In this blog, we answer a couple of FAQs about branding and communication and then explain how to improve brand communication. First, let’s start with some definitions.
What Is a Communication Strategy?
A communication strategy is a tool that helps organizations align their touchpoints across various channels to produce a meaningful, consistent message. These strategies may be executed internally, externally, or for a specific project or situation. In short, it’s a strategic plan for communicating with your target audience.
Your communication strategy should answer the following questions:
- Who are you talking to?
- What will you say?
- How will you say it?
- When will you say it?
- Where will you say it?
- Why will you say it?
Communication strategies are often foundational to an organization's business strategy. An effective communication strategy helps companies positively influence consumers’ perceptions of the brand.
A communications strategy is especially important during crises. A simple example is late deliveries. With recent supply chain issues, many eCommerce businesses are dealing with uncontrollable circumstances.
Here’s what an outline of your communication strategy may look like for late deliveries:
- Who: Purchasers.
- What: Apologize for the delay, update them on their order’s expected delivery date (if possible), and share a discount code for use on a future purchase.
- How: Sincerely and honestly.
- When: Before the delivery date passes to stay ahead of customer inquiries and mitigate complaints.
- Where: Email.
- Why: To keep customers informed and prevent negative reviews.
Keep these six questions in mind and refer back to them when the time comes to communicate your brand.
What Is a Branding Strategy?
A branding strategy is the foundation of your brand. It’s the why behind everything that you are, say, and do. It encompasses several brand elements like your voice, story, identity, and values. Branding strategies aim to build a recognizable brand that resonates with existing and potential customers. It’s more than consistently communicating, it’s brand positioning—the space your brand holds in the minds of customers.
Your branding strategy informs your communication strategy. It helps your brand stay consistent not only in its messaging but in its appearance, actions, and essence.
How to Improve Brand Communication
1. Create an Ideal Client Avatar
One of the first things you should do when creating a communication or branding strategy is to develop an ideal client avatar (ICA). An ICA – sometimes referred to as a buyer persona or customer profile – is a detailed profile of your ideal marketing target. It represents the model buyer of your product or services.
ICA profiles include two types of data: demographics and psychographics. Demographics describe external factors about your audience (e.g., age, location), while psychographics includes internal qualities (e.g., values, personality). When you can accurately describe who you’re targeting, you will be able to communicate your brand better.
2. Write a Unique Value Proposition
A unique value proposition (UVP) or selling point is your secret sauce. Your UVP is the “it” factor that makes your brand stand out from competitors. People are overwhelmed with options. Experts estimate that most Americans see anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. What makes your business distinctive? Why should people buy your product or service?
A UVP informs your marketing strategy and influences your branding and communications. You must intentionally differentiate yourself, communicating a message that your competition doesn’t. UVPs can’t be replicated and aren’t tied to a specific product, but are often an intangible benefit you offer customers. For example, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, always used to say he “sold hope, not makeup.”
What’s the driving force behind what you’re selling?
3. Identify Your Brand Personality
Once you figure out who you’re talking to (ICA) and what you’re going to say (UVP), it’s time to determine how you will say it. Every brand has a personality behind it. A brand personality is a set of human characteristics you attribute to your brand. One way to think about it is by answering the question, “How would you describe your brand if you met it at a party?” Funny? Sarcastic? Outgoing? Pretentious? Glamorous? Responsible? Daring? etc.
A brand’s personality can actively shape consumers’ perceptions through its tone of voice, communication style, and behaviors, which are informed by an intentional communication strategy. Identifying your brand’s personality humanizes it, enabling your company to better connect with ICAs.
4. Choose Your Channels
Next, you must choose where to execute your brand communication strategy. With more businesses realizing the importance of being online since 2020, it’s time to select the most valuable channels that suit your brand and its target audience. Instead of choosing “social media,” get specific. Is TikTok where your ICAs hang out? Or Instagram? Is your audience networking on LinkedIn or tweeting? What kind of content do they engage with most?
You don’t have to pick just one, but some channels will be more effective than others. Whether it’s Instagram or email marketing, use your branding and communication strategies to stay consistent across the board.
These four tips should help you answer the who, what, how, and where questions of a successful communication strategy. The why and when questions depend on the situation. Not confident you can manage the tall task of creating your own branding and communication strategy?
Let’s Strategically Communicate Your Brand
Now that you know how to improve brand communication, it’s time to communicate your brand with confidence and class—but not on your own. Let us do what we do best: communications.
If you're looking for big thinkers, keen observers, idea addicts, unapologetic challengers of the status quo, and appreciators of all that is grand, we're your people. As a communications agency, Pomp & Circumstance helps brands develop just-in-time communication strategies.
Whether you want to make a big announcement, promote a new product, create a memorable brand activation, or need a crisis management team ASAP, contact Pomp & Circumstance.