Developing your business: crafting your brand strategy

Cloud Cartel - Branding Strategy
Have you ever wondered why some people prefer Pepsi over Coca-Cola, even though they taste the same to you? That’s the power of branding.

Have you ever wondered why some people prefer Pepsi over Coca-Cola, even though they taste the same to you? Why, even in a foreign country, spotting a shampoo bottle with a familiar design reassures you of its quality? Or what makes you recommend a brand over another even when you have not tried any of them? That’s the power of branding. 

When starting a business, defining the identity of your brand and setting up its tone are important decisions. Indeed, if the quality of your products and services are what will make people come back to you, a strong brand identity is what will get them to come to you in the first place. Combined with the right strategy, this can significantly impact your business. 

What’s a brand strategy?

A brand strategy is the essence of your business—its heart and core. It’s the mission, vision, values and ambitions but most importantly it is how these are presented to the world and more specifically to your target market. 

A brand strategy is a comprehensive plan that you will put into action to grow your business and build a strong, consistent, and recognisable image that will resonate with customers and drive sales and loyalty. 

In other words, a brand strategy is how you would define all the thoughts and energy you’ve put into your business to the outside world. It encompasses: 

  • The mission aka the big ‘WHY’: this is the fundamental purpose of your business. It answers the question, “Why does your business exist?” and clearly articulate what your business aims to achieve, improve, or revolutionise.
  • The values: the principles and beliefs that guide your business’s actions and decisions. 
  • The vision: what you want your business to become in the future, its direction.  
  • Brand identity: it’s the visual and verbal elements that represent your brand: what you look like, how you sound, how you speak.
  • The market: it gathers both your target audience and your competition. To sell to a target audience, you need to understand them, their needs, their preferences, their behaviours. You also need to look around and gather information about who is already in the market: your competitors. Analyse their position to see how and where your business differs. 
  • Marketing and Communication Plan: this is how you will promote your brand and communicate your messages to your audience. It is the key message you want to communicate to your audience and how you will communicate it, but it also involves all the different techniques you will use to engage and attract them. 

How to define your brand strategy?

Defining your brand strategy is a multiple-step process. As you progress through each stage, maintaining consistency is essential.

Cloud Cartel Branding Strategy - Why

Define your purpose: start with ‘WHY’

Simon Sinek and Steve Jobs had it right: it starts with ‘Why’. The very first step in your brand strategy is asking yourself, “Why?” Why does your business exist? What is its purpose and mission? Whether it’s to send people to Mars or simply make hair colouring easier and cheaper, there has to be a compelling reason.

To identify this “Why,” think about what inspired you to start your business in the first place. Struggling to find a good French bakery abroad? Why not create an app that lists all the best French bakeries around the world? Being able to eat some good bread and croissants no matter where you are on the globe: there’s your Why!

Stand by your values

Your brand values are the core beliefs and principles that will guide every business decision. They’re the pillars that hold everything up. These values define your company’s culture and dictate how you interact with customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Imagine your brand values as the guidelines for your business. They explain and define what your business stands for and ensure every decision aligns with them. Plus, they help you connect with like-minded customers who share your beliefs. The values are the essence of your brand.

The vision: what’s your calling?

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, which business will become the greatest of all? Mine.” That’s what we call the vision. Your vision captures what you want your business to become. It blends your purpose and values into a clear, concise statement. Usually just one line, it embodies your ambition and serves as a guiding light, keeping you focused on your business direction and where you are heading.

Know the hood, become the real deal: understand your market

Have you ever tried showing up to a costume party without knowing the theme? Not exactly a winning strategy, right?

Well, diving into a market without understanding it is pretty much the same. Crafting your brand strategy means getting to know the market you want to enter. Study your competition and understand your target audience. Who are they? What do they do? What do they like? Identify best practices to emulate and red flags to avoid. This should help you grasp the landscape, find your unique position, reduce the risk of failure, and attract customers more effectively.

Let the world know: build your brand identity

“Golden arches mark my place,
Serving food at a rapid pace.
I believe Happy Meals mean Happy Faces.
Who am I?”

If you think McDonald’s was an easy guess to this riddle, that is because McDonald’s brand identity is so strong that just a few keywords—red, yellow, fast food—automatically bring it to mind.

A brand identity encompasses all elements that allow customers to quickly identify and recognise your brand in the market. It’s a creative logo, a distinctive colour palette, uniquely shaped packaging, specific music, or a particular tone of voice that defines your brand and makes it easily recognisable. It’s the outward appearance of your brand, and how you wish to position it on the market.

Cloud Cartel Branding Strategy - Marketing & Communication

Spread the word: your marketing and communication plan

Your marketing and communication plan integrates various tools and channels to promote your brand, capture attention, and drive sales. This can include digital channels, print, press relationships, events—you name it. While traditional methods have proven their effectiveness, it’s crucial to infuse creativity into your plan while aligning with your brand’s purpose, values, and vision. If the sky – or your budget – should be the only limit to your creativity to market and communicate about your brand, always remember that consistency in the message, and the images you send out is key and should always be maintained across all platforms you use.

Brand consistency is crucial for building a strong, recognisable, and reliable brand. It involves maintaining uniformity across all brand elements and communication channels, ensuring that your audience receives a coherent message regardless of where they encounter your brand. Consistent use of logos, colours, fonts, and imagery helps your audience instantly recognise your brand and makes it more memorable. It also establishes professionalism and trust, as customers are more likely to trust a brand that presents a uniform image and message. Moreover, consistent branding fosters familiarity and comfort, enhancing customer loyalty and reinforcing your brand’s credibility.

The first step towards building a strong brand for your company is to surround yourself with skilled professionals who know how it’s done. Give us a hola.



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