Branding Strategy - Turn Abstract Ideas Into Marketing Action Plan | Joanna Varró | Skillshare

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Branding Strategy - Turn Abstract Ideas Into Marketing Action Plan

teacher avatar Joanna Varró, Brand Identity Designer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Why Branding Strategy

    • 2. 20-Year Roadmap

    • 3. Golden Circle

    • 4. Company Values

    • 5. Brand Archetypes

    • 6. Your Audience

    • 7. Brand Personality

    • 8. Competitive Landscape

    • 9. Positioning Statement

    • 10. Action Plan

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About This Class

Branding Strategy Kit – A simple way to build your business with confidence, prioritize, and focus on a clear action plan.

Who is this pack for?

  • New business owners who are looking for clarity and a clear action plan.
  • Creatives who want to learn how to solve their client’s business challenges.

 Why you need a helping hand

Your clients want their problems solved. You want to focus on solving their problems. There’s no time to experiment with different branding strategies—you need a strategy that works.

I’ll help you set the right path for your business, so you can become your clients’ favorite guide armed with best practices.

What is inside

  • Branding strategy video course with a simple explanation of each exercise with examples.
  • Branding strategy printable worksheets that will help you to stay focused.
  • Branding strategy interactive worksheets that will serve as your brand strategy guide book.

What will you gain?

  • Learn how to build a unique brand that works.
  • Differentiate from your competition.
  • Define your brand’s purpose and vision for the future.
  • Understand and build client persona.
  • Write a clear action plan to grow your business.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joanna Varró

Brand Identity Designer & Illustrator


Hi, my name is Joanna and I am an identity designer and an illustrator.

After graduating from Graphic Design & Advertising in Cyprus, I worked for over two years in the finance industry. It helped me to understand business and terms like ROI, KPI, and USP. Joining Saatchi & Saatchi as an art director I picked up the strategy and speed of global brands like Pampers. You can see the business mindset in my work until today.

My creative nature took over in 2016 when I started my own business and focused on branding and illustration. The influence of art helped me to connect with my audience on an emotional level. I chose to specialize in the mental health and education industry to make it more accessible to those who need it most.

