Definition: Brand strategy
What is brand strategy?
A brand strategy (a.k.a. brand development strategy) is the long-term plan to achieve a series of long-term goals that ultimately result in the identification and preference of your brand by consumers. A successful brand strategy encompasses the brand's mission, its promises to its customers, and how these are communicated.
Often misconceived, a brand strategy is not the sum of your logo, color palette, or website; though these creative elements are integral to a successful brand strategy. A brand strategy revolves around all the intangible elements that over time drive brand awareness, brand equity, and brand sentiment.
Drafting a successful brand development strategy begins by asking yourself the right questions. Find them in our handy Brand growth workbook.
What goes into a successful brand strategy?
The main goal of a successful brand strategy is to let the world know that your brand exists, what purpose it has, and what defines it. A brand strategy is a fluid, long-term strategy that often requires being revisited over time based on its success (or lack thereof).
The success of a brand development strategy is not always easy to measure. Brand strategies often involve intangible, not-easily-quantified elements and–when planning this kind of strategy–it is important to decide from the onset how success will be measured.
Every organization will approach how to measure success differently, but all will generally include the same elements in their strategies. Answering the following questions can be the first step in drafting a successful brand strategy:
What are your brand's objectives and how do you communicate them? What problems will your brand solve and how will it benefit its intended customers?
How do you identify your ideal customers? who will benefit from the brand? How do these customers feel and how would they like to feel?
How do you identify your competitors who is already giving your potential customers what they want and how?
How do you engage potential customers? What personality and tone of voice will your brand have to achieve its goals?
Learn how to build a global brand by tapping into audience emotions and needs. Check out our free guide: Winning the digital shelf.
Great examples of a successful brand strategy
Airbnb's incredible success can be attributed to its unique brand strategy that sets it apart from traditional hotels and vacation rentals. They offer a "home away from home" experience, allowing guests to stay in local homes instead. Their mission is all about making people feel like they belong anywhere in the world.
Airbnb's branding strategy is all about sharing captivating stories from hosts and guests across various digital platforms. They create interview videos on YouTube, share short stories on Instagram, and even have a blog where they provide written content. By showcasing these stories, Airbnb highlights the amazing experiences and perspectives of their hosts and guests, reinforcing their mission and establishing a deeper emotional connection with their audience.
This approach works wonders in the digital age where people crave authentic and personalized experiences. By sharing real stories from real people, Airbnb builds trust and transparency within their community. Plus, these stories are easily shareable on social media, helping spread their brand message far and wide.
To further solidify their brand, Airbnb uses a recognizable red and white color scheme that evokes feelings of comfort, security, and cleanliness. Their simple and open design reinforces the idea of relaxation and sanctuary during a stay.
Apple's global success can be attributed to a combination of Steve Jobs' visionary leadership, groundbreaking technological advancements, and an exceptional brand strategy based on four key principles:
- Offering a carefully curated selection of products.
- Focusing on the high-end market.
- Prioritizing profits over market share.
- Creating a ‘halo effect’ that makes people crave new Apple products.
Apple's brand strategy revolves around evoking emotions and creating a distinctive brand personality. They are all about creativity, freedom, innovation, passion, and empowering people through technology. They also emphasize simplicity and user-centric design to forge a strong and meaningful connection with their customers.
Apple has built an incredibly loyal customer base with a genuine sense of community among users of their products. The "Mac community," in particular, shows a strong preference for Apple, helping the company navigate through tough times and maintain premium pricing compared to competitors.
Apple's content marketing strategy focuses on producing high-quality, informative, and engaging content that highlights the features and benefits of their products while providing value to customers. Their website is a treasure trove of information, with detailed product descriptions, user guides, and video tutorials. They also leverage social media, email marketing, and podcasts to reach consumers effectively.
On social media, Apple shares visually stunning images and videos that showcase their products, demonstrating how they can enhance customers' lives and their experience with technology. They often collaborate with popular influencers and celebrities to expand their reach and create more brand awareness. Through their content marketing and social media efforts, Apple has successfully created a strong brand identity and fostered a devoted customer base.
These examples are valuable lessons for any business aiming to build a strong brand. By identifying what makes your brand unique, having a clear mission statement that defines your purpose, and using design elements to reinforce your brand's values and personality, you can set yourself apart in the market and establish a meaningful connection with your customers.
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