The secrets to a killer brand strategy from UCLA

You may be wondering what exactly strategy even means, not to mention brand strategy! According to Professor Ian Larkin of UCLA, strategy is “the bridge between vision and results” and at its very essence, strategy is “the activities you engage in”.

I learned this and a whole lot more on a mind-blowing study and knowledge tour with Business Chicks last year that brought me to LA and I cannot wait to share some of the secret tips we picked up.

So why do you need a clear brand strategy?  Having a big vision and defined goals is so important and I whole-heartedly believe in the power of writing things down. However, you also need the strategy and execution to make this
vision a reality. You cannot just write down your goals for your brand and then leave it to the universe to make it all happen.

You need to have a plan in place of how you will get from point a – where you are now to point b – where you want to be. This is what brand strategy is all about. A successful brand is one that is recognised, trusted and respected in its niche. And your strategy should encompass all of the activities you will take to bring about that recognition and respect.

Another key part of growing your brand according to Professor Larkin, is to increase your customers willingness to pay. What is willingness to pay? It is the amount of money a customer is willing to pay for your product or service which is over cost of the company producing this product or service. For example, a customer might pay a couple of thousand dollars for a Prada handbag. Does it cost Prada thousands of dollars to produce this bag? Absolutely not. Prada has a high willingness to pay.

They use a differentiation strategy for their brand. That means they create value for the customer by increasing their willingness to pay. How do you do this? I’ll get to that in just a moment, but first, let’s look at the other model brands use.
McDonalds sells burgers for a couple of dollars. The cost to produce this burger including the cost of running the business would be a lot closer to the sale price of the burger. They have a low willingness to pay which they use to their advantage and go for a cost strategy in their business. A cost strategy creates value for the customer by decreasing costs more than the corresponding willingness to pay. In other words, it prices it’s product even lower than what a customer would be willing to pay for this product. So lets say a customer is willing to pay $15 for a burger, they make the cost $10. 

With this type of model you are essentially going for the quantity over quality approach. What type of model would you prefer for your brand? A cost strategy or a differentiation strategy? I for sure know what I would choose!

By investing in a well thought out brand and strategy you increase your customers willingness to pay and become sought after rather than competing on price. Because let’s face it, competing on price is lose-lose. You will almost 99% get undercut by competitors because anybody can compete on price. Only brands built to last can compete on quality.

So let’s look at a few key ways you can increase your brands value and make it irresistible to your audience. Sound good?!

Maintain superior performance over time

If you want an amazing brand, your product or service needs to be amazing. You need to go above and beyond to show you have a unique point of difference and deliver amazing results. That way you will start to attract raving fans to your business and get repeat business. According to Professor Larkin “Nearly all successful businesses get over 50% of their revenue from repeat business.” Let that sink in for a moment. Instead of spending all of your time on marketing, how can you ensure your customers are having a fantastic experience?

Here at Kady Creative, we do this through our brand collateral and resources. At every single step of the process for branding and websites, we have spent hours thinking about our customers and how they experience our company and their journey from start to finish of working with us. We have a customer portal that has all of the questionnaires, resources and guides to help them through the journey. All of this material is branded beautifully and edited by our amazing copywriter so it is easy to use, conversational and of course pretty!

Could you create a welcome kit for your clients to help them with FAQs and have it expertly designed to look professional? Perhaps you could create a booklet you send out to all new enquiries to cut through all of the online documents most businesses use. All of these key touch points make such a huge difference and when it is beautifully designed, it sets you apart.

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Brand Value Creation 

I’m sure you have heard me bang on about this before but creating value for your customers is key. You need to show them why they can trust you and that you are the go-to expert in your field.

How can you do this? By being consistent. An iconic brand is one that is known liked and trusted and you do this by being consistent and repetitive. You need to make sure your brand looks and feels the same whether someone is on your website, instagram page or sees an ad in Latte magazine. By getting custom branded instagram graphics for your accounts, you are ensuring that your look starts to get recognised. And studies show, the more someone recognises something, the more they start to like and trust it.

Want to take this one step further? You could create a beautiful ebook to capture your message and deliver it to a wider audience in style. Bonus points for using it as a lead magnet on your website.

If you have been thinking about writing an ebook for a while, make sure to grab our FREE guide to help you get started.

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