I believe in the importance of communit... See full profile

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1. Why Branding Strategy: I made this workshop because I want you to start your business with confidence. I want you to be sure that when you launch it, you're gone. Attitude goals make them money you want to make, and that it's going to give the best value possible for our audience. This workshop is for everyone, but for everyone who wants to, N is determined to make their business work. You don't need any marketing background. And if any of the exercises is not clear, feel free to reach out or join our group so we can solve the problems together. One thing that's the most important, that you feel confident that your business will work. 2. 20-Year Roadmap: Where do we start? My favorite exercise is a 20-year roadmap. It is the best way to break the ice and to start looking where you want to be in the future. Where do you see your company growing? And most importantly, what are your dreams? Where would you like to be in 20 years? And to do this exercise, let's start from thinking in five-year increments, 5101520. And think of everything like, Well, would you like to be how would you like your company to look? Which employees would you like to employ? How much money would you like to make? Would you like to run it? Or would you like to step back and gives the company ownership to somebody else? Think about all those things and when would you like to achieve them? For example, on my timeline in five years, I placed my biggest dream, which is to open my own studio. What I could host workshops for my, for the brands and working with. But at the same time, I would like it to be open every day for free, for an hour for the students and young people who are feeling a little bit lost. And they might want to get some guidance in their career and in general in life. So this is what I would like to be in five years. And I tried to imagine it with great detail. I already know how my office will look. I would like this to do to be like a house. I would like to have it. I would like to have joint kitchen where we felt that to the breakfast. I can imagine a lot of creative people around me and a space where everybody feels safe and comfortable to do whatever they wanted though. I imagined that my kids got to Pam molded and join us for breakfast if they wish to. Perhaps it could be open even to younger audience. For creative workshops. I actually tried to imagine it with great detail. It is about what I want my business to be, but also where I want me as a professional and individual to be. In ten years, I would like to focus on speaking and writing my own book. It is something that was always my dream, so I need to think of how to grow to that step. So in 15 years, I would like to give back to the community. My dream would be that I will be more involved in the activities in the community, in building safe spaces for young people to grow. And perhaps in 20 years, I would like to actually retire. I would like to spend more time with my children and maybe ordered the grandchildren. I would like to keep creating go bad for my own sake. And there are, there are more artistic side and the commercial one. So this is my 20 year plan. As it is. See, I don't limit myself. I don't think of money as success. Yes, I would like to end X amount of money, but it's not much. Actually my goals, the money is just enough to give us comfortable and healthy lifestyle. But it's not my priority tool to derive a formula. And I don't know, do some fancy spots. I have different values and this is something that keeps me motivated every day and it's much easier for me to be consistent. And detail means to achieve those goals because, you know, everybody wants to have a huge house. Three cards. I don't question that, but we me and my husband personality, we had it once. We had it all, we had the mind you we have the halves that cars, but we never had time for each other and we were just not happy. We were not happy for the people we had to hangout with. We were bored. We didn't feel any fulfillment about our life. So I believe that in this exercise, try to forget about the income as something like laying on the beach and doing nothing because drastic complacency would make you bored and you would eventually become frustrated and maybe even depressed. So, try to think of something that really matters to you. 3. Golden Circle: In the next exercise, let's try to do the Simon Sinek Golden Circle. I'm sure you all know it. But for those who don't, there is a link to the video in the worksheets. Feel free to check it out. And if you are passionate about this topic, you can also read the book stamped with y, but by Simon Sinek. But I believe that for the purpose of this workshop, the video would be a lovely started if you don't know what this concept is about. So basically, only gonna do is throw three circles. We're going to start from drawing the outer layer, which is called What. Here you want to write what you do plain and simple. What's the physical or service delivery that you actually do? For example, you bake cookies, you sell cars, you provide psychology sessions, anything that you actually do. So then you want to move to the next circle, which is how in here you want to talk about how are you making it differently? What is it that you do differently, Daniel, competition and what makes you stand out in the market. For example, what I do is I simply don't branding and I'm also an illustrated. But how I do it, it's very different than in people who do similar work. For example, I only work with mental health professionals or people who are in mental health or educational industry. That gives me already quite a different point on the market. Second of all, I really care for my work to be transparent and to get to as many people as I can. I'm trying not to be the person who whose VIP and you cannot get to. I want to be that person like your best friend who's easy to reach out to and it's accessible for everyone. Finally, tried to think of why you do it. This