How to Develop a Clear Brand Strategy

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Develop a Clear Brand Strategy

Whether you’re a new brand starting out or an established brand in need of a makeover, a clear brand strategy is always necessary to ensure that your message is clear, and strategy is consistent and effective. Without this background work, you might find that one or more aspects of the strategy don’t work well enough, which can lead you back to the drawing board. Below are some of the key aspects you need to premise when developing your brand strategy or rebranding project.


Every brand makes a promise to their customers regarding the product they provide or standard of service. Implicit in this promise is also a marketing angle, a differential that separates one brand from another. This may serve to create a USP and help your brand stand out, but in today’s saturated marketplace, it isn’t quite enough.

Along with your promise, you must also provide a purpose, a statement of intentionality that runs deeper than your commercial interest. Customers today will want to know that your business has an authenticity that stands above the drive for profit. This could be the deeper values your business was founded on, but presented in a unique way.


When branding your product or service, consistency is very important. Consistency refers to how relevant your advertising is across different platforms; this means relevance to your brand’s meaning or message. Good brand consistency continually reinforces your message and inspires consumers in the right direction.

Conversely, poor brand consistency might confuse customers and put them off. Coca Cola is one brand that has excellent consistency. Whether you watch advert on television, visit their website or Facebook page, the images, colors, and slogans all feed into the brand’s core message and overall appeal.


Researchers have found that people have an innate desire to build and maintain relationships. This is relevant in every walk of life, including brand marketing and advertising. For instance, why is it that people decide to buy a Harvey Davidson bike over another bike that is cheaper but has an equivalent spec? The reason is the word ‘Harley’ and it’s associations.

Harley Davidson, among many other brands, are onto this phenomenon and use it effectively. Harley Davidson, for example, has created a HOG or Harley Owners Club, this is a close-knit community of owners who share their knowledge and experience of Harley bikes. The HOG not only connects customers with the brand, but it also grows a community of like-minded Harley owners.


Flexibility is a close cousin of consistency; both must be used wisely to achieve your brand’s success in the marketplace. While consistency is about creating a style guide that is relevant across platforms, flexibility refers to the need for marketers to adapt to changing technological innovations to enable better results.

One example of marketing flexibility is the popular brand of aftershave for men, ‘Old Spice.’ Before it’s a rebrand, Old Spice was recognized as a product for older men and distinctly unfashionable. They then enlisted the help of a team of flexible marketers who effectively repositioned the brand for a new customer base.

Employee Involvement

Employee involvement is a strategy that is closely aligned with consistency. If your brand has a bubbly and exciting image, like Fitness Marketing Companies, for instance, it wouldn’t make sense for your customer service representatives to be monotone and dour. This will create a brand inconsistency that will confuse customers and put them off. This idea also includes transparency to bring employees closer to customers.

The first step in creating excellent employee involvement is to assess your brand’s core values and decide what tone you want to implement. This can be outlined in your style guide. A tone consistent with your values or mission statement will strengthen your brand voice and deliver a positive customer experience. In terms of transparency, create photo shoots that include all back staff and out them front and center across platforms.


Loyalty is always important for brands, but it doesn’t just mean creating loyalty; it also means reinforcing the bond that’s already been established in some customers. Brand loyalty can be created by rewarding new customers with points or discounts, providing the service advertised, and following up with friendly enquiring emails.

Over time you will build up a customer base, people who have responded well to your product or service and have spread the word about what you do. Don’t ignore the power and relevance of these free brand ambassadors. Retain their services with more excellent rewards, discounts, and personalized messages.

Marketing First, Technology Second

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondWhenever someone asks me to define marketing, I tell them that a marketer’s primary responsibility is to differentiate because when two competing products are perceived as being the same, consumers are forced to make their choice based on price.

Tech-First Paradigm

A major downside of living in a tech-centric society like ours is that many of us now use a technology-first lens to view the world around us. Too often, product managers are taking the easier route of emphasizing technical features and benefits instead of crafting a compelling brand positioning strategy that identifies and fills a perceived gap in the minds of consumers.

Let’s face it; technical superiority is usually short-lived. Just think about all the mobile phones you have personally owned. If you compare leading mobile phone brands based on their actual technical specifications, you’ll find that from a speed, memory, and graphics perspective, many brands are incredibly similar. Yet, each of us has specific brand preferences. I have personally witnessed long lines of people waiting for hours in bad weather just for a chance to purchase the newest iPhone.

