What's Your Brand's Strategy?


The first thing you need to know about defining your brand is that it's not just a logo or a tagline. It's a promise, and it should be expressed through every message that you send out into the world.

The best way to explain this is by telling you a story from our own company history: we started off as a small business with no marketing budget and no one paying attention. Our founder didn't have time for branding because he was too busy building his business—so he just wrote everything by hand on whiteboards in conference rooms around the office. Over time, though, we found ourselves struggling to grow as fast as we wanted (and needed). That's when we decided that it was time for us to rethink who we are and what value our customers get from working with us—which led directly to this blog post! So let's get started!

A brand is a promise. That's a popular piece of branding advice. But what exactly are you promising? Who's the promise intended for and what should it do?

Your brand is a promise. And it's important to know what that promise is and how you're fulfilling it.

You don't want to be a promise without a reason for being, so make sure your brand has the following components:

  • A reason for being—a purpose or mission statement that reflects what you want your business to be about
  • Benefits of using your product or service—the promises you make about what using it will do for people (imagine "I will help my clients achieve their goals" or "I will make my guests feel welcome")
  • A target audience—who do they serve? What do they need? How do they prefer to communicate with you?

When you're ready to explain your company to the world, ask these questions:

When you're ready to explain your company to the world, ask these questions:

  • What do you do? If your company provides a service or sells a product, why does it matter? What's unique about what you offer and how you deliver it?
  • Why do you do it? What motivates your employees and customers—how are they different from their counterparts at other companies.
  • Who is your customer? Is there a particular type of person who is more likely than others to choose one solution over another for the same problem—and if so, what makes them different (age range of potential customers; demographics such as gender or income level; etc.)

What do we do?

  • A strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a particular goal
  • It's essential to know what your brand stands for and how it will be represented in the world.
  • You need to determine who your customers are and what they are looking for in order to create meaningful relationships with them.
  • The more you understand about your customer’s needs, wants, desires and priorities the better you will be able to meet those needs, wants, desires and priorities. When we talk about “customers” we don't mean just people who buy products or services from us but also anyone who interacts with our business on any level (employees included).
  • Asking yourself these questions will help: What is my product or service? Who am I selling it too? What value am I bringing my customer? Why should they care about me/my company? How does this benefit them?

Why do we do it?

If you can't answer these questions, it's time to ask yourself some tough questions. Why did you start your business? What do you stand for? What do you love about your business? If the answers aren't clear or if they are not what you want them to be, then it's time for a brand audit.

Businesses that have a strong sense of purpose and mission tend to attract customers who are loyal and passionate about the brand because of its values. When brands can speak clearly about their core values and how those fit into their larger story—and when they're able to communicate this effectively in all channels—they'll see an increase in brand awareness and customer loyalty that will help them grow sustainably over time.

Who is our customer?

  • Identify your target audience.
  • Know the needs, wants and pain points of your customers.
  • Know the values of your customer base. What do they want to see in a brand? How do they view money? What do they value most in life?
  • Understand what expectations are in play with this group of people—what should they expect from you as a brand, and how can you exceed those expectations?
  • Do research on their behaviour—how do they use technology to solve problems or find information about products and services like yours?

What value are we bringing them?

The next step is to determine what value you bring to the table. What are the key benefits of your product, service and brand? Why should a customer care about what you have to offer?

The first thing that comes to mind is probably price. But rather than just being cheap, think about how you can make your products or services stand out from the competition in other ways—for example, by focusing on quality or convenience. And don't forget about branding! When a customer sees your logo or hears your name mentioned in conversation, what do they think?

How are we different from our competitors?

Now that you've identified your competitors, it's time to think about how they're different from each other and from you.

  • How are your strengths and weaknesses different from those of each competitor?
  • What distinguishes you from the pack? What does your company do better than all the others?
  • Are there any areas where your competitors excel and where you can learn something from them?

The answers will inform every communication moving forward (and they'll help you make smarter business decisions).

Your brand strategy is a set of guidelines for how to communicate your brand. It helps you define your brand, create a voice and tone for it, and determine how best to present that in every communication moving forward—whether it be online or off.

Use it as your blueprint for success. It will help you understand who your customer is and what they want, as well as how to best communicate with them. If done right, it will help you create a brand that people love and are willing to buy into.


With each question in mind, you’ll be able to define what makes your brand special. From there, it’s easier to make decisions and develop your own strategy—which will help you grow as a business!

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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