You’re going to learn the important steps to become a brand strategist. So you can enhance your branding career raise your expert profile. And start to help your clients on a higher level to create brands that are built to succeed. Now the brand strategy is becoming an increasingly important topic within the branding space. And there’s a couple of reasons for this firstly you have a lot of influencers out there. Entrepreneurial influencers the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson. Grant Cardone all talking about the importance of brand and branding. So, entrepreneurs and business owners, they’re now listening to all of this content that’s out there. Telling them they need to be more strategic in the brands. That they build and they know now that their brand is far more than just a logo and a website.
Why Brand Strategy Is Important?
Now of course there’s a big gap to close here there are still a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Believing that you just need a logo and a website to be successful but there is a growing number of entrepreneurs in the market. Now that is growing and they’re listening to these influencers. They’re understanding the importance of brand and brand strategy and they’re going out into the marketplace looking for it. The second reason that brand strategy is becoming more important is that you have a lot of branding professionals.
Now understanding what’s going on in the marketplace and stepping up to meet the needs of those entrepreneurs. And in doing that they’re also distancing themselves from the previously crowded branding Market. the like of designers out there offering their services for really cheap that is a saturated market. and those designers and those branding professionals who are adding strategy to their services. That can differentiate them from all of those other me-too service providers. So they’re the two main reasons that brand strategy has become increasingly important. And if you’re considering transitioning into this space then it’s a win-win. You have consumers and customers out there who are looking for this service and you’re also distancing yourself. I want to give you a step-by-step plan that you can use to become a brand strategist.
Gain industry experience of Brand Strategist
Now when it comes to branding there are many facets and many roles within branding. That contributes to the brand-building experience and contributes to the building of that brand so you have brand designers. You have copywriters, you have social media marketers so what is it that you do what experience are you bringing to the table. If you don’t have any experience you need to decide what area you want to get involved in.
And then get that experience under your belt because you do need to bring some kind of branding experience. To the table to go into a brand strategist role, because a brand strategist is essentially mission control. For the building of the brand, they need to have their finger on the pulse. They need to understand every facet that’s involved in building a brand so you need to bring some brand-building experience to the table.
Grow your Digital Marketing knowledge
Now one of the first things I did when I decided I wanted to become a brand strategist is I went and I got a digital marketing diploma. Now the reason I went and I got that diploma was because I knew that marketing was the front lines of a brand. I’m not saying that you need to go out and get a traditional education. There is so much information available online but you do need a very good understanding. You need to have your finger on the pulse as to what marketing options are available for a brand. Because essentially marketing is the front lines of a brand and when it comes to building a brand. As a brand strategist, you need to understand what those options are.
Hone your Communication Skills
Now there is this broad misunderstanding that branding is something visual. That a business owner or entrepreneur needs to go out and grab themselves a logo on a website. And because they are now visual and they have a visual brand they’re branded but the reality is that branding is all about communication. It’s all about communicating your brand in a way that influences the perceptions that your audience has about your brand. And there are many more tools for communication than just visual. You have to message, you have visual storytelling, you have to Copywrite. You have emotion and there are many different facets when it comes to communicating your brand that as a strategist. you need to understand you have to have a good grasp of communication so you can use those tools of influence. To shape the perceptions of your brand in the mind of your audience.
Learn how to art direct
Now one of the core tasks of a brand strategist is to really understand who that audience is and understand the market landscape and then devise a plan and a position and a differentiation strategy that will help the brand stand out in the marketplace. But it’s also a really important task to be able to visualize what that brand will look like in the marketplace so you can bring that brand to life visually. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to come from a design background .although you do have a lot of strategists now coming from that design background and if you do have that experience then it is an added advantage but the visual aspect here of a strategist’s role is being able to visualize what that brand looks like. and then help whoever they’re working with to bring that brand to life visually.
Understand all brand-building roles
Now as a brand strategist maybe as a freelance brand strategist you will have your hands on it. so maybe you’re designing the brand, maybe you’re building the website or writing the copy when it comes to the freelance brand strategy that’s how it’s done. A lot of brand strategists do have their hands on some of those some of them are just consultants and they just give advice. But some brand strategists do have their hands on some of those roles but when it comes to developing a brand strategy for your client whether you have your hands on those roles or not you need to have a 10,000-foot view of all of the roles.
And all of the skills involved in building a brand so again this depends on the size of the business and the scope of the project. but you might need to understand print design or UX design UI design printing environmental design, copywriting, social media marketing, Google Adwords. So there are many possible roles involved in building a brand and it doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in all of those roles, but having a good understanding of what roles involved in the brands that you build is important.
Understand Neuroscience and Psychology as a Brand Strategist
Now again as I’ve mentioned before when it comes to branding what we’re trying to do as brand builders is influence the mind of the audience as to how that brand is seen, how they’re going to perceive that brand, where they’re going to position it in their mind. Because it is in their mind where they position the brand it’s not anywhere else so having an understanding of the mind that your brand is trying to influence is important for the strategist to have a full scope view of that.
Because again human behaviors are repetitive we have these patterns of behavior that you know we tend to do over and over again and if you have an understanding of those patterns and why we do what we do then you’re going to be at a huge advantage as a brand strategist. Now this doesn’t mean that you need a doctorate it doesn’t mean that you need to be a psychiatrist or have a white coat or anything like that but having an understanding of psychology and neuroscience as a brand strategist is a huge advantage.
Learn development process as a Brand Strategist
Now as I said before there are a lot of elements within a strategic brand so you need a system in place to ensure that every single one of those elements considered to make sure that the brands that you build have a consistency about them has a certain quality of outcome about them. So you need to take the time to understand who that audience is and exactly what they want what they’re feeling what they’re going through and the journey that they’re on the emotions they’re going through and then look at them and the market that they’re looking into as to what options they already have.
So what are their competitors offering out there in the market and then using that information to define a position in the market and from that point you need a system to then take all of that information. And then go on and develop the brand into more of a human entity that’s able to communicate and resonate with who that audience is. Here I’m talking about developing out a personality and a tone of voice and a messaging framework and a storytelling framework all that’s designed to resonate with who that audience is. So again there’s a lot of elements when it comes to strategic brands and having a system in place to develop those elements for a brand strategist is important.
Now a fortune 500 brand strategist is not going to have to worry about having their hands on the design of the brand or the development of the website or the copywriting, but chances are they will still have a very good understanding of all of these roles.
They would just be able to focus more on strategic thinking. but when it comes to you more than likely you’re trying to bring brand strategy to smaller to medium-sized businesses so you’re going to have to have more of a hands-on role in the development of the brand and all of those different elements but don’t allow that to intimidate you. This is simply a case of going out and getting the information that you need so that you can build brands that have far more chances to be successful in the marketplace.
If you’re able to understand all of those roles if you’re able to take each one of these steps then you can able to move closer to transitioning into a brand strategist role and helping those clients on a higher level so that they’re building brands that’s built to succeed.