What is included in a brand strategy?

January 30 2022

The term brand strategy is thrown around a lot these days. Many designers mention they do “brand strategy”. But if the final document doesn’t give you a warm feeling of relief, knowing how you will go about moving your small business up and up, then the brand strategy isn’t complete.

Let’s start at the beginning

There are so many decisions and tasks for small businesses, that you need to be able to prioritise them and do them easily, in a consistent way.

Decisions such as:

  • What should I write a blog post about?
  • Which slang words are and aren’t ok to use?
  • Which service should I launch next?
  • How will I create loyal repeat clients/customers?
  • What needs to improve in my client/customer experience?
  • Which course should I invest in?

These questions plague us all! After years of chasing my tail in business and winging every single thing, a brand strategy is what cleared the fog and laid out a beautifully clear path.

In fact it’s almost impossible to answer these questions accurately for your business goals without a comprehensive brand strategy document.

Mockup of brand strategy document

It’s like a recipe book for your business

The brand strategy literally tells you what your customers want from you, what they want it to look like AND how they want you to say it! How many hours would that save you each month? 10? 20?

The process begins with a 2 hour strategy session with you, the business owner and perhaps 1-2 other people who could provide valuable insight. The idea is to really get down to core of the business purpose, your secret sauce and what makes your current and ideal audience tick. From here, there are hours of research into competition and collaboration opportunities. Let’s call these the brand ingredients.

Once the foundation is set, we move onto the recipe methods – problems and solutions. I’m alllll about solutions! Some will be visual/design related, some very simple, others complex and requiring further investment in other services.

The main thing is there’s a list of tasks you can work on/delegate to reach your goals!

The final document, The Brand Book, contains 35-40+ pages of text and images divided into sections like Brand Goals, Brand Values, Mission Statement, Our Purpose, Differentiating Factor, Brand Personality, Brand Voice, Competition Analysis, Competition Map, Collaboration Analysis, Our Audience, Audience Personas x2, Persona Branded Path x2, Solutions, Content Topics, Instagram Strategy, Visual Direction, and MORE!

It’s a compendium of everything that makes up your business and brand that you can refer to when making decisions about everything. To ensure consistency, you will email this to every sub-contractor and employee so that your audience continually feels heard and seen.

Time to ‘plate up’!

With all of this finalised, we are now poised to “plate up”, ie create a perfect brand identity. Branding design that fits you, your business AND is magnetic to those wonderful clients/customers you are excited to serve! At last we are ready to serve!

When your audience tastes what you’ve cooked up, using intentional ingredients and recipes, they’ll feel like they’re tasting their favourite meal.

Whether it’s home-cooked bolognese, or Michelin-star creme brulee, your audience will be transported to the feelings they live for.

Photo of Candice leaning against a textured white wall in the sunshine and smiling. She has long curly hair and a colourful jacket on.

Candice is the founder of Design Salad, a strategy loving design studio helping climate-consious women business owners shine brighter than ever before.

Design Salad specialises in thoughtful brand strategy and unique brand identities infused with artistry. 

Ready to reach your goals sooner rather than later?