might seem like the most difficult part. Often people in adults show towards that purpose and motivation behind doing their work. Trying to think of why do you wake up every day in the morning and don't get fooled because everyone has a wide, everybody has something they believe in. Everybody has some values. And it is based on your previous experiences from your life. And I'm sure you can find it with a little bit of brainstorming. So try to think of why do you wake up every morning? What makes him motivate, motivated to wake up? For example, for me, it is, I struggled with self-confidence for very long time in my life. So my purpose, there is a wire wake up every morning. Super motivated is because I would like to share with others the journey of me getting my confidence back and give it back to them. And when they do this with businesses, I truly believe that I'm starting a very positive cycle because I gave the business owners the confidence. And when they have the confidence, they can give back, they can give this confidence to the people they serve. They're employees and the whole company structure. So I think this is something that really motivates me and makes my work meaningful. And even on Monday morning, and we're really happy to start my day. So I recommend you do the same. And if you cannot find it, then perhaps it might help you to look back at your life and your values and what is really important to you. 4. Company Values: Next, let's try to funnel those values. As you know, there are many company values that you can find on businesses websites. Frankly, this might be the best research you can do. Go and check out some websites and see what values do they have. However, I'm sure you already know deep inside what's the values you would like to embed the business, UConn that and it is something that should not change. Perhaps it could grow and the vocabulary could change, but I'm sure you all know what's the real values. You would never change and you will never take the business if it didn't follow this values. For example, for me, it's crucial that my work is surrounded by transparency. I am sure this is the way that the good leadership works. And I believe that with good transparency, I can give a better example to the people I work with and also to my clients. I think it's crucial that they know when something is not gonna work. I don't like marketing for the sales, but it was, I believe that there is a way to do marketing for the greater, in a better way when you are transparent and you simply give value to the people. 5. Brand Archetypes: Now blend archetypes. It's a huge topic. There are actually overdone 60 and there's still more and more coming out in the market. However, I would like to focus on the 12 basic avocados bell by car. Yang, He had all those archetypes based on the things that already happened in the past, on the stories that people were telling and experiences they had in their life. And he composed 12 different characteristics that he believes suit to every brand that he has ever seen. So basically brand archetypes at a, given your company a little bit of more human touch. And make you understand, uh, how do you actually feel about the company or creating brand archetypes support further your y and your company values and you will have an established personality. It is really helpful to identify brand archetype because you will be able to understand how to talk to your audience. What is that you can give them that is of the greatest value that you have. Don't be afraid to pick two archetypes, or even three if you have to. Sometimes a company has more services and products to offer and different bonanza types might feed each of them. However, of course, the basis to have one, because it will be easier for you to communicate to your audience. Otherwise, you would have two finger off each of these archetypes. And how do they specifically talk about the product or service that you're offering? I personally have actually two brands archetypes. One of them is mental and the other one is the creator. Mental of course, comes from my desire and love for working with businesses and guiding them through the whole process to gain more confidence and start with a good first shot at their business. However, deep inside, I always gonna stay at a creator. They say when you grow your business, eventually you should get the creator out of the business and you should become a proper businessman who runs the business instead of doing the deliverables and creating them. However, for me, being a creator is something that really Palestrina. And I find it this is the way I communicate with my audience The best. So I tried to still keep in touch with it. So this kind of two personalities of my brand and I have to communicate to my audience in two different ways. Because of that. However, you will see what suits you the most and which advocate type seems to express your brand the best. If you find it difficult to match with the brand archetype, you can go with all the exercises throughout and then come back to it and try to see if something is more, more clear. Now, however, this is good. It's good to have to go along because you will already be confident about who do you want a doctor? 