The brand strategy is the real idea – great copywriting simply expresses it.
As both a freelance brand strategist and copywriter, I certainly don’t mind the fact that I often get requests from prospective clients who need ad copy or website content or any manner of copywriting, but who have neither a brand strategy nor a creative brief proceeding from it. I don’t mind, because I make more money helping them fill in those foundational holes. Nonetheless, it surprises me – after all, your strategy is the big idea.
A great brand strategy captures your essence – great copywriting brings it alive.
A good brand strategy defines more than just the basics, as in:
- Brand audience (please don’t call them targets; it sets a tone that doesn’t
help create human-to-human communication)
- Brand positioning relative to the competition
- Unique brand personality and voice
- Brand promise
A good – no, a great brand strategy – also defines your core truth, that essence of what your brand truly is in benefit, personality and experience that uniquely meets a real world need or desire.
3 Reasons Brand Truth Beats Manufactured Brand Image
There are three big advantages to digging deep enough to find your brand’s actual, honest heart (sorry, I refuse to use that weary marketing cliché “authentic;” for more on that, try my Branding Magazine article “The Death of Authenticity”):
- Brand promises are easier to keep when based in the truth
- The truth tends to be self-evident; less convincing is required (hence the phrase “That rings true”)
- Brand truth builds brand trust – especially important in an era where half of consumers don’t believe most marketing messages (see the Edleman Trust Barometer on his subject)
How to find your brand truth
It’s quite possible to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on creating a great brand strategy, and I’ll be happy to do that if you insist. In fact, for some global players, that kind of investment may be necessary and worthwhile – but my typical branding projects range from $20,000 to $30,000 dollars and feature four imperatives:
- Understand your competition
- Listen to your customer
- Immerse your employees (from the top on down)
- Keep it all simple
You can get a quick look at how this process works in my post “Is your branding process too processed.” Or better yet, let’s talk – that’s the first step in getting to the power of your simple brand truth.