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Connecting Your Brand with your Business Strategy: Insights For Entrepreneurs

In the fast-paced digital economy, business owners and entrepreneurs are constantly working on fine-tuning their business model to help reflect their position in a highly competitive market, while ensuring sustainable growth.

The online transition means that businesses are constantly competing head-to-head with competitors for a pool of consumers that are largely affected by changing economic cycles leading to a shift in buying and shopping trends.

Changing economic conditions are also making it increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate a business model that will help them achieve their overall goals to reach greater success.

Consumer-related data found that 80% of American consumers are now less confident about spending, as those surveyed claimed that rising costs of goods and services have halted their spending.

Consumer spending habits are among the many things business owners and entrepreneurs are not able to control, nor predict very well.

When looking at the bigger picture, you tend to see an opaque image of how important it is as an entrepreneur to consider the connection between a brand and business strategy, respectively.

Though these two concepts are completely different, in terms of theoretical understanding, they tend to work collectively to help calibrate a business model that seeks to deliver a persuasive message to the target audience and more importantly deliver viable financial growth for any business.

By looking at these concepts, from what we already know about running and operating a business or online platform, these two branches are critical to the overall success and survival of any business – especially in these hard and trying economic conditions.

To make more sense of this, there’s a simple formula, or formation one can follow to help better understand what brand and business strategy mean, and how one can easily connect them to grow business performance and consumer influence.

Understanding the difference 

What is a brand strategy? 

There are multiple explanations of what a brand strategy tends to be within the sphere of business practice.

And while these are all valuable – depending on your source – the most common idea behind brand strategy can include the expression of what a business is, its products, and the services they deliver. The brand helps to highlight the overall communication characteristics, at face value at least of the business, and how it can effectively communicate with the target audience.

Consider how any company or business uses specific indicators within their brand to help set them aside from competitors and stand out in the market. Moreover, we can see how the brand strategy works to become memorable in the eyes of the buyer or target market consumer.

In eCommerce effective communication through visual aid and mediums have become a crucial aspect of brand strategy. And online image and brand representation will only become more important in the future, as reports found that retail eCommerce spending has increased even as consumer inflation is at an all-time high.

Most often, an entrepreneur or business owner will collaborate their ideas of the business with an expert to help establish a brand strategy first, and then start building on the brand itself.

A brand strategy is more than just the visual resemblance of your business, it’s what you stand for, and how you look to become a frontrunner within your industry.

What is a business strategy? 

Though not quite the same as what a brand strategy is, the business strategy is perhaps one of the most important collections of information and reporting for any new and small business.

Any business has an existing goal that they want to achieve, whether they operate in tourism, leisure, finance, or even customer service. Though the end goal might differ for each business, and across every industry as well, there’s a shared understanding that businesses look to solve problems within their direct consumer market.

This is why a business strategy is so important. Once you have established what the problem is, you will need to devise a plan of action to resolve the issue. Furthermore, the business strategy also speaks of the organizational long-term objectives, vision, and mission.

Just as with a brand strategy that will help you better understand which channels of communication will help to effectively broadcast your business’ unique characteristics, so will a business strategy help guide the resources needed to achieve established milestones.

How To Connect Your Brand & Business Strategy? 

Now that we know how these two concepts can work in interconnectivity, we can further look at the different ways you can connect these two more seamlessly to help promote sustainable business growth.

As both brand and business strategy houses different elements, we’ll be looking at the shared value, rather than the overly complex explanations that are easily lost in translation.

Shared Strategic Direction 

Whatever it is a business or firm sets out to do, when mapping a brand strategy, it must reflect both the long and near-term goals of the business. To help any business goal become a reality, it’s important to consider how these two concepts should be shaped to have a shared strategic direction in which they can grow.

Consider this situation:

The travel and tourism industry looks to provide consumers access to exotic places, and luxury hotels.

Both small-tier hotels and major league hotel groups are all competing against one another for the same type of consumer; the person who’s looking for a holiday package that will give them the best possible experience at the best possible price.

Akureyri hotels in Iceland, are going to brand themselves a lot different from what luxury resorts in Bali or Mauritius do because they have a different set of business goals. For the Icelandic hotels, it might be to increase the country’s tourism during off-seasons, for tropical resorts it could be to boost interest for out-of-season holiday periods.

Regardless thereof, it should be clear that brand efforts should be directed in such a way that it can help to intertwine with the business strategy as a way to promote healthy and sustainable financial growth.

Brand Positioning 

The brand strategy should be positioned at an executive level, as this ensures that those who, either the business owner or entrepreneur, can effectively work on establishing their desired strategy.

There are numerous cases where business owners, more so entrepreneurs, place their brand strategy at the bottom level, perhaps even completely leaving it out during the planning process.

Seeing as the brand of the business is the face of the company, and the message that will be communicated with your target audience, placement should be at the heart of the business model that helps to establish ways in which organizational goals can be achieved.

Sequencing both brand and business 

Thinking of ways that will help you determine how well the brand fits in the business gives you a clear indication of how to sequence both elements.

With sequencing, it’s also important to consider how early in the foundation stage of your business you are already implementing a brand strategy that will help to give you proper guidance for the road forward.

As you start planning your business and adding more layers to each element, you can look to incorporate the brand strategy right from the start to ensure that both ends of the channel can operate in a unified sequence and direction.

Sequencing helps you as an entrepreneur remain on top of changing trends and consumer habits, seeing as 90% of consumers are planning on switching brands or changing retailers due to economic and environmental concerns.

The key takeaway here is that both these two concepts should be on the same page when it comes to the company’s mission, vision, and value metrics. This means that it’s possible for each to fully operate interchangeably and promote the sustainable achievement of business goals.

Implement Thinkers and Doers 

As with any business, internal activity and the people that operate those activities are the heart of any business. While these people are actively contributing to the growing success, it can be considered that they are directly impacting the tone and message of the business.

Though not so much in a physical way as you’d expect, oftentimes important in terms of their value, thoughts, ideas, and creativity. These different elements help to bring together a team of thinkers and doers who can take an ordinary concept and help blow it up into something completely charismatic.

Though this is only possible if a business or organization is on the level where they can employ these types of people. Regardless thereof, right from the start, these people will help to establish company culture, well-being, and an image that helps to separate the business from its direct industry competitors.

Final Thoughts 

Every entrepreneur has a set of qualities that helps to set them apart, though these qualities may be crucial to the overall charisma and culture of their business as well.

For small business owners, and young entrepreneurs, having a brand and business strategy that looks to work collectively means that the business can grow in a strategic direction that seeks to achieve both near and long-term goals.

Though these may change over time as the business evolves, and economic cycles change, entrepreneurs should keep a firm connection between both as each tends to play a special role in the success, voice, and image of the business.

Written by Jacob Wolinsky.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Debate - Connecting Your Brand with your Business Strategy: Insights For Entrepreneurs
Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the the founder and CEO of ValueWalk LLC. What started as a hobby 10 years ago, has turned into a well-known financial media empire with millions of monthly visitors focusing in particular on simplifying the opaque world of the hedge fund world. Before doing ValueWalk full time, I worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, as well as an analyst at a small/mid-cap value-focused research shop. After that, I worked in business development for hedge funds. I live with my wife and four kids in Passaic New Jersey.

Full Disclosure: I only invest in broad-based ETFs and mutual funds. I no longer purchase equities to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Jacob Wolinsky is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn.