Ever since the Internet became an extension of real-world marketplaces, so many industries have been born. To make sure your business stays on top of the online game, you have to employ many professionals to handle tasks for you.
You hire experts on digital finance analytics to speed up financial planning and reporting. You hire website developers to make sure your online shop gives the best experience to customers. And then, there are social media managers, ad specialists, marketers, and more.
It’s great that these industries exist. However, as a business owner, do you know what exactly these people do? For one, what does a brand strategist really do? Do they create the brand? Do you need one?
If you are confused with these new terms, fret not. Strike “brand strategist” out of the list of terms you’re confused about. To fully understand this profession, you need to dip your toes in some technicalities.
What Is a Brand?
One of the most common misconceptions people have about “brand “is that a company creates it. Most of the time, when this term comes up, people think about logos and slogans. Actually, “brand” is created by the consumers. It is how the customers perceive a product or a company. It is how they feel about you.
For example, in the cosmetics industry, there are high-end brands, and there are drugstore brands. If your company makes affordable but quality cosmetic products, your brand will be the maker of quality drugstore makeup.
Apple keeps producing expensive handsets using the latest technology out there. Consumers can perceive iPhones as the best phone in the world. Can this perception be influenced by the logo of Apple, which is basically just a bitten fruit? Not directly. It is a combination of many things that affect how customers perceive a brand.
Some customers will say that they buy an iPhone because they get their money’s worth. They like the performance of the iPhone better than other phones. They are satisfied with Apple’s customer service. They are already using other Apple products, so it just makes sense that they buy an iPhone, too. Or they like the phone’s sleek design and three cameras. Combining these things contributes to people’s perception of the iPhone as the best phone in the world. How does Apple do that? It is through a successful brand strategy.
What Affects or Makes a Company’s Brand
Based on the apple example above, there are many things that affect a company’s brand. The following are just some.
Brand position refers to your place in the market. Why do customers choose you over other products? What can you give to them that other companies cannot? This is what sets your business apart.
All your marketing efforts and decisions will affect how your customers will perceive you. This is where the logos, slogans, and advertisements come in. Even hiring a particular celebrity as an endorser will affect your brand. Ever wonder why lawsuits are filed when an endorser tarnishes a company’s reputation because of their private actions?
Most definitely, how you treat your customers will affect how they feel about you. Poor quality or the lack of customer service can backfire on you. A single tweet about how a customer service representative was inattentive and rude can reach all corners of the Internet in a matter of seconds.
What Do Brand Strategists Do?
Since the brand is the customers’ perception, a brand strategy is a set of techniques and methods that companies use to influence that perception. It is a brand strategists’ job to formulate marketing techniques, target customers, define the brand position, and build market share. A strategy can be short-term or long-term, depending on the goals.
It is their job to connect to customers. This connection can happen through visual identity and communication, marketing, positioning, customer service, and more.
It’s a brand strategist’s job to make sure that your mission and purpose for your product or company are properly communicated to the customers. If you summarize a brand strategist’s job description, it will all boil down to connecting with customers.
For a specific strategy, you have targeted branding. You can say that a brand strategy is successful if the target brand aligns with the customer’s perceived reputation of your product.
It’s straight-up misleading to only think of brand strategy in terms of visual design, i.e., logo and the use of specific colors. It’s much more than that. It requires the analysis of data and a lot of experimentation to achieve a successful brand strategy.