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Definition: Branding strategy

What is a branding strategy?

A branding 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 branding strategy encompasses the brand's mission, its promises to its customers, and how these are communicated.

Often misconceived, a branding strategy is not the sum of your logo, color palette, or website; though these creative elements are integral to a successful branding strategy. A branding 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 branding strategy is to let the world know that your brand exists, what purpose it has, and what defines it. A branding 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. Branding 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 emotion and need. Check out our free guide: Global brand building: how to be more than just a commodity.