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What is strategic brand communication?

Brand Management Brand Communication

According to Forbes you have 7 seconds to make a first impression. And if we also add the fact that people consume with their eyes first it’s fair to assume that making a good first impression is crucial.

So, how does one make a good first impression? Brand management is a comprehensive task for any company, and it has many layers. One of the essential parts of branding is communication. We tend to overlook the fact that brand communication is more than words. How you present your brand visually, your packaging, store interior, your website presentation and how your employees, external stakeholders and customers speak about your brand, is in fact brand communication. Overwhelming? That’s no understatement. If you’re now thinking about how exhausting it is trying to control your brand communication, you’re not the only one. Luckily there are ways to overcome this – you need to be strategic about it.

What is strategic brand communication?

Simply put, strategic brand communication is the structured plan you make to incorporate every aspect of your branding, allowing you to carefully approach your audience with a well-thought concept that leads to goal achievements. The purpose of strategic brand communication is to map out and thoroughly plan who, how, what, where, and when to communicate your brand. A proper strategy also includes your KPI’s and communication objectives.

This is the plan that incorporates who your audience is, how and when to reach them, their buying and decision-making journey, what their desires are and what they are attracted to, to name a few. The more detailed your plan is the better your chances are of succeeding with your brand communication strategy. And let’s not forget, this plan must align with your overall brand strategy.

Also read: How to communicate your brand

The importance of a proper brand communication strategy

The digitalization of the marketing space provides us with endless possibilities within short reach. And when you’re given a branding task, it’s easy to jump in and start advertising and presenting your brand in different channels and platforms. However, this is where many marketers jump the gun and instead of executing targeted communication and spending the budgets and resources wisely, they go for the shotgun approach.

If this is a planned and carefully considered action, that’s one thing. But let’s assume it isn’t. Now you’re just throwing money out the window in addition to spamming people with irrelevant information. There’s a risk with this approach: Your audience will block you and ignore your brand. That’s not the way to win your audience.

Spreading your word across all platforms and channels without any thorough plan can quickly lead to marketing noise. Consumers are bombarded with a ton of messages every day from different brands that want their attention. Firstly, consumers are unlikely to see you in the avalanche of brands they are exposed to on a daily basis. Secondly, 73% of people prefer brands that personalize the shopping experience and as much as 84% of customers state that being treated as a person and not a number is important.

The key benefits with a proper brand communication strategy  

-       You can work systematized and controlled, testing different messages and channels and measuring your performance against your KPIs.

-       You’ll be able to track your results and compare them with your assumptions and adjust your approach as needed.

-       You’ll gain valuable insight from data collection that you can make use of in your continuous brand communication.

-       It will be easier to focus on communication relevancy as you’ll have a complete overview of your performance, your audience and your messages and you can adjust as you go.  

-       Instead of spreading your budget thin with small amounts on little attempts here and there, you can focus your spending in a targeted and controlled manner, giving you more value for money. 

Also read: Build your brand with effective brand communication

Build a long-lasting friendship with your audience

If you’re going to have any chance at making a good first impression and gaining your audience's attention, you need to be strategic. To put it another way, to succeed with your brand communication you need to approach your audience as you would approach new acquaintances you would like to build a friendship with - Take note of their behavior and make an effort to approach them on their terms. Sometimes you will have to be careful, other times you will have to make a bold and confident approach. This is how you'll build a close, reliable and long-lasting "friendship" with your audience. 

Also read: How to make your brand stand out

6-piece puzzle of brand communication