20 Inspiring Brands With Killer Brand Strategy Examples

Great brands don’t become great by sheer luck. Their success is a result of a combination of factors, and brand strategy is at the centre stage

If you want to be different and earn a reputation as a distinct, unique and memorable brand with your target audience, there are great brands out there that you can learn from their models, and use that build your own unique strategy

We’ve studied some of the best brands and distilled their strategies to bring out the main factors that account for their success. But before we start unveiling these inspiring brands one after the other, let’s look at what a brand strategy is, and the key components that make them effective.

Great brands don’t become great by sheer luck. Their success is a result of a combination of factors, and brand strategy is at the centre stage

If you want to be different and earn a reputation as a distinct, unique and memorable brand with your target audience, there are great brands out there that you can learn from their models, and use that build your own unique strategy

We’ve studied some of the best brands and distilled their strategies to bring out the main factors that account for their success. But before we start unveiling these inspiring brands one after the other, let’s look at what a brand strategy is, and the key components that make them effective.

What Is Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is a long-term plan put in place to systematically develop a brand in order to achieve identification and preference by consumers. To influence consumers, brands have to shape their perceptions.

Brand strategy is the action plan to shape those perceptions using both visual and verbal expressions. 

A successful brand strategy traverses all aspects of a business and it’s both customer-centric and competition-sensitive.

It is connected to the needs and emotions of consumers as well as the competitive environments of the business. 

A well-defined brand strategy encompasses a brand’s missions, values and promises to its customers. It also has to do with how these are communicated by the brand.

Brand strategy is not only needed by the big players.

Startups, small businesses, and companies that are launching a new product can also benefit from creating or rejigging their brand strategies.

Even a nonprofit organization can develop a unique brand strategy to connect with new donors or sponsors more easily.  

Essential Components of an Effective Brand Strategy

There are different strategy frameworks that you can adopt to define your brand and shape consumers’ perceptions. However, every successful framework must have the following key components.

Purpose/Mission

Vision

Values

Positioning

Personality

Voice

Messaging

Storytelling 

Tagline

In the inspiring brand examples that follow, you will find where each of the key elements above applies as we consider the strategies that make them so successful.

1. Tesla – Brand Purpose/Mission

Tesla was founded three years into the new millennium, a time when Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which are now referred to as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) became popular.

Goals like environmental stability and affordable and clean energy were key goals in the developmental declarations.

As a child of the millennium, Tesla believes in the world’s energy sustainability goal and therefore positioned itself as the company that will play a key part in helping to accelerate that goal.

That drive is conspicuous in Tesla’s Mission which is:

To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

The company has since been building successful all-electric vehicles as well as scalable clean energy generation and storage solutions.

It has also stayed true to its vision of helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and fast-tracking a zero-emission future. 

2. Arby’s – Brand Personality, Messaging and Tagline

Staying true to oneself when consumer preferences are changing is not easy.

But being the unusual seems to be paying off for Arby’s. Arby’s is an American fast-food restaurant chain that prides itself in offering customers beef despite the health and environmental campaigns against beef, and the presence of competitors like Beyond Meat and Hormel offering plant-based beef alternatives.

Arby’s built its brand around meat by owning it as seen in its tagline:

We Have The Meats.

The tagline was used in several campaigns and in order to attract young people, the brand modified its messaging and launched a new ad campaign that featured a “Head of Sandwiches” which communicate the 17 sandwiches variety on the Arby’s menu. For this campaign, the tagline was modified to:

Arby’s. We Have The Meats… for Sandwiches. 

The new tagline shows consistency in its messaging and it helped Arby’s to stay true to its brand purpose while also capturing a new audience segment.

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3. Nike –  Brand Positioning, Storytelling and Tagline

Nike’s tagline “Just Do It” has stuck with the brand for three decades. It stems from Nike’s positioning statement which states:

For serious athletes, Nike give confidence that provides the perfect shoe for every sport.

The tagline “Just Do It.” is compelling and actionable. It creates a connection between the brand and its fans.

Because the tagline speaks to people at the individual level, they can interpret it in whatever way they like, and for whatever hurdles they face.

Nike also inspires through its storytelling. If you see an ad from Nike, the emphasis is usually not on their products but on telling meaningful stories and using the right emotions that help people connect to the brand.

4. Chipotle – Brand Positioning

Chipotle is a renowned Mexican restaurant in the US that seems to be outdoing Taco Bell.

Instead of Taco Bell’s “Fast food” approach, Chipotle uses fresh products that are locally sourced,