Brand Identity and Strategy are two major parts of the picture, with the activities and results that follow completing the scene. All four elements must be understood and mastered to ensure success.
The identity of a brand begins as an aspiration, albeit one informed by research, business goals, and tough decisions about what to prioritize. It proceeds from the reality of what a company is and envisions how it might most productively be seen by others. An identity is a goal of the most comprehensive kind, encompassing everything a company strives for.
With the lighthouse of an identity waiting on the horizon, a strategy charts the course for getting there. That means laying out concrete goals of more particular sorts so intermediate progress can be measured. An effective website strategy keeps everything that follows coordinated and aligned, just as the pursuit of an identity motivates the strategy itself.
With an identity-focused strategy in place, particular tactics become the means of developing toward the goal. A well-formed strategy will suggest what needs to be done next, but looking deeply into which concrete marketing efforts will pay off the most can be valuable, as well. From tuning graphical assets to refining messaging standards, this is where much of the toughest work gets done.
As the reach of a brand builds, its true nature starts to become clear. A growing gap between the observed image of a brand among customers and the identity that is the goal could be a reason to rethink a strategy. Lack of progress toward a particular strategic milestone might mean that existing tactics need to be rethought. The proof and value of a brand are in the minds of others, so knowing what they really think is important.
Taking control of a brand is what matters the most, and there are plenty of effective tools for doing so. By accepting the responsibility of formulating, developing, and refining a brand, any company or organization can produce durable, significant results and brand-derived momentum that creates new opportunities on its own.