This article has been contributed by Ivio Agency.
Any successful business starts with an effective branding strategy. A brand strategy is a long-term plan that affects all facets of your business. This can be overwhelming to put together when you are new to the game.
But have no fear, if you are starting your brand from scratch, use the help of a brand strategy workshop to get the job done!
Take Your Time
First, don’t jump the gun! This is definitely something that you don’t want to rush into.
It takes time to design the right ideas that fit the foundation of your company. And there are lots of factors to think about, like the colors you want to use to identify your brand, the logo you want, your branding voice, and what functions and features you want on your website.
That is A LOT of decisions to make.
But don’t get overwhelmed right away. You want to start by listing the goals you are aiming for, like what you want your brand to look and feel like to your customer base. This is usually based on what is important to your brand and your customers – a brand strategy workshop will help you figure those out.
Why Should You Hold a Brand Strategy Workshop?
Well, a brand strategy workshop is perfect for startups that are looking to take the proper steps of the design process with the proper framework. Or for a brand looking to revamp their image.
It should answer these two questions:
- Who are you as a brand?
- What are your customer’s needs?
What are the Benefits of a Brand Workshop?
The benefits of a brand strategy workshop cannot be underestimated.
If you are a design company and want to help your client build their brand, a workshop will help them gain confidence in you. By working closely with the client, you will align their brand with their core values, all while meeting their goals, which will lead to fewer revisions.
On the other side of the coin, a team attending a brand strategy workshop can make the brand grow closer as a team. Plus, developing the right design and voice will attract new customers and retain existing ones.
The Keys to Starting a Workshop
For a successful branding strategy workshop, make sure everyone involved is on board, and encourage everyone to share ideas and take notes throughout the workshop.
It is best to set up the workshop with a whiteboard or shared computer screen if you’re working remotely, and provide worksheets for everyone to fill out as a group.
During the workshop, you will use strategic ways to learn about your brand to successfully lay the proper foundation.
Each workshop should take about 3 hours, remember…don’t rush things!
Strategy & Design – Two Peas in a Pod
The goal of the workshop is to translate your brand into something your customers will value and understand.
How do you achieve this? Listen! Everyone needs to get involved and take the time to listen to ideas from the team and the clients to collaborate and design something great. All of this will be done by exploring nine special components of your brand.
9 Components to Cover in a Brand Strategy Workshop
- Brand Purpose
- Target Audience
- Competitor Research
- Awareness Tactics
Your brand core is comprised of three components which need to be addressed first because they’re the most important aspects of your brand. They guide every other part of your brand and every action you take.
But for some reason, almost 99 percent of people overlook the brand core section – don’t be one of those people!
This section will help your brand set a foundation in place to help you grow and expand. It will help give clarity to the internal part of your brand while also building confidence among the team.
An authentic and genuine brand knows what they stand for and by sharing this with consumers, it draws in more engaging customers. Remember, a strong core foundation will lead to customer retention too.
1. Brand Purpose
The brand purpose is the reason your brand exists, beyond just to make a profit.
When your brand genuinely aligns with a cause or reason for being, it will attract a dedicated following. By giving people a purpose and reason to feel inspired, you keep them coming back to your brand.
The goal is to not only to build unity internally but also externally. In the end, this will lead to an increase in market share, faster growth and higher sales.
To find out your brand’s purpose, define:
- your brand’s value and principles and why your brand exists
- what services, products, and jobs you offer
- how you stand out among the competition
With these three elements, you can easily pinpoint your brand’s purpose.
2. Brand Vision
For brand vision, ask yourself, “where is your brand going?”. This will be influenced by long-term business goals so you can navigate your brand in the right direction.
To do this, map out a timeline of the desires you have for your brand. Do this, for now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and 15 years from now.
Be bold, but also realistic. Creating these aspirations in detail will force you to hold yourself accountable.
Then, you can create your vision statement. It might take a few tries to really nail your vision statement, but start by combining your aspirations and ideals. Remember – you want it short and to the point!
3. Brand Values
Your brand values are your guiding principles and you want to create a culture to stand for this.
You can figure out your brand values by asking yourself, “How do I want to be perceived by the public?” and being sure you can commit to the answer.
It goes deeper than just the services and products you offer, it is all about the experience you give to the public.
Let’s take a look at Coca Cola. Their values include leadership, integrity, passion, diversity and accountability. They deliver all of these values in their products, advertisements, customer service and overall experience.
When establishing your brand values, you want to be very clear and stand out from your competition. Choose 3-5 words that best describe your brand.
Now you are done with the core of your branding!
