We talk a good bit about branding and how important it is to build your brand—and when it’s time to give it a makeover.
There’s a reason for that. We think branding ranks right up there with your actual product or service. After all, if people don’t understand who you are as a company, they’re less inclined to do business with you—regardless what you’re selling.
Your brand tells the world who you are, what you do and who you serve. Without a strong, definitive brand, it’s hard to gain name recognition—and perhaps, more important, consumer trust.
Unfortunately, branding can be a real challenge for business owners, especially for small and new businesses. After all, when you’re focused on keeping the business running from day to day, thinking about the big picture can be difficult.
That’s where a branding strategist can be a game changer.
What does a branding strategist do?
A branding strategist essentially creates your branding strategy and then executes it. While the role branding strategists play will vary depending on how established your brand is and the size and skills of your marketing team, typically they will:
- Define your business. They’ll pinpoint your target customer, by interviewing key stakeholders and looking at sales data. They’ll research competitors to see what they’re doing to engage customers. They’ll spend time understanding the product or service, specifically how it compares to the competition and what sets it apart.
- Craft the promise to customers. Chances are, you already have something at least in mind. It is essentially the heart of your business. Branding strategists will pull that out and make sure it is reflected everywhere.
- Create a strategy. Working alongside you and within your time, manpower and budgetary constraints, a branding strategist will establish how you will go about building your brand. For some businesses, it will start with creating a website. For others, it could include building out content and social media strategies.
- Execute the strategy. Brand strategists often specialize in graphic design and print design, web design, and logo design, so they will create a consistent look across all your marketing mediums. Many can also offer insight into content—or they can connect you with someone who can provide guidance.
Why should you hire a branding strategist?
Most business owners don’t have the time or know-how to put together an in-depth branding strategy designed to grow name recognition, build a positive reputation within the market, and reach a larger audience. Allowing a branding strategist to take the lead takes the pressure of you and what could be a lean marketing team.
However, even if you want to play a big role in your strategy, branding strategists will handle the details, ensuring that you are sharing a consistent story, across all your marketing channels and through your outgoing communication. In other words, they ensure that no matter where and when consumers interact with your brand, they are receiving the same cohesive message.
Additionally, they define what makes your product or service and company special, and they embody that visually—across your logo, website, and print materials—and in context, across your marketing copy and collateral.
Ultimately, they create a unique identity for your business that differentiates it from your competitors and makes you stand out in the industry.