When you are building a brand it is important to have a strategy. Building a brand without a strategy is like cooking without a recipe. We’ve put together a list of five things that will help you avoid the branding traps of 2023.
1. Focus on unique offers more than unique messaging
Finding a UVP is important to every brand strategy. In industries where categories are often difficult to distinguish one product from another it is very beneficial to understand why you stand out in a market and use that to your advantage. When you understand your UVP it is much easier to formulate an offer that is simply different or better than the rest of the market. Having different color codes, fonts, or an amazing website means nothing if you are offering the same thing as your opponents. If your brand's main offer is different, try launching new products or service extensions and/or sub-brands to create new categories or subcategories!
2. Be unique because “it works” not because its unique
We strongly encourage you to create a unique offer and create a unique brand strategy for it as well. But do not just try to be unique just for the sake of being unique. It comes off very fake and disingenuous. What is more important than uniqueness you ask? The relevance of your offer and how you present it to your target market! How unique is Targets’s promise to “fulfill the needs and fuel the potential of every guest”? Not very unique at all. How relevant is this to the consumer? Probably couldn’t be more.
3. We know it's cliche but “Keep It Simple”!
We have had the honor of working with a plethora of brands in a variety of industries. In our journey of helping brands build from the ground up we have seen that the most common problem is “simplicity over sophistication. Some of the best brands in the world can be summarized in a few sentences; the brands that need a one million page brand book (exaggeration of course) to explain their strategy will never progress or be understood.
An example of a brand with an unnecessarily complicated rebranding strategy was Tropicana. In 2009, the beverage company, Tropicana, decided to rebrand all elements of their well-known product and packaging at once. Tropicana went for; Simpler Packaging, Revised Logo design and slightly new color palette, and New marketing campaigns.
The result: bad branding and ultimate logo fail. Rebranding turned into a fail as well.
If Tropicana kept it simple and stayed with what was working they would not have dropped 20% in sales before they decided to go back to the original branding.
4. Impeccable execution > Perfect strategy
The world’s most fire brands have one very important thing in common: they carry out their brand strategies flawlessly. Brands in 2023 are too caught up on strategizing and not enough on executing!
For instance I work with a consulting brand and we strategize monthly. A lot of our strategies get implemented right away but, unfortunately there would be times that we put the bigger strategies on the back burner due to feeling like we were not ready to execute them (even though we were). Since we spent so much time just talking about it instead of trying to execute it, another brand in our industry had a very similar strategy but instead of talking about it they executed it! We took a big L with this one but we learned this; Spend LESS time strategizing and more time EXECUTING!
5. If your team does not buy in, how will your customers?
Let’s be real, if your team does not understand your brand strategy how can they articulate it to a customer? A rapper named Curren$y said “There is a difference between a plan and a scheme. Make sure your crew are all true to the same thing.”
One of the biggest components of building a winning brand strategy is making sure your whole team is on the same page! When your team is on the same page and you have a fire brand strategy you are ready to dominate!