How many times have you tweaked your logo or changed the colors on your website, only to feel like something is still off?
I see you over there struggling to grow your business, unsure of what to do, and feeling overwhelmed by all the things. But tweaking your brand design (again) won’t solve the problem. And you’re actually just avoiding the hard work by spending time on this instead. (Trust me, you’re not the only one!)
If you’re feeling confused and stuck trying to grow your business, it’s not because the colors of your brand aren’t just right. You probably don’t have a clear enough brand strategy as a foundation for marketing and growing your business.
Start with the strategy
I see so many business owners who are struggling to market and grow their business. They feel like they are doing it all and taking the right steps but aren’t seeing the needle move towards growth. And when I took a closer look at why so many were struggling, I saw a common thread – they weren’t focusing on the right thing.
Instead of thinking about the purpose of their brand and what they are actually trying to achieve, most business owners start with the design because it’s more fun to focus on the pretty stuff.
But here’s some tough love: You can’t market anything well until you know what it is you’re trying to market.
It doesn’t do any good to invest time and/or money into a brand or website design unless you have taken the time to fully develop a clear brand strategy. Otherwise, your brand and website won’t work as well and you’ll end up having to go back and tweak it again and again.
That’s why I recommend starting with the brand strategy first.
By approaching your marketing with a strategic foundation, you are more likely to get the results you need and in turn, grow your business. Any marketing tactic will work well if it is executed with the right strategy behind it. You can’t just copy and paste the surface level side of a marketing technique and expect it to work. You need to have the right depth behind it so it makes sense and you are reaching the right person with it.
By defining this foundational strategy for your business, you will be able to better understand and communicate your message to the right person. You’ll have a guide for the rest of your business growth, marketing, and decisions that will keep you on track instead of wavering inconsistently once you learn this process. You’ll be able to repeat this over and over in your business for even more clarity as you grow your business (and it can be applied to each of your offerings as well as when you shift, pivot, or evolve in your business).
The industry is teaching you the wrong way
I don’t blame you for focusing on the look of your brand first. I think the industry is leading you in the wrong direction.
Instead of putting more emphasis on the strategy and building out your brand from there, the industry tends to put more emphasis on the design of your brand leaving you to hope and pray your marketing efforts will work and your pretty logo will get you by.
But when you take this approach, you end up with an inconsistent brand and confusing messaging. You’ll change your fonts and colors with the latest trends, and your messaging will be all over the place because you don’t have a grounded strategy to pull it all together.
That’s why I believe we should approach it the other way around – by establishing your strategy first so it can guide the rest of your brand and marketing and be much more effective.
What is a brand strategy?
So I’ve probably convinced you that a strategy first approach to building your brand is the way to go, but what exactly is a brand strategy and where do you start?
There are 13 components of a fully developed brand strategy. I genuinely believe that you need all of these pieces of the puzzle to work together in order to connect the dots with the rest of your brand and marketing.
Here are the 13 components:
Market research: so your decisions are based on actual research instead of just what you think people want and need
Target market: to identify who you serve and what problem they are facing
Focus / Niche: to narrow down who you serve and what you do so you are speaking more directly to one person instead of trying to be everything for everyone
Brand archetype: using your personality define the attitude and style of your brand
Brand promise: defining the results or transformation you provide
Brand differentiation/value proposition: why you do what you do differently than someone who does the same thing you do
Brand attributes/values: values make your why more specific
Brand structure/offerings: How do you provide those results?
Customer journey: Map out your customer journey so you can take them on the right path to the success they are looking for
Brand purpose statement: sum up your brand purpose in a clear and concise brand statement with maximum impact
Brand positioning: The type and positioning of your brand and how it speaks to your customer
Brand voice: Define the right brand voice so you can say the right thing to the right person
Brand message: Produce memorable content with your brand through storytelling and messaging
How to get started
I know it can feel a little overwhelming to have to nail down all of those things for your brand strategy, but once you do you will have so much confidence and clarity in growing your business.
You’ll know, without a doubt, who you are serving, what results you are providing for them, and how to communicate with them. Every time you write an email, schedule a social media post or start a conversation with someone about your brand, you’ll know what to say and be able to stay focused for more growth.
The best way to jumpstart your strategy is by answering these 3 questions (which are the core part of the overall brand strategy):
Who does your business serve? Knowing exactly who you’re speaking to will help you understand what you need to communicate about your brand to convert them to a paying customer.
What results or transformation do you provide? What is the core result or transformation that you are trying to provide people?
How do you provide those results? How do you package up your results into a product or service that people can buy to get those results?
Even if it feels like too much to tackle or a struggle to get it out of your head, the key is to start with this. Before you try to build your email list, make another lead magnet, spend money on paid ads, hire a copywriter or designer, or create a new website, figure out your brand strategy. You owe it to yourself and your business to spend time working through this first and the rest will fall into place more naturally.
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