In the age of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and all the other apps occupying our attention, one thing is absolutely paramount to an organization’s success. Whether you’re a leader of a nonprofit, a business owner, or a government employee trying to reach out to constituents, your brand strategy is the primary thing that will set you apart from an increasingly crowded online landscape.
What is brand strategy and how is it different from a brand identity? A brand strategy is a plan for how to clearly communicate your purpose, how you deliver value to your customers, and tells a story about why people should care about your mission. If these ideas are not spelled out in persuasive language, how do you expect your clients or customers to understand it?
The accessibility of the digital world is a beautiful thing, but it also means that your organization is competing against countless other groups — some with very similar missions to yours — for users’ limited attention spans. By now, we’ve all heard that a dynamic brand strategy can make or break an organization, so you probably know that it’s important. But what makes the difference between a successful brand and one that falls flat?
Most often, there’s five major problems that our Storytelling Studio encounters with clients struggling to make themselves stand out with their brand. Here’s how we break it down:
1. Your brand doesn’t have a story. Why does your organization exist, OTHER than just to make money? It sounds like a simple question, but most organizations struggle to come up with a clear answer. You could’ve done a million things, but you chose to start your organization in your field, competing against countless others doing the same thing, because something motivated you — what was it? What larger mission are you pursuing? The clearer your brand story communicates your why, the more people will buy into what you believe, not just what you’re doing or selling.
2. You don’t need a brand system to tell your story. Some folks like to think that their work speaks for themselves, but in today’s fast-changing social and technological landscape, that’s just not gonna fly. Your work won’t even have the chance to get a word in unless you’ve got a dynamic, inspiring, and unique brand system to make yourself stick out from the competition and create a consistent experience for your customers.
3. Your audience only cares about your products, not your story. The times are changing, and audiences today care a lot more about supporting companies whose principles and mission align with their own. To choose you, they need to see themselves somewhere in your organization’s story, and they need to feel a genuine connection with your goals and reason for existing in the space.
4. Your brand story isn’t the one you’re truthfully living. Audiences these days are getting savvier; they know BS when they smell it. People are more likely to choose brands that they feel are authentic, aren’t just pandering to the trend of the day, and follow through on its promises. A good brand strategy communicates the unique story of your organization — one only you have experienced and only you can tell.
5. You don’t need a branding expert to help you. We get it — you’ve got a fire idea for a brand design and some great folks on your team that can help make it a reality, so you think you’re all set. But while you may have a clear idea of your organization’s story, chances are high that you’re so enmeshed in it that something gets lost in translation when you try to tell that story to the rest of the world outside. We bring that outsiders perspective with the industry expertise to make your story shine.
If you read this list and wondered how you could possibly solve all these problems with your brand, don’t worry — we’ve got the know-how to set you straight. Schedule a call with our Storytelling Studio today to take the first step towards a shiny, new, authentic, and vibrant brand identity!