What is the most important element of a successful brand strategy?
Gaining a competitive edge over competitors and connecting with target audiences requires an in-depth understanding of who you are as a business – your values, your purpose, your mission – what value you offer customers, and how you are different to other products or services in the market.
To do this, it requires honest interrogation and identification of what you are doing well, where the opportunities are and why someone would choose your product or service over a competitor.
So, without a doubt, I would say the most important element is uncovering your unique value proposition – your UVP. From there, you can begin to define the brand’s identity and develop the ‘fun stuff’ – brand story, creative ideation, and channel selection.
What should companies consider when it comes to their brand reputation, and what are the most common mistakes brands make?
We live in an era of radical transparency and amplification. This is great for when brands are walking the walk and settled into a consistent flow, but not ideal when things go wrong.
2022 was yet another year that saw many brands being significantly damaged by failing to evolve with their audience’s values and expectations, from the AFL’s ongoing issues with systemic racism, the near-death of the Liberal Party or the Optus data breaches. These examples all demonstrate the perfect storm of outdated company policy and lack of preparedness for issues management colliding in the public forum.
Imagine how different the fate of these companies and organisations would have been if they ensured their values, brand, and issues management strategy were aligned with community expectations.
What are the key brand strategy trends in 2023? What is here to stay?
I believe brand transparency and creating ways to connect with your audiences in a meaningful way will continue to be extremely important.
Brands need to reconsider how they classify their customers and rather than grouping them together within generational classifications, look for traits they share that transcend age, such as valuing the environment.
Spend the time getting to know your audience, their values and expectations and you will be rewarded with loyalty, increased engagement, and referrals.
In terms of what is here to stay? I always go back to the principles of brand authenticity, ensuring your story is compelling via effective communications, and improving engagement.