Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy 101 | The essential elements every effective strategy needs

Brand Strategy is your recipe for success as a creative entrepreneur, and it’s all about getting clarity about who you are, what you’re all about, and where you’re going. It’s the first, most valuable step in branding, and is the key reason why branding is so important. The process is deep, powerful, and transformative, and the resulting strategy document is your magical guide to everything you’ll do from then onwards.

When done well, a brand strategy can become the foundation of your whole business, but what the heck goes into that document? 

The shorter the brand strategy, the better. 

Before we dive into what goes into a brand strategy document, I need to give you a disclaimer. 

Your brand strategy does not have to be long. 

Brand strategy documents - along with anything that you use for your brand - need to be useful first and foremost. So, it needs to be practical and useful for you or anybody else who's going to be using it to actually use. If your brand strategy document is 100 pages long, nobody is ever gonna read that. The shorter and more concise, effective, and efficient that your brand strategy is, the better. 

If you're thinking, “okay I need a brand strategy but I'm a little bit overwhelmed because I feel like I need to be talking for 100 pages about my brand.” Do not worry, you don't need to do that. It can be a short PDF document, or something hosted in Notion, Google Drive, Trello, or another software, wherever it is that works best for you. This document can really just be efficient and effective and to the point. 

That's my disclaimer about brand strategies: let's go for short, effective and efficient, instead of long, waffly, and pointless. 

If we're gonna keep it short and efficient, what are the main things that we need to cover in this document? Let’s dive in. 


What goes into a brand strategy?

1. Your Identity

Your identity covers everything that makes you and your brand unique, and helps you to stand out from the crowd. It’s the meaning behind what you do, and informs your messaging, identity, and so much more. It’s your brand’s WHY.

This section can include elements such as:

2. Your People

The people part of your strategy is all about your audience. Who are you talking to, what are they all about, and what makes them unique? This is the WHO portion of your brand.

This can include: 

  • Audience persona
  • Their dreams
  • Their Needs
  • Their Struggles
  • Their Behaviour
  • Customer journey
  • Engagement strategy
  • Your Competition
  • Positioning
  • Offers/Services for your audience

3. Your Voice

Your voice covers all aspects of your brand’s personality; it’s how you sound, how you speak, what you talk about, and where you talk about it. This is HOW your brand communicates and behaves.

This includes: 

  • Voice
  • Tone
  • Feelings
  • Content Pillars
  • Platforms
  • Work banks
  • Taglines
  • Slogans
  • Key messaging

Bonus: Your Vibe

Once you’ve covered these three main sections of your brand strategy, you can start to think about how that will all be translated into visual assets, copywriting, and more. This section is the transition between your strategy and your creativity, and is all about the vibe of your brand. It is planning WHAT your brand looks, sounds, and feels like in practice and what you’re going to do to communicate everything that you’ve clarified in your strategy. 

Defining your vibe is all about: 

  • Determining how you want your brand to feel
  • Choosing a direction that will fit your message and speak to your audience
  • Finding inspiration
  • Putting together a clear direction

Now you have the blueprint for a powerful, winning strategy! And does that look like 100 pages to you? Nope! With my calculations of one page for each point, that’s about 30, 40 MAX! 

So go out there, take one piece at a time, and put together the brand strategy that will change your business forever! 

And if you are interested in going through this brand strategy process with me, go through the workshop process, and then get this brand strategy document beautifully wonderfully packaged and delivered to you, then you can click here, check it out, have a look at what's included, and what the process looks like and then you can sign up! I would absolutely love to go through this process with you if you are interested in doing that!


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Hollie stands resting her hands on the white desk behind her, wearing a black t-shirt tucked into orange pants and clear glasses, and smiling into the camera.

by hollie arnett

The brand coach for creatives, hand-lettering artist for herself, and cup of tea lover forever.

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