Now that you have achieved your brand core, it is time to focus on the position your brand has in the marketplace, in the eye of the consumer.
A clear understanding of your brand’s position will give you a competitive edge. To achieve this, a clear audience must be established so that you adjust your brand’s design to be more appealing.
The way you present your brand says a lot, so get to know your audience to help build your foundation so that you will understand them and resonate with them!
4. Target Audience
To find your target audience, take a look at your primary customer and figure out their problem, and offer solutions.
For example, what challenges do they face? When you can figure out a solution to these challenges, you can connect on a human level through their preferences and behavioral patterns.
Start by figuring out the demographics of your most common audience, like their gender, age and geographic location.
Then, figure out their goals and objectives that relate to the brand. What are their motivations and aspirations?
When you have the answers to these questions, you can give your target audience a more desirable experience.
5. Competitor Research
Now that you know your target audience, identify your competition. You want to stand out among them and set yourself apart from them, not duplicate their brand strategy.
Instead of trying to stand for everything, have your brand stand for something! Meaning, find something that sets you apart for the competition like convenience, speed, price or skill level.
What can your brand offer that is unique? Create a position statement to clarify this!
6. Awareness Tactics
How will your customers find you? You need to know this to successfully target your audience. Take the time to brainstorm how the world can learn about your brand.
Marketing activities commonly used to boost brand awareness amongst target audiences include:
- Social media
- Online ads
- TV commercials
- Radio ads
- Print ads
Now, dig a little deeper into each one. How effective will each activity be when it comes to your specific target audience? Which ones actually reach your audience? Which have a high impact on your audience?
Next, which of these will be difficult to deploy? How much time do they take and how much money do each cost?
You want to make sure your marketing activities are worth the resources you invest. Rank which are most beneficial to your brand and roll with these!
Now you are done with your brand’s positioning!
Time to put your internal and external position together and create a brand persona! You need to figure out how you can make a human connection to your targeted audience.
Thanks to social media, your customers have a voice more than ever, so they expect you to have one as well. This means you need to be more humanized and create an engaging personality – usually a memorable tagline to help identify your branding personality will do the trick.
7. Brand Personality
If your brand was a person, who would it be? Build a relationship with your audience through the correct person. Achieve this by using brand archetypes.
Carl Jung’s well-known framework has been used by brands from around the world. Jung theorized that humans use symbolism to understand complex concepts.
So brands could easily identify with their customers, he developed 12 different categories. All of these categories exhibit personality traits that can help brands establish a connection with their audience.
The 12 Brand Archetypes
Examples of these archetypes:
- Those searching for spirituality: Innocent, Sage, Explorer. These archetypes tend to yearn for paradise.
- Those wanting to leave a legacy: Outlaw, Magician, Hero. These archetypes like to leave a mark on the world.
- Those wanting to connect with others: Lover, Jester, Everyman. These archetypes strive for meaningful relationships with others.
- Those wanting to provide structure: Caregiver, Ruler, Creator. These archetypes want to bring structure to the world.
Your brand should be able to easily identify with one of the archetypes. Then with that personality in mind, create a brand voice.
8. Brand Voice
Now that you know your brand’s identity, you want to figure out how to project your personality. This means how you want to sound to your targeted audience.
Take a step back and evaluate your tone. Is it loud? Quiet? Reserved? This should accurately reflect your brand’s personality.
To create a personality with your voice, you must decide how you want to be perceived by your audience.
Common voices to use:
Remember, you want to use your voice and convey your brand personality consistently.
After all is said and done, you want to make a memorable tagline to wrap it all up.
This is what you want your audience to remember you by. This is different from a slogan. A slogan is usually used for a specific campaign. But a tagline directly relates to your business as a whole and should be timeless.
One of the most popular and effective examples is Nike’s tagline – Just Do It.
It is known around the world and anytime someone hears it, they associate it with the brand Nike.
This is something every brand wants to achieve. Through a creative marketing campaign and a catchy tagline, a brand can leave a memorable impression on their consumers.
And That’s All Folks
Congratulations! You have learned how to conduct a brand strategy workshop and have learned about all of the important points to hit!
Now it is time to take everything you have learned from the workshop and continue to apply it to your brand’s marketing strategy.
When you do want to design something new for your brand, you can confidently know you will be able to do so while also aligning all of these 9 aspects of your brand!
If you want to leave it up to the professionals, you can work with a branding company that will take the reins to help with your branding strategy and design.
About the author: The Ivio Agency creates smart, beautiful and powerful brand work and websites for today’s visionaries with tomorrow’s ideas.