestyle in such a way that they become connected to it. That they feel connected with what you radiate and communicate. Only after you have that foundation, you can think about marketing and sales actions to boost your sales.
Your brand as the leader of your team
An important pillar in brand strategy is to see your brand as a person. Not as a building, a product collection or a share register. But as your best partner in crime, always loyal, the one true team leader who even towers over the CEO. Your brand should have a presence in your company and be the central point of contact for all your decisions, big or small.
This not only makes your brand stronger and clearer to (potential) customers. It also strengthens your brand value internally. Employees who feel connected to your brand values and personality will be more motivated and more likely to come out as ambassadors. Yay!
A clear brand personality
Just as persons have specific traits, in your brand strategy you define a personality for your brand. This starts with the what, how and why of your company (also known as the golden circle from Start with why by Simon Sinek). It is also expressed in values, a target group definition and a specific tone of voice. If you have no experience with branding, it is best to consult a specialized agency.
What will you do with your brand strategy next? Include it in every step of your communication. Whether you're handling a complaints e-mail or setting up an influencer campaign. It's all part of the game. Your brand strategy determines how your brand behaves and what you want to project. This makes it much easier to make certain choices. Moreover, you save costs - and who doesn't want that? With a brand strategy in place, you know where you want to go and you have to try fewer different things to find something that fits your brand. No expense will be "for naught," because everything you do is well thought out and supports your larger purpose.
First things first: no merchandise without brand strategy
Take merchandise for example. Without a brand strategy you might produce something that's nice, but doesn't fit your target group at all and may not be in line with what you want to convey. Some examples:
- A brand that values ecology according to their strategy will not choose plastic cups for an event. In that case we look together with them for alternatives to sustainable merchandising in order to preserve their brand image.
- A brand that wants to promote a healthy lifestyle will not give a branded crisps packet when welcoming a new employee. But perhaps a reusable water bottle or a fitness mat with a motivational quote on it.
- A brand that stands for fun and humor will not dress its team members in average uniforms. But they will wear T-shirts, overalls and sweaters with a playful quote or funny image printed on them.
As you can see, it is extremely important to start from a solid brand strategy in order to make really good choices as a brand. Is your brand strategy not yet fully in place? Then we'll connect you to a suitable partner who will make your brand take off! Do you know your brand through and through? Based on our Kick And Rush expertise, we translate your brand strategy into a strong merchandising strategy that will make you shine!