There’s a little word being tossed around the design industry called “strategy”, and often heard as “brand strategy”. I’ve seen it treated in the same way as “authentic” or “balance”. You hear that your business needs it and there are lots of designers and coaches who claim that they can help you find the answers to it, but the actual word has become so overused that it’s hard to decipher what it really means.
I’m going to take a firm stance here and say something that not all designers agree with: yes, your small business does need brand strategy. The level of strategy that you need and invest in will depend entirely on the designer or brand strategist you choose to work with, as well as the package you invest in.
If you’re curious about what brand strategy might look like for you and your business, feel free to contact me for a free consultation here.
Here’s a technical definition:
According to Bynder, a branding strategy (a.k.a. brand development strategy) is the long-term plan to achieve a series of long-term goals that ultimately result in the identification and preference of your brand by consumers. A successful branding strategy encompasses the brand’s mission, its promises to its customers, and how these are communicated.
Here’s a definition that I think is a little more digestible for small business entrepreneurs: brand strategy is your roadmap to creating branding and marketing that actually connects with your ideal audience.
In short, brand strategy is the blueprint for the marketing and design house that you’re building. This is why I get so frustrated when I hear designers tell potential clients that they don’t need brand strategy.
Brand strategy can include some or all of the following:
Everyone who is rebranding or considering new branding. It’s as simple as that. Now, I 100% understand why some designers might tell potential clients that they don’t need brand strategy. It can be expensive, time consuming, and some business owners simply don’t care about it. But we’ll get into some ways that you can move the needle with your business’s brand strategy at all points in business and all budgets.
I feel that as a brand designer with a strategy background, it’s my job to at least encourage you to think about it. Otherwise, I’d be like a contractor who starts building a house without a blueprint.
If you’re very new to business and/or don’t have any money to invest in branding… start by reading Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller (pssst, this isn’t an affiliate link. I just think it’s a really good book for understanding brand strategy better).
If you have $350 and just want some feedback on your branding… you can reach out and book a branding audit. I’ll walk through your branding and help you to determine ways to improve both your strategy and design.
If you have $2,000 – $3,500 but don’t have months to wait on brand strategy… reach out to me about a VIP Design Day or Branding in a Week. During either of these intensives, we focus solely on your business’s branding and can build a light brand strategy framework. We’ll at least determine your brand’s values, vision, and target audience during the intensive. I don’t believe in designing a logo without any brand strategy foundation.
If you’re ready to invest $4,000 or more into your branding… reach out to me about a custom branding project. A custom project will vary from $4,000 to $10,000+ depending on the amount of strategy and assets that we focus on. I offer a free brand consultation before we work together so that I can help you determine a package that will work best for you, your budget, and your business.
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Brand photography by Enliven Photography except where otherwise credited.
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Designing out of Portland, Oregon for creatives around the world.