April 14, 2013
How to create a Brand Strategy Road Map
Master Brand Strategy Road Map
Having the brand road map on one page can help align everyone that works on a brand. This is especially useful when managing a Branded House or Master Brand where there are various people in your organization that each run a small part of the brand. The road map helps guide everyone and keep them aligned.
Here’s the one I use that has all the key elements that help define the brand:
- Brand Vision: It’s the End in Mind Achievement. What do you want the brand to become? Think 10 years out: if you became this one thing, you would know that you are successful. Ideally it is Qualitative (yet grounded in something) and quantitative (measurable) It should be motivating and enticing to get people focused.
- Purpose: Start with what’s in you: Why do you exist? Why do you wake up in the morning? What’s your purpose or cause behind your brand? Very personal and connects to your own story. In the spirit of Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.
- Brand Idea: A Beloved Brand is an idea that’s worth Loving. As Brands become more loved, they go beyond being just a product and they become an idea that fulfills consumers’ emotional needs in the consumers life. Below is the Tool I use to figure out a Brand’s Big Idea revolves around four areas that help define the Brand 1) Brand’s personality 2) Products and Services the brand provides 3) Internal Beacons that people internally rally around when thinking about the brand and 4) Consumer Views of the Brand. What we normally do is brainstorm 3-4 words in each of the four section and then looking collectively begin to frame the Brand’s Big Idea with a few words or a phrase to which the brand can stand behind.As an example Apple’s Big Idea is about “taking the complexity and make everything simple enough, so that everyone will be part of the future”. Accordingly, everything in the organization should line up to delivering a simple experience whether that’s the day they turn on the product, installing an App on an iPhone or when they show up at the store to ask questions from the Genius Bar.Once you have your Big Idea, you should then use it to frame the 5 different connectors needed to set up a very strong bond between your brand and your consumers.
- Five Connectors With the Consumer: Under the Brand Idea are 5 Sources of Connectivity that help connect the brand with consumers and drive Brand Love, including 1) the brand promise 2) the strategic choices you make 3) the brand’s ability to tell their story 4) the freshness of the product or service and 5) the overall experience and impressions it leaves with you. Here’s an example of how these 5 connections would look for the Special K brand.
- Brand Values should come from the DNA, and act as guideposts to ensure that the behavior of everyone in the organization is set to deliver upon the Brand’s promise. How do you want your people to show up? What type of service do you want? How much emphasis on innovation? What type of people do you want to hire? What behavior should be rewarded and what behavior is off-side. Having the right Brand Values will help you answer these questions. The Brand Values become an extension of what the Brand Leader wants the brand to stand for. To read more this subject read the following: Brand = Culture
- Goals: While the vision serves as a 10 year big goal, it’s also important to have annual goals to push and challenge everyone in the organization. It’s a great way to ensure milestones on the pathway to the vision are being hit. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. which means they should be specific, measurable, attainable,relevant and time-sensitive.
- Strategies: These are potential choices you must make in HOW to get to the vision. Good strategy has focus, early win, leverage and a gateway to something even bigger. Strategic Thinkers see “what if” questions before they see solutions. They map out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. They reflect and plan before they act. They are thinkers and planners who can see connections. There are four main types of strategy: 1) consumer oriented 2) competitive oriented 3) operational and 4) financial. My recommendation is that Master Brands have 3-5 key strategies, but never more. This forces you to focus.
- Tactics: Activities and executions that fit under the strategies. This could be advertising, media, sales, events, social media and professional influence. I recommend focusing on 3 key tactical areas per strategy, continuing to ensure focus.
With this format, having it all on one page forces focus and allows you to keep a tight control over those that will be working under the Master Brand.
Here is an another example of the 5 connectors using Apple:
House of Brands
When working with a house of brands, where you have multiple brand names under one corporate name (P&G, Kraft, General Mills and Johnson and Johnson) the brand plan would look different. The big differences are the teams are smaller and the culture of each team usually follows that of the corporate name.
Here’s a good example of a Brand Plan that would fit within the House of Brands and here is the related story on How to Write a Brand Plan
Use your Brand Plan to keep everyone aligned on the same page
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At Beloved Brands, we love to see Brand Leaders reach their full potential. Here are the most popular article “How to” articles. We can offer specific training programs dedicated to each topic. Click on any of these most read articles:
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- How to create a Brand Strategy Road Map
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