OPINION | Einar Tiimla: The Need for Brand Strategy to Avoid Wasting Resources and Uncertainty
Einar Tiimla, the CEO of Häk Agency, writes about the creation and significance of brand strategy.
I am confident that every marketer has heard at least once that marketing for major brands like Apple and Google is brand-focused. On the other hand, many have heard or thought that for small companies, why bother with branding, as we are just as we are.
However, what you are and how you communicate it is your brand. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The world’s most successful companies have one common attribute: a powerful brand. Nike, Apple, Bolt, Google, Coca-Cola, Amazon, and previously Skype and Nokia – we have all heard these names and know what they stand for.
Even in our market, there are companies whose communication, emphasizing certain values and essence, has grown their brand. Silen, Nurme, Ampler Bikes, Decora, Blakläder, and Tabasco come to mind.
Brand strategy is a cornerstone of business. Presenting a unified brand message can increase profits by almost 25% (Forbes 2018). Successful companies invest in developing a functional brand strategy and update it year by year to stay on the right course. Those who neglect this aspect waste resources and remain uncertain.
In life and business, you can stand for what you believe in. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your beliefs or values, you can’t stand tall. At Häk, we believe that brand strategy is crucial for business success.
Brand strategy brings different elements together.
The term “brand” originates from the ancient practice of “branding” livestock in a business context to signify ownership. Today, it refers to a logo or symbol indentifying a company, individual, product, or service.
In a broader sense, a brand represents a company’s entire identity. Brand strategy involves consolidating and systematizing various elements of this identity, including advertisements, product packaging, websites, corporate culture, and many other aspects.
Consistent and strategic use of the brand ensures that your brand values, image, and message are consistent across all channels. Customers appreciate it when a company has a unified brand. Over two-thirds (68%) of companies believe that a consistent brand has helped increase revenues by 10% or more (Lucidpress, 2021).
As mentioned earlier, people know what strong brands stand for. It should be something more than just profit. 77% of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do (Havas Group, 2019).
The purpose of a brand is to make decision-making easier for customers. When developing a brand strategy, it is essential to understand the target audience. It is crucial to grasp what is meaningful to them, what needs or challenges they have.
It creates trust for consumers. 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to make a purchase. 77% of consumers prefer buying from brands they follow on social media. 65% of consumers say that the brand’s CEO and employees influence purchasing decisions (Exploding Topics 2023).
We focus on discovery
A brand is not born overnight; it takes time. Often, it needs a push. At Häk Agency, we organize brand strategy workshops called discovery sessions.
The discovery session helps companies and individuals define their core values, mission, and purpose, as well as the priority order of future actions. Regular brand strategy workshops may cover various topics and approaches, but the discovery session focuses specifically on identifying the elements that make the brand unique and authentic, considering end consumers and business objectives.
The conclusions and results of the discovery session lead to the creation of a brand strategy. It is the foundation on which all other strategies and marketing plans can be built. By creating a brand strategy, we become a strategic partner for the client, not just a task performer occasionally handed a task.
Essentially, we bring together three essential elements in the workshop and brand strategy: the end consumer, the brand, and the business. Often, this combination exists in the mind of some leading employees, but under our guidance, it becomes a structured strategy.
Author: Einar Tiimla, Häk Design and Web Agency. Partner for progressive companies.