what do brand strategists do?
At this point you’ve probably figured out I’m a brand strategist – but what do brand strategists DO? Let me tell you: as a millennial entrepreneur, there’s nothing that inspires a blog post faster than visiting elderly family and trying to explain what you do for a living to them. So while you’re not my grandpa (although to his credit, he’s a modern, clever dude who got it like IMMEDIATELY), I do want to walk you through what brand strategists do because there’s a Costco-sized pile of branding misconceptions out there and I’ve taken it upon myself to do something about that shit.
Contrary to what the branding industry teaches you, your brand isn’t your business. It’s not your logo, your color palette, your storefront, your website, your product, or your service. Your brand is simply your reputation – it’s how your audience feels about you, and how your business fits into your clients’ lives.
Which means your brand strategy (the magical ol’ ace-up-the-sleeve that your brand strategist helps you develop) is a guideline for how your business can most effectively, intentionally, and profitably show up in the world. The goal of your brand strategy is to get two separate but similar ideas to coincide:
1. How you want your audience to feel when they experience your brand
2. How they actually feel when they experience your brand
So then – what do brand strategists do?
A brand strategist guides you on your journey to build an effective brand by helping you articulate exactly what you’re offering to the world (your product or service), why what you sell matters from an ultra zoomed-out perspective (your mission + purpose), how you’re different than everyone else in your industry (your positioning), and who exactly your brand is for (your ideal client).
Can you figure out your brand strategy all by yourself? Hell yeah you can! You’re a savvy, capable entrepreneur. You’re sharp as a tack. You’re an atomic bomb of brilliance. You’re also, like, really cute. BUT the benefit of having a brand expert by your side is they can open your eyeballs up to see things from a brand spankin’ new point of view.
They ask the weird but telling questions you wouldn’t even think to think of because you’re so zoned in on your craft.
They observe what makes you unique in your field and then empower you to leverage the hell out of it.
They help you avoid clichés because they’re not confined within your industry.
They encourage you to use your imagination and stand boldly behind your big ideas.
They challenge you to make obscure yet powerful connections between your work and the world that allow you to easily put your vision into action.
They gently lift your chin to the sky and say, “Helllllooooooo, Sunshine! I see you’ve been diligently working with your head down for the past 3 years, here’s a new perspective on what’s going on and new ideas of what’s possible for your small business in the future!”
A good brand strategist knows that branding is a constant evolution (because you will change, your business will change, and society will change). But the stronger brand strategy foundation you build now, the easier and more fun it will be to grow and expand in the future.