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How to build your brand strategy (2024)

Updated: May 30

Latest update: May 29, 2024

At this point, you may not refer to your business as a “brand” but it is in fact a brand!

The first step to creating a marketing strategy or a marketing plan is to determine your brand’s strategy. Your brand strategy is why your business exists and how you communicate value to target consumers.

Before touching any marketing plan templates, spending any money on marketing plans, or creating any content, you must first be able to clearly identify all 10 foundational elements of your brand. How can you create any content or make any decisions if you don’t know the most effective messaging to talk to your target?

Here's what this article will cover:

If you’re not convinced quite yet on why you need a Brand Strategy for your business this most-read post is for you: What is a brand strategy and why you need it.

One of the best tools ever used in brand building is called the Brand Pyramid. You can download your copy of the template with guidelines here.

Every action you take builds customers’ perceptions of your brand. If you can act intentionally to have customers view your brand a certain way, you are creating successful messaging. Moreover, if you can convince customers of the value your brand brings them, you will be able to create marketing that positively impacts your business.

What are these 10 crucial elements for every brand?

Take a look at the pyramid you downloaded. Each element focuses on a different part of your business, but each is important when engaging with customers in any way. If you cannot identify the value you add to your customer’s life, you are missing the main reason your customers would engage with you or pay you. Methodically building from the ground up gives you a thorough understanding of your added value to customers and how to talk with them about it.

As with all marketing, we start with the customer. No matter if you’re developing a marketing strategy, blogging for a business, setting up an email marketing campaign, creating social media content, building a website, creating advertising, or any other marketing efforts. Your customer is your starting point.

First, you identify who your target customer is. Next, you determine what customer insight you have about this target that is relevant to your business.

With your key customer information set and agreed upon, you can move into thinking about the specific product(s) or service(s) you offer. It is natural to want to jump ahead and start by filling in the details of your product/service. Don’t give in to the temptation! If you skip around the pyramid your answers will not all work together. Only by building each element, in order, and with focus, are you able to determine the true customer value of your offering. If you skip around and try to build elements higher on the pyramid before you’ve solidified the tiers below, you will have a wobbly construct that is prone to frequent changes and questions — similar to a half-played Jenga game.

So, let’s go section by section to unpack the components we have. The 10 elements fall into 4 main sections.

Target Customer

With all marketing, we start with the consumer (have I said this enough yet?). Your audience is the most important part of your business. You cannot exist without them. So you start with identifying your target audience. Describe them and understand who they are. Part of understanding your audience includes identifying customer insights that highlight a tension or pain point they feel. When working with me during a brand retreat, we spend the most time on this step. Partly because this can be the most difficult but also partly because it is the most essential to get right. Everything builds from who your customer is and what they think, feel, and believe.

Core Truths

In the core truths section, begin with your Brand Assets. This is usually the easiest box on the entire pyramid. Your brand assets are exactly what they sound like. They are anything that is unique and identifiable with your brand. Common examples are logos, names, copyrights, trademarks, or patents. After you identify your assets, work on your Brand DNA. This is your brand’s story simplified into 1-2 sentences. Then move on to RTBs (Reasons-to-Believe). These are the exact reasons a customer should believe in your product or service and pay you for it. Try to keep these to 2-3 bullets. And keep in mind these reasons should show why you stand out from your competition. They identify why a customer would engage with you instead of someone else.

The top boxes in core truths are Functional and Emotional benefits. What tangible, practical benefit does your product or service provide to customers? How would they describe it? How about the emotional benefit? What would they say is an emotion they get from engaging with your offering? When working with me during a brand retreat we will use 30 elements of benefits the help understand what you provide to your customers and how they want to be spoken to.

Belief & Tone

Now we get to move to Tone. What is the tone you want your brand to express throughout all communications and touchpoints with customers? This should be steadfast regardless of where, how, or when they engage with you. Consistency is key with consumers. Once you and your team align on a tone, you’ve nearly completed the pyramid. But the toughest part is the last 2 boxes: Belief and Purpose.

These two elements work together to create a guiding and aspirational north star for your business. And when you are passionate about your business (your brand) you will feel a strong desire to make these statements perfect. So let’s talk about how to build each of them.

Your North Star

Customers buy into why businesses exist, and these elements work to capture that why. If you have never heard Simon Sinek’s “The Golden Circle”, now would be an excellent time to watch the abridged version of the full Ted Talk. The most essential line from the entire presentation (although all of it is truly excellent) is “People don’t just buy what you do, they buy why you do it.". Every business I work with will watch this video multiple times and we discuss in depth what that sentence means for their business. To check out the full Ted Talk, use this link here. It is 18 minutes of worthwhile content.

If done well, your belief statement will share the core belief that your business embodies that allows it to provide value to customers. It is a belief of how things work, the way things are, or how things should be. Your purpose is “why” you exist. It is the value your brand aspires to create for customers.

If any of these elements seem overwhelming or confusing, that is natural. This is not an easy process. But it is very valuable if you want to create lasting value for your customers. It is essential if you want to put money behind any marketing.

If you know you want to pursue a Marketing Plan that focuses on your customers and captures value for them, set up a free strategy session with me today to discuss launching the BOM Method for you, and familiarize yourself with the packages I offer to determine what may be a good fit for you.


Julianna Francesca, Author of How to Get Testimonials from Clients

Author: Julianna Francesca, Founder of The Business of Marketing

"Thank you for reading this post and for choosing to learn a more about how marketing can strengthen your business! We need more savvy marketers and business owners out there and you're taking steps to be part of that elite group. If you are hungry for more information, check out the rest of the free articles we wrote for you and pick up one of the self-guided materials to aid your work. If you are curious about what else we can do for you, head to our About page or our Brand Management Services page."

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