How to Run a Successful Brand Strategy Workshop
How to Run a Successful Brand Strategy Workshop
You are doing business. Your clients are satisfied. Your team is working. Things are going well.
But something is missing.
Your business doesn’t yet stand for something. There are no raving fans. People buy from you but without connecting. They don’t resonate with your message. You are no different from any other existing option.
But how do you pivot from blindly doing business to resonating with your customers on a deeper level? You start with a brand strategy workshop.
This is where you and your team will define who you are, what you stand for, and how to articulate it in a way that connects with people. A brand strategy workshop will help uncover your company’s unique story and create a roadmap for sharing it with the world.
It is the first step for creating a successful brand.
What Exactly is Branding? Hint: not your logo.
Branding is about creating an emotional connection with your customers. How do they feel when they see your company name on their screen, hear your message in their earbuds or interact with your team?
When you have a strong brand, customers are more likely to become loyal advocates. They pay premium prices, justify their purchases and recommend your products or services. It’s a win-win situation.
But remember, your brand is not just your logo, typography, or product. Your brand is all of those things and more. It is what people think, say, and experience from you. It’s the sum of everything that your company is.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
— Seth Godin
What about Brand Strategy?
When we refer to “brand strategy,” we’re referring to a roadmap that helps your customers perceive and feel your brand the way you want them to.
This isn’t any wishy-washy manipulation scheme. We’re not talking about “selling out” or “dumbing down” your brand to appease the masses.
A brand strategy helps you connect with your target audience on a deep and authentic level instead of being at the mercy of random initiatives. This includes everything from positioning, brand voice, communication, vision, stories, etc. These elements are part of your brand strategy and can be crafted strategically.
A good brand strategy is rooted in customer insight and aligns with your business goals. It should help you make decisions about everything, from substantial investments to your website’s overall look.
Imagine if every time you had to make a marketing decision about your brand, big or small, you could refer back to your strategy and know what path to take…
That’s the power of having a well-crafted brand strategy.
Do I really need a Brand Strategy?
Let’s flip the question. Why wouldn’t you need a brand strategy?
Without a strategy, your brand is at the mercy of every marketing whim. You might be putting out content that doesn’t align with your vision or targeting the wrong audience altogether.
If you are going on a road trip, would you start driving without any idea of where you’re going or how you’ll get there? Not really.
The same goes for your brand. You need to have a plan and destination in mind before you set out.
A brand strategy gives your business direction and keeps you accountable. It’s a living document that should be updated as your business grows and changes.
You don’t have to be a big company with an in-house marketing team to have one either. You can (and should) have a brand strategy no matter the size of your company. After all, it’s the foundation for a solid and successful brand.
Not having a brand strategy can also hurt your business in other ways. It can make it challenging to measure success, make it harder to attract and retain customers, and hinder your ability to scale.
Got it… But Why Run a Brand Workshop?
A brand strategy workshop is where you and your team come together to develop or update your brand strategy. It’s the best way to get everyone on the same page and ensure that your plan aligns with your business goals.
The workshop will help you bring together the vision, value proposition, and market potential. It helps define your customers, values, competitor activity, distinct advantages, and brand promise.
This is usually done with the help of an outside facilitator who can keep the process on track and ensure that everyone’s voices are heard. And that your marketing and sales team are on the same page 😅
Here are some of the reasons why it’s worth it:
– It helps you get buy-in from your team. A brand strategy workshop is a great way to get everyone to understand and support your brand vision.
– It’s a space to be creative. A brand strategy workshop is a perfect opportunity to tap into your team’s creativity and develop some out-of-the-box ideas.
– It allows you to take a step back. It can be challenging to see the forest for the trees when you’re deep in the day-to-day of running your business. A brand strategy workshop gives you the chance to take a step back, assess where you are, and map out a plan to connect with your audience and reach your goals.
– It keeps you accountable. Once you have a brand strategy in place, it’s much easier to measure success and hold your team responsible.
– It’s a great way to get started. If you’re just starting, a brand strategy workshop can help you figure out who your target audience is and what you want your brand to stand for.
When should I run a Brand Strategy Workshop?
Well, if you are developing a new brand, the answer is obvious: the sooner, the better.
However, I’ve seen far too many established businesses try to escape from branding, arguing they already have a solution in the market. This is a big mistake.
Most businesses benefit from a brand strategy review. After all, the team grows, the business develops and the market changes. But the brand strategy? It usually remains the same.
So.. the best answer about when you should run a brand strategy workshop was yesterday. The second-best answer?
My In-Depth Roadmap for Running a Brand Strategy Workshop
I’ve worked with several companies over the years to facilitate successful brand strategy workshops. My approach is a breath of fresh air to the usual “strategy” meetings because it involves a lot of creative exercises and group collaboration.
To help you run your own successful brand strategy workshop, I’ve put together a detailed roadmap that you can follow. It includes tips on getting started, what to cover during the workshop, and how to measure success.
- Brand Core: Articulate your Core Beliefs and Purpose.
