Just a mention of brand strategy quickly divides opinion among digital marketing services people. A planned journey is a better journey, some might say. Others say there are brands that don’t know where they are going, why they need to go there, and how to measure if they have arrived, are literally marketing in the dark.
On the other side of the fence are the ones who believe that a brand strategy gets you started but the make-or-break lies in how the ideas are executed. The strategy, in other words, is less crucial than the end product it leads to. And there are lots of people who believe that brand strategy is effective in theory, but only applies to huge and established brands and uses too few tangible examples to be reliable.
So, how should we identify brand strategy in light of such divided POVs?
A strong brand strategy needs true creative problem solving. It needs a holistic rethink sometimes on how a brand needs to move ahead, and at other times, the skill to see and determine what to keep and work with since the elements used are something that consumers can connect with. Strategy as an art can make a huge impact if your brand is in a situation where it needs a cutting edge solution and you need a plan that can intuitively change how boundaries are seen and re-imagine meaning in the most basic terms.
Translating the patterns and then using those insights to the processes involved with the brand requires the discipline and capability to align brand performance with brand equity. It is very challenging to do this with sources that are abstract and completely reliant on gut feel for its effectiveness, which can test both your patience and confidence. Looking at strategy as a science is important where you have powerful data to back you up; there’s plenty of quant from which to derive answers; and/or you’re working in sectors that are grounded on evidence.
Process is the life line to any strategic campaign. It gives a company that ability to arrive at a conclusion. And of course, a company that follows a brand strategy process will, in all likelihood, emerge with an objective; will look at brand positioning in the market; and implement a set of values that will make the vision happen.
It’s easy to assume that if you’ve done your homework, then you have a brand strategy. However, this isn’t always the case. The strength of a brand strategy doesn’t lie in using it, but rather in where and how it uses the leads. If your process makes you just one of those copycat brands, it has acted as little more than a bridge towards mediocrity.
Believe in the process, by all means, but don’t rely on it as if it is the rock your brand strategy is built on – it guarantees nothing. However, be aware that you will need to show a clear process and be able to explain the worth of this process, but what’s most important is to be able to show others the journey and how they will be a part of it.