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brand strategy

6 Elements of a Strong Brand Necessary for Brand Loyalty

Brand Strategy

Sasha Lewis

October 20, 2023

“Branding” a business in its own right that has turned into one of the most frequently misused buzzwords online. 

Any business owner who has done the proper research and foundational work can communicate the necessary means required to take up real estate in one’s industry. When that happens, your business immediately converts into a brand. No longer are you focused on the operational tasks needed to grow and sustain a business. Now, you are taking up space and zeroing in on the ways that happen…Insert branding. 

Your business growth now depends on the ability to stand out, to instantly grab attention, and to have a brand culture and mission that people latch on to and become attached to. That is the true essence of branding. How do you build an entity that people become lifelong supporters of? 

Online, “branding” is now the formal term for “vibe” or “aesthetic” and while it is easy to understand why, that is just a very small and minuscule part of all that goes into building a brand that actually brings in profits. 

In order to build a brand full of depth and substance, you need to address and develop a few things prior to how you want your brand to look and feel. 

This is where so many businesses get it wrong. The initial focus is on how the brand looks and that decision is most times dependent on the owners’ personal likes and preferences.

Unfortunately, your brand has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with your target consumer. So while you might love a good monochromatic, minimalist feel, your brand is needing to target a more bold and confident consumer who responds to more color and less modernized aesthetics. 

This where having a brand strategy plays a part in understanding how to best grab the attention of your target audience. The first step is always stopping someone in their tracks and this is probably one of the most powerful phases of your brand funnel and sales funnel. 

Once you get the immediate attention then the fun begins in cultivating and nurturing an emotional reaction that results in brand loyalty. 

In order to get this funnel dialed in, be sure to fully dive into these 6 elements to create a brand that will continue to outperform.

Brand Archetype

The most imperative part of having a brand that attracts and sustains both engagement and loyalty is rooted in your brand archetype. 

Created by Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, these 12 archetypes were created and established as the most commonly seen personalities or personas that are understood regardless of language, time or culture. 

When you become passionate about a brand, it’s because their archetype was so dialed in, it penetrated your emotions and essentially imprinted on you. This happens through messaging, imagery, color schemes, fonts, creatives and positioning. 

The twelve archetypes are: Creator, Innocent, Sage, Explorer, Rebel (Outlaw), Magician, Hero, Lover, Jester, Everyman (Regular Guy), Caregiver.

For instance…

Nike is The Hero. 

They stand for what’s right. 

They communicate courage and bravery within athleticism.

They are rooted in hard work and perseverance drives you to your goals. 

Ikea is the Everyman.

They like to blend-in through being approachable and reasonable.

They strive in community settings and love inclusivity.

They are driven by a sense of belonging and take pride in being trustworthy.

Google is the Sage.

They are rooted in the pursuit and sharing of knowledge and truth.

They motivate others to be life-long students in the pursuit of eternal wisdom.

They don’t gate keep and are intellectuals. 

Brand archetypes are the bumper lanes that keep your brand cohesive within each category from creative visuals to compelling communication. Without having your archetype set, you will be throwing pasta at the wall blindly not knowing what sticks and what does not. 

With an established archetype, there is little room for error because you have so much clarity on who you are. 

Brand Purpose 

Everyone has a skillset, everyone has an income producing idea. You are no different in that. Where you first attract someone to consider doing business with you is the purpose behind your brand. Furthermore, this purpose has to absolutely have a direct effect on your target audience’s life and society as a whole. 

This goes beyond making their lives easier or saving someone time. It needs to be deeper than that. 

Your brand purpose is the thread that sews all brand actions together. What does your brand do for your industry? What does your brand do for your niche? What does your brand do in large? 

In essence, your brand purpose is your “why” and while it can be extremely tempting to use this as an opportunity to speak towards your experiences and reasons for doing what you do, I highly encourage you to remove yourself from your brand purpose. 

It has been proven time and time again that purpose-driven brands outperform the competition by over 70%.

Some examples to help inspire your brand purpose: 

Patagonia: “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.” 

The reason this works is because this statement clearly states their mission, and in so many words that their products and way of conducting business is as environmentally sound as possible. 

Anyone who is focused on sustainability and environmental activism will immediately become a fan of Patagonia. In addition, this propels any future partnerships with organizations within this realm that they can now build relations with for collaborative efforts.

Target: “To help all families discover the joy of everyday life.”

Target has done a phenomenal job at really amplifying diversity. More so than most big box stores. This is where “all families” becomes a highlighted and poignant message in their mission statement. 

They have been able to sustain their brand purpose statement by focusing on the topics that their main demographic appreciates. 

Millennials are now the generation creating families. Millennials are also driven by change, inclusion, diversity and affordability. They want quality that they won’t break the bank on. Target has nailed that. 

With that, anytime you walk into Target you see varying degrees of demographics which has truly made them the go-to store for all your needs.

Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Starbucks’ brand purpose is clearly seen in their company culture.

Brand Values

Brand values are the principals and beliefs in which your brand moves and operates. There is little to no compromise with your values that lead to the decisions on products, sourcing, materials, operations, company culture, and more. 

Without established and apparent brand values, creating loyal consumers becomes more of a struggle. These values are the defining beliefs that show up in every aspect of your brand development from brand story to creative direction. 

Oftentimes, businesses create their brand values based on the assumed standpoints of their target audience. Instead of confidently creating a brand that is genuine and authentic to the goals and mission that the initial brand idea sparked from, they adapt to what they THINK others would want to hear and see which sets a brand up for failure. 

Defining your brand values really comes down to the values your brand will never sway on, examples include: integrity, passion, integrity, diversity, inclusivity, respect, consistency, bravery, etc. 

