Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Brand Messaging… these terms get thrown around a lot. When you pair them with “Copywriting”, people get even more confused. But pairing Brand Strategy with Copywriting is like pairing your best Cabernet with your favorite aged cheddar.
I’m Shannon, and I’m a Web Designer, Copywriter, and Content Writer for modern entrepreneurs and purpose-driven brands. I am THRILLED to be popping on the Sipsy Ink blog to convince you to make sure you have a brand strategy in place before you write your copy and before you design your website.
When you nail down a solid Brand Strategy and get a firm grip on your Brand Messaging before you start writing any copy, your writing will not only sound more like your brand, but you will resonate with your ideal clients so much better.
To be able to write effective copy, you need to have a solid understanding of who the brand is, what the brand stands for, what the brand’s personality is, what the brand’s tone is, and what the brand’s messaging is.
What is Brand Strategy?
Brand Strategy is a blueprint of your brand. It details out your brand’s goals, values, mission, personality, tone, archetype, and messaging. It takes all these things into consideration and then closely examines your audience to find the overlap.
And wherever this overlap is, that’s where your business gets laser-focused. That’s what guides your business to make sure you’re not only on-brand but also meeting your customer’s needs. Having a solid brand strategy in place allows you to have clarity when making decisions for your business.
Why do you need a Brand Strategy before you start writing copy?
Because to write effective copy, you need to know who your brand is.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it – Start with your why?” – Simon Sinek
That’s your brand strategy. Your WHY.
What’s included in a Brand Strategy?
- The Why: To be able to sound like your brand, you need to know the heart of your brand. You need to know the why behind your business. What are your values? What do you stand for? What is your mission? What are you set out to do?
- Your Competitors: You also need to know who your competitors are. What are they doing? How are they doing it? How do people seem to respond to it? And how can YOU disrupt the industry by being different? (Note: You are not copying your competitors. You’re seeing what they do so you can figure out how to do it differently.)
- Your Ideal Client: You need to have a good grip on your ideal client. Who is your ideal client? What do they like doing? Where do they spend their time? What’s their biggest challenge? How can you solve that challenge? Why are they attracted to you, specifically?
- Your Brand Personality: What is your brand’s personality like? What words best describe it? What adjectives describe your tone? What’s your brand archetype? If your brand were a store, what would it be? If your brand walked into a cocktail party, how would it act?
- Your Positioning: What’s your unique value proposition? What’s your secret sauce? What makes you stand out from everyone else?
- Your Messaging: When you look at your mission and values, what stands out the most? How can you use these things in your copy to not only stand out in a saturated market but to also ground every piece of writing you put out into the universe? What 3-5 things can you consistently talk about so that if you stripped your visual branding away, someone could still look at everything else you have to offer and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it’s your brand?
What do I do after I have all this nailed down?
After you have a good foundation of who your brand REALLY is, then start working on your brand’s visual identity: its colors, fonts, typography, and imagery. Hire a good graphic designer if you’re able to invest in one. If not, there are plenty of DIY and ready-made logos on Creative Market. Or just use your scrappy Canva skills to make your own. And then hire a pro graphic designer later down the road when your business has grown so much you can’t justify your DIY logo anymore.
At the same time, you can start writing your copy. Because now that you know who your brand is and what your brand sounds like, writing the copy will be soooo much easier.
But wait—what about my website? Can I go ahead and start designing it before I know my brand messaging and before I write my copy?
I mean, you could. But I don’t recommend it. At all.
Before you design your website, you need to have the copy and the words written and organized for it. Before you write those words and that copy, though, you need to have a full grasp on your brand messaging. It will be a whole lot easier to talk about you, what you offer, and what makes you different from everyone else if you have a big ol’ document to guide you on what words and phrases to use… which ones not to use… your unique selling proposition (aka your secret sauce) and any one-liners.
If you work with a professional copywriter, you’ll more than likely have some sort of brand strategy or brand messaging work to do together first. Because your copywriter isn’t going to want to try to write your copy without knowing who your brand is.
Ready for your next step? Choose your own adventure:
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