Posted By Bellweather on 05/03/2024

Mastering the Art of Brand Strategy: A Results-Driven Approach

Mastering the Art of Brand Strategy: A Results-Driven Approach

A brand strategy is a detailed roadmap that helps an organization establish and promote its brand effectively. If you're feeling confused or stuck as your team generates assets across mediums—it's time for a brand strategy.

What is Included in a Brand Strategy, and Why Do I Need One?

What makes your brand’s heart beat? Building an authentic and powerful brand strategy requires some company-wide soul-searching. It is an essential part of your long-term business strategy. In fact, without a unified brand strategy, your culture and work may never reach its full potential.

What is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy is a detailed roadmap that helps an organization establish and promote its brand effectively. It’s all about figuring out who the brand is, what it stands for, and how it wants to be perceived by its focus audiences.

This can be harder than it sounds—especially when added to day-to-day needs. Describing your brand can also be challenging for stakeholders deeply immersed in operations—it’s difficult to see the forest through the trees. On top of all this, how can you build consensus with your stakeholders and customers and roll it out companywide?

These are some of the reasons why many brands opt to collaborate with external agencies like Bellweather. Seeking the expertise of outside agencies helps bring an unbiased perspective, allowing for a more comprehensive and objective approach to defining and communicating the brand’s personality and values.

At Bellweather, we specialize in building brands from the ground up, starting with proprietary strategy and creative phases that helps us uncover what is unique, engaging, and most enticing about your brand. As experts in crafting brand strategies, we’ve outlined some of the most important lessons to help you get to the heart of your brand and build a strategy that mirrors its present condition while propelling it forward.

I. Put Values Over Visuals

In the business world, brand strategies aren’t just plans, they’re the blueprints of the most valuable companies on earth. Brands, from titans like Target to innovators like Impossible Foods, Spotify, and countless others, have generated trillions of dollars in value through robust, crystal-clear brand strategies. At the core of these lies a compelling story, a narrative that goes beyond visuals and reveals the brand’s genuine vision.

Your brand strategy is a reflection of your company’s values as well as an intricate exploration of how your brand behaves, what it stands for, and—equally crucial—what it doesn’t.

Emily Lessard, Bellweather’s Chief Strategy Officer, explains: “A brand strategy is more than a set of guidelines or visual identity. It’s a philosophy. It’s a deliberate choice to define not just what a brand looks like, but more importantly, what it stands for and against.”

A robust brand strategy, according to Lessard, serves as a compass, steering the brand through the dynamic landscape of consumer perceptions and market trends, no matter what challenges may arise. “It’s the heartbeat that propels a brand forward, ensuring it remains relevant, resonant, and ready for the future.”

Take Bellweather’s partner, MetroPlusHealth, for example, a nonprofit healthcare company whose essence is rooted in a commitment to “people over profit.” After months of research and extensive collaboration with MetroPlusHealth’s entire staff, we built a brand strategy that prioritized this mission and reflected it throughout their newest advertising activations. This dedication now permeates every facet of their campaigns and brand expression, setting a profound example of how values can fuel a brand’s identity and set the stage for more meaningful interactions with consumers.

II. Research Your Brand Like a Pro

Now that you recognize the significance of a robust brand strategy for your overall success, the challenge lies in 1.) determining your brand’s values, identity, core messages, and goals and 2.) articulating your insights into a comprehensive document. It’s a somewhat daunting task, but one that cannot be rushed.

The research and strategy phase is the most vital. Many companies overlook this crucial phase, opting to make educated guesses about their audience’s preferences or relying on dated information about what their company represents. At Bellweather, we delve into all of the details necessary to uncover how people perceive your brand and what steps need to be taken to elevate and redirect that.

Here are some items that we consider and research during the beginning of our brand strategy journey. Be sure to incorporate each of these in your learning and research phase to understand your brand’s current state accurately.

1. Stakeholder Input

Engage with key stakeholders, both internal and external, to gather diverse perspectives and insights. This collaborative approach ensures a well-rounded understanding of your brand’s impact. Internal alignment fosters consistency in messaging and actions, reinforcing the brand’s integrity.

2. Competitor Analysis

Evaluate how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market. Analyzing their strategies can provide valuable benchmarks and highlight potential areas for differentiation.

3. Market Trends

Stay abreast of current market trends and consumer behaviors. Incorporating this awareness into your brand strategy helps you align with your target audience’s evolving needs and expectations.

4. Customer Feedback

On a similar note, actively seek and analyze feedback from your customers. After all, they’re the most critical piece of this puzzle. Your customers’ experiences and opinions offer invaluable insights into what aspects of your brand resonate most and where improvements may be needed. Focus groups are a great way to learn more about what resonates and what doesnt.

III. When it Comes to Brand Strategy, Guesses Lead to Messes

Above all, remember, it is the work outlined above that reveals strategy–not guesswork. No matter how much you think you know about your brand, you must build on what people actually respond to and value, not what your stakeholders imagine. Audiences inform strategy, whereas companies develop and drive it.

Take, for example, the city of Baltimore. Even though the employees of were also long-time residents, it still took research and learning to uncover the city’s authentic essence. Our transformative approach involved extensive analysis, engaging with over 100 diverse residents to unveil profound insights that became the driving force behind crafting a distinctive brand strategy for Visit Baltimore.

Going deeper than the crabcakes and Orioles, we found that the heart of Baltimore is its cultural and creative community. Our brand strategy now revolves around this core experience, seamlessly translating it for potential visitors. Through thoughtfully designed advertising activations, we brought the beauty of Baltimore to life, providing outsiders with an authentic glimpse into what makes this city stand out. By including so many locals, business owners, and city leaders in the creative process, we cultivated a brand that was cherished from its inception and resonated with more people than ever before. The result was a 41% increase in website visitors since the campaign launched, proof that strategy gets results.

IV. Crafting Your Brand Strategy Together

Bellweather is your dedicated partner in brand development, focused on active listening and thorough learning. As creators of brand strategies that connect and endure, we recognize that discovering your organization’s vision and goals is a nuanced journey, demanding careful research and a deep understanding of what defines you.

Our collaborative journey starts with a commitment to exploring your brand’s history and future, going beyond the surface to unveil the distinctive elements that shape it. We’re here to help you uncover your brand’s core through practical research, ongoing learning, and genuine collaboration. Connect with us today to begin crafting a brand strategy aligned with your mission, guiding you toward success no matter what the future holds.


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Bellweather delivers breakthrough strategy and creative for health and nonprofit partners. Our agency excels at 360-degree support—strategy, brand, websites, advertising, experiential—that elevates... Read more

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