6. Your Audience: Next, let's think about the elegance. This is perhaps the most important exercise in the whole branding strategy workshop. It is important for you to realize that the product or service that you are offering is not 400. It is for someone on the other side. And I did this mistake very often, probably for the first two years of my business. I was drawing the things I liked. I was providing the services I thought is needed. But with experience and time idealized that OK, maybe not everyone needs the same thing. I idle and I need to customize it. So as I grew over the years, I started to understand what my cleric clients really want. Would they actually need AS well? Because I would love to draw. And for example, I will draw a series of drawings for children. But then nobody will download them even though they were full fleet. So I stopped doing that. And instead, I asked people what do they really want? It's difficult to understand what your clients need unless you actually ask them. So in this exercise, started with identifying who they actually are stamped with the demographics. Like how old are they today have a family, how much money they. This is actually quite important because it will help you to determine the pricing for your products or services. And to do that, you can just close your eyes. And now imagine who's standing in front of you. It is your ideal client. The person that you want to work with. How did they look? At the hips? There are the modern, traditional, old or young. Tried to imagine every detail about them. Then think about their behaviors. Where do they go for shopping? For example, either I know that most of my clients, which are mental health professionals, they would buy a lot of books about mental health. I know they would hangout on the events. And I try even to understand which events which might so that I might be able to participate in them as well. So try to identify their behaviors. When do they buy? And then tonight to think of what do they need from you? So perhaps for me it is people want from me branding, strategy and logo design. That's what they did. But what do they really want? It's not only the branding, they want to be confidence that the branding they do, it's going to work, that they're gonna have a profit and that they gonna standout in their competition. So this is also very important to understand. For example, when you buy a scooter, you don't just buy a scooter. You want to buy the possibility to drive to work without traffic. So try to think about your business like this. What are the features, the actual physical or the services you provide? And what are the benefits that your audience suddenly wants? They might want to belong to a group. They might want to gain some status, right? To think beyond the product, what do they actually need? What are the underlying motivations to buy your product? And then finally, think about their user. Jen will do define your product or service. And if you see on the website, that's probably not enough because they need to get to your website somehow. And how do you get them dead? Is it a good SEO, Facebook page, or is it some paid advertising? Tried to think of all the ways that the clients could come to buy your product or service. For me, for example, my clients usually come from social media first, where I have a lot of content. So they get attracted to it and perhaps than they will end up on my website or the AMI directly for working folder on our projects. Understanding this Germany's certainly important because based on that, you will see which part of the journey you have to take care of for your clients. So for example, if I know that most of my clients come from social media, that means that I need to add in my action plan a good social media and content strategy in general. If I know that my clients are subscribing to my blog on my website, then perhaps I need to have an image strategy as well way to automate my emails and send them to my clients on a regular basis. Finally, if you have a lot of phone calls than perhaps you may want to prepare script or things and bullet points that you always have to ask or go through with every potential client. I also have a deck which is for people who are not sure yet, but I will not spend time creating a proposal for them. Then I would say to them, Just the sales deck, we've basic pricing and information on what can they provide. So this step is really important for you to understand how will you need your action plan to come to life? 7. Brand Personality: To define your brand personality, we can do a very, very simple exercise where you have two opposite words and you have to pick whether your brand belongs mod, for example, should it feel more feminine or masculine? And if you cannot imagine how does it look, you've got just think of everyday life. You don't have to think of specific logos, but imagine more like a dress. And then on the other side you have the carl metrics on sports guy, I suppose. So Fillmore in this term make it easy for yourself. Should it be bribed or septal? Then again, look outside, it's super bright. Is this energy, right for a brand? Or think of a C, and that's more suitable for you. Tried to pick an extreme, but if you can, it's fine as well. It will be then the job of a graphic designer to ten those keywords into something more realistic and make you visualize the future of your brand better. 8. Competitive Landscape: The next exercise is competitive landscape. Think of other companies who are providing similar or the same product or service. Place onto our axis and a chip and expensive one. And then something that's approachable or had to get like a VIP service. And then place those competitors across this axis and see, try to see the pattern, whether they might be clustered just in one place. And then that's an opportunity for your opportunity to pick as pace which is not taken yet. You can differentiate it in that way. If they are everywhere, then just try to pick something that's more suitable for you and your brand and that seems the most beneficial for your brand. 