Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s just getting started or a seasoned business owner, you’re probably well aware of the importance of a well-thought-out brand strategy.
From brand building to raising brand awareness, establishing a strong brand identity from the beginning is the basis of any solid business: it helps you stand out from your competition, keeps your message consistent, and ensures that you stay moving toward your goals.
But, what happens when the idea of establishing or updating your brand strategy starts to feel a little too overwhelming?
As business owners, we don’t always have the time or the headspace to do it all at once. We’re already focused on so many aspects of running a business that, sometimes, things get put on the back burner.
Even essential things, like solidifying a brand identity and developing a strategic marketing plan that helps with brand positioning can feel like too much.
Luckily, though, there are experts out there who can help: Creative Brand Strategists - like me.
What does a brand strategist do?
Brand strategist, brand consultant, or brand coach –– no matter what you call them, their role is essentially the same: to help businesses design and execute an action plan that will, in turn, provide them with the necessary tools to achieve their goals while staying true to their mission, vision, and values.
Specifically, a good brand strategist actively works to understand your business and, through meticulous research of the market and your competitors, finds new ways to help take it to the next level.
Why is that important?
Because the market is constantly changing and evolving. If you refuse to shift with it, you’ll get stuck in the same place, and your business will stagnate.
And no business owner wants that.
Thankfully, working with a creative brand strategist can prevent this from happening.
That’s because it’s their job to help you:
👁️ Shift your focus if it’s become unclear or doesn’t align with your goals
🤝 Cultivate a stronger relationship with your existing audience
🚀 Scale your business when the time is right, and
🤩 Update your brand presence
At the end of the day, if you have the means to do so and if you believe that the time is right, investing in a specialized brand consultant can be one of the most powerful things you can do for your business in terms of value and long-term growth.
How working with a brand consultant can set you up with a game plan for your business
As I mentioned, a solid brand strategy –– your “game plan” –– is the platform your business is built upon.
It encompasses everything from your brand voice to your goals, your visual identity, and even your ideal audience.
Without a brand strategy in place, it’s nearly impossible to set your business up for success because… well, you have no roadmap of where you’re going.
Sure, you might have an idea, and you might have certain goals outlined, but what’s a goal without a plan?
Moments like these, when you’re not sure if your brand strategy is taking your company the way it should be or if you’re starting to feel like there’s no clear strategy in place at all, are when you should consider working with a brand coach.
That way, you’ll receive support from an unbiased and knowledgeable third party who can guide you and your team through the process of:
Deciding on a visual brand identity that your audience will connect with
Looking for new ways to raise brand awareness
Narrowing down and getting clear on your business goals, and
Positioning your brand as an expert in its field or industry
What are the other benefits of working with a brand strategist?
So far, I’ve given you a quick overview that explains the basics of a brand strategist’s role and how they can help your business get the boost it needs –– and deserves –– to make it to the top.
Now, I'm going to run you through some of the tangible benefits that you and your business can profit from when you make the decision to work with a creative brand strategist.
Here are three of the top perks of working with a brand consultant:
1. You’ll gain a fresh perspective
There's one inescapable truth as an entrepreneur:
At some point, your business becomes a huge part of your life, and seeing it grow can become part of your life's purpose.
However, this attachment can also blur your vision, making it difficult for you to see where you and your business might have started to fall behind.
Bringing in a brand coach can help you gain clarity where it’s currently lost. For instance,
Is your marketing plan outdated?
Is your brand identity unclear or confusing?
Has your audience changed since you started?
What other areas can help you build brand awareness?
Bringing in someone from the outside can be a powerful way to pinpoint all the things you might have missed.
2. The relationship will give you an insider look at the current market
Brand strategists are experts in their field: they know what’s currently working in terms of marketing, they understand how other businesses have succeeded, and carry the tools to help you do the same.
At some point, your business becomes a huge part of your life, and seeing it grow can become part of your life's purpose. However, this attachment can also blur your vision
Partnering with a brand strategy consultant to help you refresh your business means you’ll receive instant access to all of this information –– and more.
3. You’ll save time and money
It sounds a little counterintuitive, but investing in a brand consultant can actually help you save money in the long run.
How? Because your marketing and business efforts will be more laser-focused, strategic, and backed by research.
Using this laser-focused approach is what separates a calm, strategy-focused entrepreneur, from a frantic 'ideas-guy' who throws a ton of ideas out there in the hope that something - anything - sticks.
Having a brand strategy consultant onboard to create that focus ensures you’re not wasting effort where it's not needed.
Also, bringing in someone who’s actually trained in branding and marketing –– an area where you might not be the most knowledgeable –– means that you’ll have more time to prioritize other areas of your business where your expertise is needed.
Is it time to hire a brand consultant for your business?
Unfortunately, only you can answer this question.
Although, if you’ve made it this far and found yourself nodding, that’s a pretty clear indication of the answer…
But, if the thought of bringing someone external in makes you uncomfortable, I get it: working with a branding expert can feel like a big step –– because it is.
However, it’s also necessary if you feel like your business has been struggling to grow, you're unclear about your brand strategy, and you’re fresh out of ideas as to why you’re not moving forward.
Not only can a brand strategist bring their expertise to the table to help get you out of this rut, but they can also…
Provide you with a new perspective of what your business needs and where it needs it most
Teach you about the current market, trends, and tools to achieve success in your industry
Help you save valuable time and money.
Think of a brand coach as the lighthouse in the distance: it can be a treacherous journey if you can’t see the waters you’re navigating. But, hiring a great brand consultant can help guide you to the shores of success.
Shaun Sunderland is Founder and CEO of BrandRoots, a brand strategy and personal guidance company. Shaun helps businesses find and nail their best offer through brand strategy, brand design and personal development. In his own words "I help bridge the gap between solopreneurship and personal development." Find out more about Shaun's work at BrandRoots' website or follow Shaun on LinkedIn.