Most brands have on average five values that they can properly and effectively build upon that makes their consumers feel safe and valued. 

This is not a part of your brand to rush. This is essentially the heart and soul of your brand. Really sit down and brainstorm what values you can guarantee to be threaded throughout your brand in its entirety. 

Brand Positioning

If you want to become top-of-mind and as the favored brand for a particular need or problem within your industry, brand positioning is the answer.

Being different and unique is not enough to stand-out and be favored over the competition. This is why marketers focus so much energy on brand positioning strategies. 

There are a few layers to brand positioning that need to be present in order to not only attract interest but keep it and convert it into profit. 

First we want to make sure you have outlined everything about your brand that is different from your competitors. As you list out what makes you different, you will find one or two things really stand out as the most impactful which you can take and build upon. 

The part of brand strategy that many business owners have a hard time with is having to become abundantly aware of the competition. Instead of looking at the competition from a research frame-of-mind, it becomes a thief of joy and breeding ground for imposter syndrome. 

That shouldn’t be the case though. Without knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, you will have zero clue as to how you can strategically place your brand in your industry to gain the most visibility and traction. 

This is where your unique selling proposition comes in, but we continue to go deeper. 

Next, you need to cement your brand story as a pillar that is reflective in all aspects of your brand strategy and identity. This plays into your positioning because your brand story is the moment that people either like they’ve found their tribe or they move on. 

When you position your brand story to be reflective of your archetype, purpose and values, you start to build your positioning as a brand that is humanized and has characteristics that people look for those they keep in their own social circles. 

While it is a reflex to build your brand story around your experience and journey through life as the business owner, it is so imperative to create your brand story that is a mirror to your target audience. It needs to be a direct reflection of their struggles, their pain points, their search for you, the brand. 

When the brand story is adapted to who you want to attract and paints a crystal clear picture as to how your brand is the magic pill to solving their problems, you gain that loyalty a lot faster. 

Lastly, you have to find the perfect balance in your messaging that highlights how you’re different and how central you are. 

This means highlighting your unique-sense of brand but still being able to be recalled in someone’s memory because of your centrality in an industry (fancy words for still staying similar in services, offerings, etc.)

When you think of particular industries like fast food or performance brands, the first brand you think of is the most centralized brand in their industry. That is because they have similar offerings to their competitors, but they do it better or in a way that resonates with you and your beliefs. 

Brand Messaging + Personality

One brand who has absolutely nailed their brand messaging and personality is Wendy’s…Yes, the fast food chain. 

They have created such a strong brand personality through their social media, primarily Twitter. The first word that comes to mind when thinking of them is “sassy”. Their social media team has done an incredible job and not trying to separate themselves from the competition, but to highlight the comparisons often. 

Their quick-wit and banter with competitors on social media has grabbed the attention of younger demographics who will blast their efforts on their own social channels because it’s humorous, relatable, and feels human. 

Another brand whose personality is very clear is Nike. Between endorsements, collaborations, creative direction and the stances they take to be morally correct really puts Nike on a well-deserved platform. 

In addition, their employee culture is as pristine as their products and they really make the company a culture.

What you can take away from these two examples is that keeping a brand as human as possible is how you build the trust and loyalty you may be missing. 

Imagery that is inclusive and clearly shows your target audience is a huge component in messaging. Visual communication is equally as important as the words you speak, but the words you speak clearly make an impact too as we see with Wendy’s. 

In order to find a personality that fits your current brand, you need to think of your brand as a person. Turn it into a character and map out its traits, likes, dislikes, and so on and so forth. 

As the personality of your brand develops, start to then decipher how you can best communicate that in the least amount of words possible. Less is always more when it comes to messaging. We want direct impact.

Brand Identity 

Brand identity has been condensed to colors, fonts and brand pictures on social media. While those are all parts of it, your brand identity is so much more. 

It’s less frivolous and more strategic than it gets credit for these days. It’s why so many brands haven’t had a significant or groundbreaking brand refresh in decades. It’s usually never the reason for brands not hitting their goals, but it is an important aspect that needs to be taken seriously. Which is why you’ll see larger brands invest more into brand refinement than a full blown brand makeover.

Your brand identity is how you visually communicate how your brand is to be perceived and it is majorly correlated to your brand archetype. As we know, brand archetypes are psychology-based and your brand identity is as well. 

The way you choose brand colors, have a logo designed, create imagery and branded collateral and assets should tie in with the archetype of your brand. 

If you are The Creator, motivated by innovation and art, your brand colors shouldn’t be muted. 

If you are The Ruler, motivated by power, legacy and affluence, your colors shouldn’t be bright and playful.

Same can be said for fonts, imagery, photoshoots and any asset. 

As your brand identity starts to develop, it’s also important to note that you have a set of parameters to stay within. Brand lanes if you will. While pushing the envelope and getting creative is imperative to keep people intrigued, you need to remain within the core elements of your identity or else your target audience becomes extremely confused. 

To be sure your brand is visually consistent across all brand touchpoints and platforms, have a style guide and brand guide that provides all details necessary to make sure your brand is as dialed in as possible. This includes vocabulary, types of imagery, photo/video editing instructions, fonts and where to use them, colors and where to use them, logo variations and where to use them, and more. 

When creating a brand identity that remains powerful years from now, be sure to stay away from trends and to really consider what type of aesthetic your target audience is drawn to. Consider how you can create a timeless look and incorporate trends into your seasonal imagery. 

Brand Loyalty comes from a full-bodied brand that inspires, motivates and solves problems. In order to become the credible, top-of-mind brand, you have to do the internal work of truly knowing and understanding how to sell the brand in the most authentic way possible. 

Once you nail that, the rest is all about leaving others better off than before they encountered your brand.

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