'A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.'
-Author Lee Bolman
Remember when marketing was seen as ‘froth and bubble’ and not much more? Times have changed. Marketing today is research driven and the best marketing strategies marry art and science now more than ever before.
Strategy is key to growing your brand
Strategy is your roadmap for success because it takes your brand from where it is now to where you want it to be. But it doesn’t work in isolation. Ideally, strategy development follows a brand discovery phase. Why? Because we believe you need to discover, and define, what your brand stands for first before you can take it forward in the right direction.
To formulate your brand strategy, we distill all the findings from the discovery phase to define your brand’s:
- Naming (if required)
The success of your strategy will be based on how well your identified brand goals and objectives have been achieved.
Your strategy will also inform you brand’s visual identity which includes:
- Taglines (if required)
- Colour palettes
- Photographic style
- Other graphical elements e.g. icons
You can telling your brand story more effectively, and increase brand awareness, when these elements work together in harmony. Brand guidelines help ensure your brand is communicated consistently to your target audience: your customers.
What makes a good strategy
A good strategy considers your defined target audiences: who they are, how they can be reached, how they behave and how they speak. This ensures every message your brand puts out into the world is delivered to the right people at the right time using the right platforms and the right language.
Strategy maintains focus. It identifies which platforms you are going to use to communicate with your existing and prospective customers. This stops you from wasting valuable time, and money, because if an idea doesn’t align with your strategy, it does not get considered. By the same token, good strategy also needs to account for a degree of flexibility and this is why monitoring and evaluation is key. Knowing how you will evaluate your strategy over time and being agile enough to make changes if you need to should be factored into your plan.
Strategy also takes into account any advantages you have over your competitors and how these unique qualities can be communicated to your target audience. No competitive advantage? Strategy has an answer for that too: tell your brand story better than anyone else. And this is where messaging is key. Just like humans, your brand needs to think before it speaks. Key messaging delivered consistently is what will help build trust in your brand. Trust builds loyalty. Loyalty builds value in a brand. Building value to its highest level is the end goal.
Strategy also factors in your brand’s capabilities: its internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats. This ensures you have the best resources in place, and budget allocated, to deliver on your strategy.
When strategy is called for
You will need a strategy if you are wanting to:
- create a brand or rebrand
- use digital marketing to build an online presence
- embark on a social media campaign
- develop an internal communications plan
- launch a traditional advertising campaign
- invest in public relations
- create an internal marketing plan
Without a solid strategy, your marketing activities will be rudderless and your spend will be harder to both monitor and justify. You will be shooting in the dark and any good fortune will be through good luck as opposed to good management. Strategy will help keep your marketing activities focused on your target audiences and your budget on track. When you get the basics right, and a put a solid strategy in place, you are giving your brand the best chance of success.
Explore our strategy portfolio and see how we can work together to develop a marketing strategy suits your needs, timeframe and budget.