- Brand Positioning: How you’re Different and Why it Matters
- Brand Persona: Craft the Personality of your Brand
A brand strategy workshop is the first step required before progressing to develop a marketing action plan that outlines how and when to say the right thing, to the right people, at the right time, in the right place.
1. Brand Core: Articulate your Core Beliefs and Purpose.
The first step is to articulate the core of your brand. This includes your purpose, vision, mission, and values. You can’t build a house without the proper foundations.
Purpose: Why do you exist?
Your purpose is the one thing you stand for above everything. This is at the heart of everything you do and everything you say and results in a purpose statement that can be communicated and understood in a short sentence.
Example of a Brand’s Purpose:
“To create a better everyday life for busy CEO’s.”
Vision: What future do you want to help create?
Your vision describes a state which you’ll be working towards and reflects the future.
Example of a Brand’s Vision:
“To provide high quality, professional and complete creative services in all design & communication fields”
Mission: How do you create that future?
Your brand’s mission is written in the present tense and describes the reason for your business existence and the target which benefits from it.
Example of a Brand’s Mission:
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Values: Who are you? How do you work?
It’s essential to define how you’ll conduct yourself to support your purpose, vision, and mission. These are your values that act as a moral compass for your brand.
A single word is not enough to describe your brand value and what you stand for, so it might be helpful to expand it to a sentence in a broader context.
Example of a Brand’s Values
“Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.”
2. Brand Positioning: How you’re Different and Why it Matters
You can continue to explore the audience, market, and goals with the foundations built. This step looks to answer the question ‘why are we different?’ and ‘how can we outshine the competition?’
Understand your Audience:
The first step is to understand who your target audience is. What are their goals, desires, and problems? Have they invested in other solutions yet? What does their daily routine look like? Without understanding who you’re talking with, you can’t optimise and personalise your message.
This can be done by creating buyer personas which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and accurate data about your existing or ideal ones.
Conduct a Market Analysis:
After you understand your audience, you can look at the market:
- How big is it?
- Who are the existing competitors?
- What do they offer?
- What’s the growth potential?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
You can’t differentiate if you don’t know what exists in the first place.
Your Value Proposition
You’re aware of your competitors and their distinctive characteristics. It’s time to craft your value proposition. This is a combination of your target audience, value, and unique offer. Use the following formula:
Who + Offer Description + Value + USP = Value Proposition
The brand positioning statement is a crucial part and it should be clear, concise and memorable. The statement doesn’t need to be long, just long enough so that everyone on your team understands it.
“The best brands have loyal fanatics that only buy from them”.
— Byron Sharp
Set Marketing Goals:
All sounds good, but the intentions stay on paper without an established goal for the next 3-6 months.
Reflect on your vision and set marketing goals that support your ambitions, account for business challenges, and determine metrics to measure success.
3. Brand Persona: Craft the Personality of your Brand
Now that you understand the who, what and why, it’s time for the how. How will you deliver your message? What type of language do you use? How frequently will you communicate with your audience? How will they know they’re a part of the tribe? This is where you craft the persona of your brand.
There are 12 brand archetypes that you can use as a foundation when crafting your persona. This model was developed based on Carl Jung’s work.
Putting it simply, archetypes are symbolic images we unconsciously understand. With the right personality, your brand will make real connections.
If you want to be a meaningful brand for your customers, you need to communicate with them in a way that helps them to first, remember and then feel something. And a real personality will support you on that.
Your brand persona will also determine your voice to communicate with customers. It’s important that it remains consistent across all channels and is in line with your values. How do you want people to feel when they hear from you?
To keep everything on track, it’s essential to have a documented brand messaging guide. This will ensure that your team is all singing from the same song sheet and that your customers are getting a consistent experience no matter who they speak to.
With a strong value proposition, a brand’s tagline, and messaging pillars, you’re on track to tell a consistent brand story across all channels.
The Goal of a Brand Strategy
The ultimate goal is to help you articulate your brand more effectively and across the entire customer journey and touchpoints (from awareness to sales to advocacy).
When done correctly, your brand strategy will:
– Help you stand out from the competition;
– Overcome growth barriers ahead of you;
– Shape your customer’s perceptions of your brand;
– Guide your decisions about product, marketing, and sales;
– Connect you with your target audience authentically;
– Turn customers into advocates.
Do-It-With-You Complete Brand Strategy Plan Program
I’ve seen businesses make the same mistake time and time again. They attempt to reposition or set their brand without any external help. This results in vague positioning based on guesswork and office politics along with deeply held biases instead of research, analysis, and consumer insights.
Stop blindly guessing what your customers want and listen to them instead. Invest now in a Do-It-With-You Complete Brand Strategy Program for better close rates, internal and external alignment, and faster business growth.
I’ll help you dig deep into your brand to develop a strategy that puts your customer at the centre, so you can create an emotional connection with them. And finalise with a detailed blueprint that drives your strategy and keeps your business aligned.
Have you found your position in the market? It’s time to unleash your branding strategy! Find more here!