What is a Brand Strategist?
If a brand strategy is the vehicle that turns your businesses into a brand, then the brand strategist is the person behind the wheel.
The brand strategist is a catalyst for transformation. This person is equal parts scientist, psychologist, communicator, and designer. This is someone capable of recognizing the significance of the moment, predicting the future, and translating those elements into visual and verbal artifacts. While the responsibilities of the brand strategist are vast and complex, their objectives can be bucketed into three important categories.
A brand strategy aligns your business with your customers, transforming the “buyer-seller” mentality into a mutually beneficial relationship where one side’s success—measured in happiness, growth, or a myriad of other factors—is dependent on the other.
To begin the relationship-building process, you must first determine who your customers are. Your business is likely one of many in a very competitive space. What separates you from the others saturating the market are your specific strengths and weaknesses. Those particulars define your target audience. Essentially, your brand scratches a very specific itch that the competition is simply unable to reach.
Through meticulous research and analysis, the brand strategist looks beyond purchasing trends and uncovers who your customers are on a human level. By finding out what makes these individuals tick—their behaviors, habits, needs, and desires—the brand strategist forges relationships that turn customers into loyal advocates and brand ambassadors. An effective brand strategy closes the loop between the brand and the consumer, empowering your customers to become part of the brand-building process by telling you how to best market and sell to them, what designs they prefer, the messages they are most receptive to, and even the products they wish to buy.
The brand strategist works from the inside out. While creating customers is key to any brand’s success, the process would be futile if strides weren’t made to further align the brand and the customer through inner change. The strategist empowers company leaders to see their company and products through the eyes of the customer. Only then can the strategist work with leaders to establish a genuine culture that is embraced by each individual and reflected in the lives of its customers.
Today’s consumers are savvy, well-informed, adept at filtering out marketing noise, and incredibly selective about the brands they choose to engage with. If your company doesn’t represent a culture that aligns with their values and morals, your customer base will tune out.
The brand strategist constructs a brand much like an architect builds a house—creating an unshakable foundation first and then building upward. Unlike the architect, however, the strategist’s job is far from complete after the build. Now the strategist becomes the caretaker, continuing to restore, reinforce, and add to the brand strategy.
Brand strategists constantly evaluate the market, the audience, and other factors that will impact the success of the brand. As with most things in life, consumers and the business landscape are always changing. A good strategist welcomes the challenge of change as an opportunity for brand development.