Developing a brand strategy is a critical part of most marketing efforts. If you have never worked with a brand agency before, though, you might wonder what the components of a strategy are. You'll find a brand strategy agency tends to focus on awareness, equity, and sentiment.
The broadest goal of any brand strategy is to make people aware of a company, product, message, service, or cause. An awareness strategy needs to identify receptive audience members and target them. This entails a data-centric approach where you category audience members and media channels so you can get your brand out there.
Another big factor when it comes to awareness is answering questions about the utility of a brand. This varies dramatically based on what you're marketing.
A non-profit's brand awareness is likely going to focus on how donors can do good. Conversely, a lifestyle brand might focus on conspicuous displays of wealth and taste. A regional hospital network would likely want audience members to be aware of its competency, care, and innovativeness.
Your objective over time is to build brand equity. This is a strict monetary value that accompanies the brand. Businesses report brand equity as an asset in their financial reports.
One way to think about brand equity is to consider a major brand like Coca-Cola or Apple. Products also can have brand equity, as evidenced by the iPhone.
When brand equity goes up, a company's value goes up. It's a big deal, especially if a company is looking for growth or acquisition.
For a brand strategy agency, the ultimate goal is to generate positive sentiment. This is the fundamental feeling that the segment of the public has toward a brand. Once you've entrenched a brand in the public's conscience, it is also important to sustain and foster it. And that requires significant monitoring and possible adjustments.
Modern sentiment analysis is deeply data-driven. A brand agency will regularly collect surveys, polls, and even customer service calls to assess how the public feels. If there is a problem with the brand, the agency wants to catch it quickly so the company can adjust accordingly.
A major subset of sentiment is brand loyalty. The best brands have fanbases so loyal they get tattoos and buy merchandise purely for the brand. The combination of high positive sentiment and strong brand loyalty can become a profit center in its own right.