A Brand Communication Strategy is the plan-of-action for your entire branding endeavour. It should be the definitive guide to your brand’s features, implementation and objectives.
The benefits of developing a strong brand are well known. However, the importance of a brand communication strategy is still underappreciated. In an increasingly crowded market, focused and consistent branding is how you can reduce the noise and set yourself apart.
Brand Communication Strategy Elements
- Target Audience Analysis
- Industry and Competitor Analysis
- S.M.A.R.T Goals
- Core Brand Message
- Channels of Communication
- Design Guidelines
- Schedule of Communication
Target Audience Analysis & Segmentation
Your audience is the judge, jury and executioner of your brand. You could design the perfect brand, with impeccable design and flawless execution, but if it doesn’t appeal to your audience or trigger a response, it could all be pointless.
Thus, understanding your audience is vital. Their wants, needs, pain-points, demographic information, economic status, and anything else you can find. Create a segment or segments of the market that you want to target.
The segments you create will affect every component of your strategy. You can’t please everyone; it’s impossible. Focus on your target segment and tailor your communication to engage with them.
Industry and Competitor Analysis
You need to analyse both, your competitors and the industry as a whole. Analyse their entire brand strategy. What kind of image are they trying to portray; what values they preach, etc. This will be invaluable information when deciding these things for your own brand.
Of course, you should never copy another brand’s elements. This is not only morally wrong, and unethical, but illegal too – the trifecta of intellectual property offences.
A goal gives you something to work towards, it motivates you and it specifies the tangible benefits of what you’re doing. The S.M.A.R.T goals model is a world-famous technique of setting goals – for good reason. Setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Boundgoals.
Measuring success is not always easy, but brand awareness is a great unit by which to measure branding success. Studies have directly linked brand awareness to brand loyalty.
Core Brand Message
Possibly the most important part of your brand communication strategy is the core message you want to convey to your customers. This message will come through in all of your brand communications, from the logo design to the words you use on Facebook.
Deciding your core message is a pivotal stage of brand creation. Once you define it and roll it out, changing it becomes difficult.
That’s why it is imperative for your brand strategy that you make an informed decision about your core brand message. Consider your product, target audience and business goals, while factoring in feasibility and financial constraints.
Channels of Communication
The vast variety of communication channels that are available right now are quite remarkable. In the digital space, even individual customers can be targeted. That’s not scary at all.
You should create a communication channel strategy that suits your products, consumers, and resources the best. Given the wide array of media and their specific benefits, you need to include multiple channels in your strategy. You can use different channels to communicate different messages or reach different consumers.
Your design guideline is the colour and design theme that you will use for all of your brand communications. This design will be used from social media posts to product-packaging to internal email signatures. Maintaining a consistent design and colour theme is vital for brand recognition.
This also includes developing a logo and slogan for your brand. These are two of your most powerful, far-reaching and sustaining brand elements.
Unless you’re a Pepsi or BMW, your brand communication budget is likely to be limited. Thus it’s important to prioritise your communications and allocate resources accordingly. Your main aim should be to convey your core brand message to your target audience.
Alternatively, digital media is an excellent tool to help you work in a budget as it has a very flexible payment structure.
Brand Communication Schedule
Curating all your communications is an important function. Throughout your brand strategy, you will be communicating via a variety of channels. They could range from a cheeky tweet to a 1000 sq. foot hoarding. Every piece of content you release will have a specific audience that it’s targeting. Moreover, different mediums have varied effects at different times. A communication schedule lets you organise your efforts and maximise the impact of each message.
In most things we do, thinking and planning ahead is necessary for success. This is true for your brand communication as well. Your brand is one of the most valuable assets your company owns. Treat it as such.
A well-thought-out brand strategy ensures that your brand activities are coordinated and optimized to create the most impact within your budget.