At How to Build a Brand, we’ve noticed that there are two crucial elements of brand strategies that seem to contradict each other. They are the USP and the branding formula. To someone who’s new to brand strategies, it can seem counterintuitive: Sticking to a plan for the purpose of standing out from the crowd.
Great brand strategies all have one formula in common: Five universal qualities supported by one USP, or unique selling point.
First, let’s settle on your brand’s USP. What makes your brand unlike any other? What problem does it solve that others in your industry niche don’t? If you had to choose one facet of your brand that shines the brightest and spurs the most emotion, what would that be?
This is your brand’s USP.
Five Qualities of Great Brand Strategies
Now, before we go on to those five universal qualities of great brand strategies, let’s discern brand creativity from marketing creativity. The most creative part of any campaign, moving forward, should be your USP. It should stand on its own as ingenious – no fancy words or explanatory images necessary (they just make it more memorable). This is a “proof is in the pudding” or “actions speak louder than words” type of thinking, and as brand experts have proven over and over again, it works if you adhere to these five principles:
- A foundation built from core values: What is important to you? What is most important to your ideal client? The naming of your brand’s values from the very beginning is integral to building a brand that is consistent and that attracts the types of clients you’d like to have. All brand strategies, no matter the USP, require a set of core values that will reflect in all communications and actions, internally and publically.
- An acute awareness and understanding of its target audience: When a brand knows who it’s speaking to, and what language will stir valuable emotions, its USP is valuable. Brand strategies that talk to their audiences, rather than about the brand, are the most successful.
- A palatable passion for the subject matter: Love what you do, and that passion will convert. When you believe, wholeheartedly, in your brand and your enthusiasm is genuine, that energy will prove to be contagious. Ask yourself why you have created your brand and if the answer is something like “to get rich,” your brand strategy will lack passion. Sadly, brand strategies that lack passion also lack profitability.
- An online presence: To be competitive in this, the digital information age, every brand must be able to compete, viably, on the web. Overwhelmingly, people go to Google and social media for their information and brand recommendations. Sustainable brand strategies have online marketing and social media marketing plans.
- Consistency and focus: Brand strategies that have plans in place for branded language, colours, logos, and an overall principal focus that is shared by all involved have the best chances of surfacing from the pile. Of course, there’s always room for brand development, but the mission of a brand must remain stoic – in order promote bottom lines that steadily rise.
Using your USP within the branding strategy formula is essential to your brand’s success. You see, the most effective brand strategies all have the above points in common, whilst ensuring that the most distinctive brand trait shines.
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