No Brand Strategy

Depending on your source, somewhere between 75% and 90% of all startups will fail. When founders are asked why their startups have failed, the top three reasons given are 1) a lack of focus, 2) too much competition, and 3) insufficient demand. If you think about it, each of these reasons is a symptom of a poorly formed marketing strategy. A lack of focus equates to a lack of positioning. Too much competition comes from not enough differentiation, and insufficient demand probably means your brand lacks a reason for being.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondWhy is Brand Strategy Important?

The world’s most successful brands have well-defined brand strategies that include a differentiated positioning and reason for being. The gold standard example of brand positioning is when Apple created its Think Different campaign. That’s when Apple repositioned itself as the go-to computer brand for those who want to be creative. From that moment on, every Apple touchpoint (tech, software, and features) was intentionally designed to help people be more creative.

Not an Afterthought

As a consultant, I’m often asked to help brands create a brand strategy after they have already developed a product. Unfortunately, this is a suboptimal approach. Positioning a brand after launching a product, is like pouring the foundation for a building after the building is built.

Brand Positioning

The essence of brand strategy is positioning. Select a positioning that gives your consumers a clear choice versus the competition. An effective brand positioning is crafted and honed until it occupies a differentiated and meaningful space in the minds of consumers – a space that cannot be easily replicated by the competition. Differentiate on attributes that consumers care about and solutions that consumers would prioritize when choosing between brands. Remember, just being different is never enough.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondFind your Own Space

A consumer’s mind is like a big city with lots of individual neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are known for offering different things – think Chinatown, Little Italy, the suburbs, uptown, and downtown. Just like selecting a place to build a physical structure, it all comes down to location, location , location. When picking a space in your customer’s mind, you have to consider who your neighbors will be and what the neighborhood trends are. Is there a direct competitor next door? Is the neighborhood popular? Or, is the neighborhood in decline?

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondFocus

Distill your brand positioning down to a battle cry. Concise brand messaging is easy to share and remember. These slogans help keep your positioning top of mind while providing a true north for selecting on-strategy activities and building brand associations.

For example, LinkedIn’s “Connect to Opportunity” does an effective job of explaining what the brand stands for and its reason for being

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondTOMS’ “One for One” slogan communicates the company’s focus on social caring and the emotional benefits of the brand. As a result, its “One for One” campaign is one of the all-time most popular cause marketing campaigns.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Marketing First, Technology SecondAmazon’s Jeff Bezos has publicly referred to the company’s mission statement as the guiding force behind his leadership decisions many times throughout the company’s history. Since it began in 1994, Amazon has had a clear focus and a solitary reason for being. Amazon is “a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Stand Out

Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit. To get people to stop what they are doing and consider something new, you need to do something different. Just listing features and benefits is not going to cut it.

We live in a hyper-competitive world where consumers and stakeholders are overwhelmed with stimulus and competing messages. The average American reads roughly 100 text messages a day and is exposed to over 20,000 advertisements a week. As Sir Richard Branson famously said, “If you want to stand out from the crowd, give people a reason not to forget you.” So, first, change your paradigm and find your unique reason for being. Then, use your tech to bring that unique proposition to life.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Luis PedrozaLuis Pedroza is a global brand builder and author of Lean Brands: Catch Customers, Drive Growth, and Stand Out in All Markets. He has held leadership positions with iconic global brands and has worked in many international markets. For more information visit

Standing Out In Business – The Era of the Brand

Standing out in the marketplace has become increasingly challenging in a world of sensory overload. Because of this challenge, a familiar and trusted brand still has the ability to cut through the clutter. Organizations will need to look deep inside themselves to find those unique characteristics which differentiate them from the competition and leverage these differentiators to become the preferred choice of customers and prospects.

From over two decades of experience, we have identified eight primary factors which contribute to standing out from the competition when it comes to marketing. We’ve distilled what we’ve learned into The 8 Fundamentals we define below. Ideally this information will help you to shine a light on shortcomings or challenges in your marketing strategy and offer suggestions and solutions for you to Stand Out from the competition, Take Off in a direction that’s true to who you are and where you want to be, and, finally, to Stay On Course to reach your goals.

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About the Authors

Lorrie Brignac LeeWinnie Brignac HartWinnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee of TwinEngine bring 25+ years of marketing experience to leveraging their twin talents to help companies translate traditional marketing channels into forward-thinking solutions. They have built a reputation as inspired, award-winning designers and savvy interpreters of business brand and personality. Their most recent book collaboration, Stand Out: Tools To Master The 8 Fundamentals Of Standing Out In Business, is available on

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