Laying a foundation for your visual and verbal identity
At its core, brand strategy defines the space you want to occupy in your customer’s mind. Creating this honest, human connection is always more persuasive than speaking about product features and benefits. Because while your competitors can mimic your offerings or even build comparable products, they can’t really own an idea once you’ve laid claim to it.
How Walker Sands Can Help
To create a memorable brand, you first need focus. That means considering literally everything you do and then boiling it down to the essentials. Walker Sands can help. When working with our experts, you’ll get a brand strategy that sets you apart in three key ways:
Clarity: In B2B brand development, it’s easy to get wrapped up in technical language and business jargon. But regardless of how specialized or sophisticated your buyer is, at the end of the day we’re all human. So clarity always beats complexity. Crystalizing the most essential components of your brand into simple, persuasive marketing messages helps attract the right audience while distinguishing you from the competition.
Consistency: Your brand is a promise you make to your customers — and your brand will be evaluated by its ability to deliver on that promise. With that in mind, consistency is key. Repetition drives recall, and brands that adhere to their strategy are not only more memorable but also more reliable. If the image you present to the market aligns with how your customers experience your brand, they will become lifelong advocates.
Cohesion: A brand strategy is only as powerful as your ability to bring it to life. When applied with focus, brand systems will reinforce your overarching strategy. Grounding your verbal and visual identity in a solid brand foundation amplifies their impact.
Walker Sands’ B2B Brand Strategy Capabilities
At Walker Sands, our branding process can be scaled and tailored to address a range of business challenges:
Rebrand: A rebrand should be considered if you’ve outgrown your brand and are looking for a new image. This may mean you’re shifting the way you go to market, are merging brands or are having challenges with your current image.
Through our comprehensive, four-phased process — discovery and audit, brand strategy, brand expression and brand activation — we provide the insights and resources to execute with confidence. That means retaining current equity, exploring major considerations (like a new name, if needed), building out verbal and visual identity systems, and arming your team with guidelines, templates and other activation materials.
Repositioning: If you are adding a new product offering, targeting a new audience or finding that your messaging just isn’t breaking through, repositioning might be right for your brand. This approach can help you shift how you communicate without starting from scratch.
We’ll work closely with you to identify how your brand has evolved and tailor a set of strategic assets to meet your specific needs. We will consider how your new positioning may impact your expression and determine whether any additional visual or verbal identity work is needed.
Refresh: Sometimes brands just need a facelift. Maybe you have completed some strategic work, but aren’t satisfied with the results. Or maybe you have identified a gap that needs to be addressed.
Walker Sands will create a customized plan to meet your needs. We’ll start by taking inventory of your brand assets and leveraging reference materials to address any deficiencies so you can execute quickly.
Essential Components of an Effective Brand Strategy
From positioning to personality, Walker Sands provides comprehensive brand strategies that align directly to the needs of your audience. While everyone defines things slightly differently, here’s what we call them and the value they deliver:
Positioning statement: A statement that defines your audience, market category and the core value you deliver. Your positioning statement is the strategic underpinning for all brand expression, influencing what you communicate and how you communicate it.
Brand promise: The heart of your positioning statement, your brand promise is the core value provided to your customers. If a customer/prospect only knows one thing about your brand, it should be your brand promise. The brand promise focuses your message around what is most ownable to your organization, and most persuasive to your target audience.
Reasons to believe: The three most powerful proof points to support the claims in your brand promise. Reasons to believe provide evidence that your stated positioning is credible and are the key differentiators that anchor your brand.
Mission: A concise summary statement that defines why your business exists. A clear mission creates a shared understanding of purpose within your organization.
Vision: A forward-looking statement that defines the impact you strive to create for your audience or the world. A strong vision helps guide decision-making within your organization by posing the question, “Does this help us achieve our stated vision?”.
Values: Your organization’s guiding principles and the core cultural tenets you seek to uphold. Brand values influence every aspect of your business, from how you recruit new talent to how you service your clients.
Brand personality traits: A set of three to five human traits your brand seeks to embody. Brand personality traits help inform how your brand is expressed both verbally and visually. Aligning your expression to your personality traits ensures your brand does not come off as cold, sterile or impersonal.
Value propositions: Who your customer is, what their challenges are and how you solve those issues. Your value proposition enables you to quickly ground your communications in the key value you provide to a specific audience to inform and strengthen messaging.
Messaging frameworks: A reference document that outlines the key components of effective brand communications, including primary marketing messages. Adhering to strategic messaging frameworks ensures key brand messaging contains a balance of ownable themes, audience-focused outcomes and substantive evidence.
Brand and product architecture: A structured definition of the relationship and hierarchy of your entities and offerings. A clear brand and product architecture helps your target audience more readily understand the full extent of your offerings and how they are interrelated. This clarity can help prospects more readily identify if you have what they’re looking for, and can help customers identify new products and services they may need.
Once we have a strategic foundation in place, we communicate your new strategy through brand expression.