12 Brand Strategy Steps to Elevate Your Business

Brand strategy is the vital compass that transforms the way designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs approach creative work, refining products and enhancing consumer perception.

Step 1: Start with Why

When crafting a brand strategy, start with the most fundamental question: why does your brand exist? The 'Why' is the source of inspiration; it's the cause that drives every effect. As Simon Sinek encourages, "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." Uncovering your brand's purpose helps forge a deeper connection with your audience — it's the emotional pull that turns consumers into brand loyalists.

Step 2: Crafting the Core Promise

Your brand's core promise is the essence of what you offer. It's the commitment to delivering a specific value. This step requires alignment between your brand's capabilities and your customer's needs; it's a promise that you can keep and one that your customers can align their expectations with.

Step 3: Positioning in the Market

Positioning is the art of setting your brand apart in a crowded marketplace. It's about finding a distinctive place in the consumer's mind. A strong positioning helps guide all your future marketing endeavours by creating a consistent, unique brand image that resonates with your target audience.

Step 4: Establishing Reasons to Believe (RTBs)

RTBs are the fragments of your brand's story that validate your core promise. They are the testimonials, the statistics, the guarantees, and the evidence that provide substance to your brand's claims. A robust set of RTBs can tip the scales when it comes to the buying decision.

Step 5: Analyzing the Competition

Understanding your competitors is key to distinguishing your brand. A competitive analysis should not just identify who your competitors are, but also what they're doing right (or wrong). This knowledge illuminates invaluable insights into market gaps and opportunities.

Step 6: Unearthing Consumer Profiles and Insights

Developing consumer avatars can make your brand more human-centered. Insightful consumer profiles go beyond demographics, delving into psychographics and behaviors. Understanding who your customers are and what motivates them can help tailor your brand's offering to match their needs.

Step 7: Crafting Key Messages

Key messages distill your brand's core points into a set of clear, memorable ideas. They are the narrative drivers that communicate 'why you' and 'why now' to your audience. These messages should be compelling and consistent across all platforms to create a cohesive brand voice.

Step 8: Defining Your Brand's Character

Your brand's character is its culture and personality — it’s 'how' your brand behaves. This includes its principles, mission, values, and non-negotiables. Outlining these elements is a significant step towards building a brand that's authentic and that consumers can trust.

Step 9: Developing Brand Personality

A brand's personality is the outward expression of its character. Will your brand appear serious or lighthearted? Traditional or innovative? Every element, from the color scheme to the choice of words, must be aligned with your brand's personality to maintain a consistent image.

Step 10: SWOT Analysis - Identifying Barriers to Success

A SWOT analysis provides a 360-degree view of your brand's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It's a strategic planning tool that helps you assess where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there.

Step 11: Brand Expressions - Verbal and Visual

Brand expressions are the language and imagery that convey your brand's essence. It includes the tone of your writing, your slogan, and your visual representations. These expressions should be rooted in your brand's character and should be designed to resonate with your audience.

Step 12: Harmonizing the Creative Elements

The final step is about bringing your brand to life visually. Logos, color schemes, typography, and imagery — these elements should not only look good but also tell a story. Their consistent use across all platforms ensures a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.

Branding is an ever-evolving exercise, and it’s crucial to revisit these steps periodically to ensure that your brand stays relevant and resonant. Utilize each of these 12 steps as building blocks to construct a solid brand strategy that stands the test of time. Let the narrative of your brand emerge not just through its creative ventures but as a compass that guides them. Invest in the brand strategy, and the return on investment will be in the brand equity — the intangible that's priceless.

Join the conversation and enrich your brand strategy journey by becoming a member of our exclusive Facebook group, Brand Design Masters. Connect with like-minded professionals, share experiences, and stay updated with the latest insights on brand strategy. Remember, the strength of your brand is not in its individual parts but in how they harmonize together. Let your brand tell a story that compels, and captivates.


Brand strategy is the heartbeat that gives direction to the various creative projects a business undertakes. As complex and multifaceted as it sounds, it's a vital compass that every brand needs. Whether you're a designer, marketer, or entrepreneur, grasping the essentials of brand strategy can transform the way you approach creative work. This clarity not only refines your products but also enhances the consumer's perception of your brand. Let's delve into the framework of 12 pivotal steps that can help you imbue strategy into your creative endeavours.


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