The finish line is in sight. The final phase of building your brand strategy is near. This week we look at phase three: Execution, it forms two parts, brand guidelines and content strategy.
Once you know who you are and what your brand story is, the challenge is to effectively communicate it, particularly through marketing.
Brand guidelines are the culmination of all of your previous work. It is a document that serves as a playbook for how to use your brand, specifically in the content and communication you create. (This is especially important if you work with freelancers or outside agencies.)
Your brand guidelines should include enough direction that anyone who references it has the knowledge to create work that strengthens the brand instead of weakens it.
Remember: A brand’s strength is determined by its consistency, or lack thereof.
brand guidelines checklist
Include direction for both your visual and verbal identity.
There are different views on the relationship between brand strategy and content strategy. Some believe they’re separate things; others believe the latter is part of the former. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
For the sake of simplicity, we prefer to think of content strategy as part of the larger brand strategy. Brand strategy informs marketing goals, and your marketing goals inform your content strategy. The content you create (following brand guidelines, of course) is how you pull people in, instead of trying to aggressively hawk your products and services. Your content strategy dictates how you share your brand.
This is why having a documented content strategy is so important. It’s how you make good on your company vision and ensure you’re moving the brand forward.
A content strategy includes everything from personas, to distribution channels, to ultimately, the editorial and creative direction of your content.
Look out for our in depth content strategy guide that will be released soon. You can sign up to our mailing list below so you never miss another post.
If you would like to discuss your company's brand strategy at a more bespoke level, you can reach out to us and one of our talented team will be happy to help.