Get your brand’s strategic essence right and great innovation will follow!

12 Sep 2017

Great strategy builds a brand’s right to succeed over time.

The key is to identify your brand’s ‘Truths’ …

Then, harness them to sharpen its competitive advantage … and use them as springboards for successful innovation

These five ‘tips’ will help ensure you end up with a brand strategy that will enable and empower you … rather than constrain and frustrate!

1: Gather Multi-Dimensional Insights

Work closely with your cross-functional business team, your consumers and even your retail customers to understand how your brand fits into their lives, what role it plays and how it might be more or less valuable than all the potential alternatives.  The trick is to be ‘open minded’ and remember the brand belongs to everyone!

If this feels daunting – we can help!

2:  Psycho-analyse’ Your Brand

Dig deep, go beyond the obvious.  Seek out, not just the functional attributes that define your brand, but also the emotional benefits it offers.  Explore how the brand makes everyone that interacts with it ‘feel’.  This rich multidimensional ‘patchwork’ is the world your brand inhabits.

3: Be Harsh

Now, use ‘trade-off’ tools and ‘last-man-standing’ techniques to strip away the complexity & clutter to pinpoint the motivating & differentiating Brand Truths that sit at its heart.  This can be the hardest part, as no-one ever wants to let anything go.  The trick is to maintain an external, comparative focus – if an element doesn’t explain why a consumer would choose you over another alternative – ditch it!

4: Seek Logical Consistency

There are lots of brand-framework tools out there: pyramids, keys, onions, etc.  Each have their own benefits.  In some ways it doesn’t matter which you choose – as long as you’re incredibly disciplined and keep focusing only on those elements that define and differentiate your brand from the alternatives.

We’re huge fans of the ‘brand pyramid’.  It forces the team to consider how each of the brand’s attributes empower functional and/or emotional benefits to deliver against unsatisfied consumer needs.  It is super-logical and forces the team to be really rigorous!  In this way you can identify a 100% rational & logical Brand Truth.

A great brand-framework will help you crystallise the brand’s vision and set its mission in a way that will guide and inspire brand activation & innovation for decades to come.

5: Use It!

There’s nothing worse than investing time and budget into creation or renovation of a brand-framework and then just filing it away.  You’ve got to test it, challenge it and use it!

Set up a brainstorming workshop that uses the brand-framework as a creative springboard to explore how targeting, storytelling, channel strategy and innovation might be inspired and shaped.

It should be an inspiring and empowering experience!

What’s next?

We’ve created focused and successful innovative strategies for clients as diverse as: Astra Zeneca, Heinz, Nespresso, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever.  We’d love to help you do it too!

If you’ve got a brand strategy challenge where we could contribute – why not get in touch with one of our team …

Written by  David Goudge