9. Positioning Statement: Finally, blade to write a positioning statement. Look at all the exercises we've done so far and tried to kind of summarize it in one sentence. This will help you to stay focus. You don't need to write this sentence on your website, but perhaps you want to keep it to yourself Fourier, team, and everyone you work lives so you stay aligned and consistent across folio blending. So try to think of who do you help? What do you help them overcome? How do you do this? And probably the most important is the last sentence, which is the reason to believe. And this is something that will be more emotional and it will be the underlying motivation to buy your product or service. For example, I have brands and mental health and education on industry to start the business with confidence. I don't destroy my workshop with branding strategy and through illustration that helps them to connect with their audience on emotional level. Now, I change this sentence and you can do the same. The point of writing the positioning is that it helps you to have everything in one sentence like 1 second, 2 seconds, and you know what it is that you do, how you do it for whom everything is dead. And then you can modify itself, Merkel, several to say it. And it should be a one-liner and one line there that you can tell to the people you work with to your clients. Like to make it simple and really stunned by it that really believe in it and transfer the same energy to your audience, to your clients, and also to the people you work with. 10. Action Plan: And finally the action plan. This is something we've been awaiting usually the most for, but the Humvee end of the workshop, we're usually really tired. So you might want to take a break here, digest all the information, and maybe go back to some exercises. If something doesn't make sense, feel free to ask a question in the group or to me personally. And let's solve it before you compose the action plan. Because the action plan, it's going to be the most important thing you wanna create. It's something you're going to stand by no matter what. You're going to write it down once and you're not gonna go even though the Magnavox for L on it for a while to write an action plan. Go back, way back to the first exercise. Look at the 20th timeline. And we're going to start with while evading our one-year God and the five-year goals. One year, it's going to be our short-term goal, which you can look forward to and you can easily see it happening. And then the five-year goal is going to be something bigger prep perhaps where your business really close. And if you want, you can also set they're 1520 and it goes as well in this. However, I would like you to focus on just two goals because I'm sure that there is going to be a lot of work to do them. The most important thing to achieving your goals is to break them into really small, achievable tasks. For example, my one-year goal was to do my own products so that I can have my services available to everyone. And to do that, I had to start very, very simple. At the very beginning. I had to learn how to speak in public. So what I did, I took storytelling workshop, which ended up with a public speaking in front of an audience. But even that, I had to break into ten or 15 small steps, which was first sign up for the workshop. Find which one is the most suitable for me. Second, do the workshop, do the exercises, show up every week. Finally, give this speech. So I broke even that small step down into little tasks. And like this, you're going to find the little tasks you have to do in order to cheat achieved, to achieve your one-year goal. And try to be the realistic. Because if for example you write, in one year I went to derive BMW. I don't know what Sir m the beauty of debt. But if you make the goal other realistic and you were tied to the money, which is not really an action plan that a suddenly for your business, you will get demotivated very fast and you won't be able to achieve those goals. You know, there is a reason why so many businesses fail on the way and just few succeed. Because those, those businesses who succeeded at it, the ones who are willing to do all those little steps and dont give up. They are not giving up on when they don't see the results right away. So this is very important part in the worksheet. You will have a list of the possible activities you might have to do for your business. If you don't know which one to pick from, trying to think of what's the one immediate thing you have to do. For example, build a website. So in order to do that, you will start by researching website providers and then the developer designer, or you might want to learn it on your own. However, try to think small, test your business first. Don't jump into the Big Water and invest millions of dollars to just launch your business if you don't. Desperate first. So sometimes I recommend to my clients before we do anything, we landed on branding strategy and we discovered some flows. So we might want to decide to test everything first. To do that, you could, for example, build a landing page with your product. Your product doesn't even have to be developed. You could just make a mock-up of your product at 3D mockup, make a landing page and play a pre-launch. Pre-launch means that you try to sell something before it's actually launched. Do you have at least ten or 15 buyers? Superb and go for it. If you don't, you may want to go back to building your product or offering and tweaking it to what your audience needs the most. And there are many other ways you could test your business. You could try to make a leaflet which just lists your services and ask people around. You could ask your friends, although be careful with that. Because you want to make sure that you are actually asking for feedback that people who might be a potential client. I've handed very difficult because I used to ask my husband for his feedback. For us. He loves me very mad. He always said that everything was great and is also really bad strategies. So instead, I'd like to ask my clients on what do they want. Solar added surveys to my process and a lot of phone calls and feedback going back and forth. So now that you wrote your action plan, let's just do it. Hang it somewhere where you can see it. And perhaps you might not want to see all the steps you have to take because this might be a little bit de-motivating and hand to when you're seeing how many things they actually have to do to achieve your goal. What you can do instead is take only two things at the time. Put it on the fridge or somewhere where you can see it in until you don't accomplish this first two tasks, you can't move forward and try to put a date on everything, especially on the one-year goal. So decide on a date and building. Be serious about it. This is like the most important thing that your business will need in order to grow.