How to write a brand strategy roadmap to guide your brand’s future

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

Every brand should have a brand strategy roadmap that includes the vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. As well, it should layer in the brand idea to deliver a consistent brand across the five consumer touchpoints.

Have you ever noticed people who say, “We need to get everyone on the same page” rarely have anything written down on one page? The same people who use the term “fewer bigger bets” are fans of little projects that deplete resources. 

To ensure you have a long-range plan everyone can follow, you should get your brand strategy roadmap on one page. Some will also refer to this as a strategic plan, or even a strat plan.

The brand strategy roadmap should align and focus everyone who works on the brand

Always look at a long-range plan as an opportunity to make decisions on how to allocate your brand’s limited resources. Apply those resourses to the smartest ideas that will drive the highest return. Make the best financial investment choices. Furthermore, make the best decisions on how to deploy your people. 

Our brand strategy roadmap combines long-term plan elements with our brand idea map

Start with a rough draft with your brand planning elements

Vision: 

The vision in the brand strategy roadmap should answer the question, “Where could we be?” Put a stake in the ground that describes an ideal state for your future. It should be able to last for five to 10 years. The vision gives everyone clear direction. It should motivate the team, written in a way that scares you a little and excites you a lot.

Brand purpose: 

The purpose has to answer the question, “Why does your brand exist?” It’s the underlying personal motivation for why you do what you do. Furthermore, the purpose is a powerful way to connect with employees and consumers, giving your brand a soul.

Values: 

The values you choose should answer, “What do you stand for?” Your values should guide you and shape the organization’s standards. They should connect your beliefs, behaviors, expectations, and motivations. A brand must consistently deliver each value.

Goals: 

Your goals in the brand strategy roadmap should answer, “What will you achieve?” The specific measures can include consumer behavioral changes, metrics of crucial programs, in-market performance targets, financial results, or milestones on the pathway to the vision. These goals to set up a brand dashboard or scoreboard.

Situation analysis: 

Use your deep-dive business review to answer, “Where are we?” Your analysis must summarize the drivers and inhibitors currently facing the brand, and the future threats and untapped opportunities. 

Key issues: 

The key issues answer the question, “Why are we here?” Look at what is getting in your way of achieving your brand vision. Ask the issues as questions, to set up the challenges to the strategies as the answer to each issue.

Strategies: 

Your strategy decisions must answer, “How can we get there?” Your choices depend on market opportunities you see with consumers, competitors, or situations. Strategies must provide clear marching orders. They define the strategic program you are investing in, the focused opportunity, the desired market impact and the payback in a performance result that benefits the branded business.

Tactics: 

The tactics answer, “What do we need to do?” Framed entirely by strategy, tactics turn into action plans with clear marching orders to your teams. Decide on which activities to invest in to stay on track with your vision. They must deliver the highest ROI (return on investment) and the highest ROE (return on effort).

Align the brand idea across five consumer touchpoints

Today’s market is a cluttered mess. The consumer is bombarded with brand messages all day, and inundated with more information from influencers, friends, experts, critics, and competitors. While the internet makes shopping easier, consumers must now filter out tons of information daily. Moreover, the consumer’s shopping patterns have gone from a simple, linear purchase pattern into complex, cluttered chaos.

Use the brand idea as an organizing tool

Five main touchpoints reach consumers, including the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment, and consumer experience. Regardless of the order, they reach the consumer; if the brand does not deliver a consistent message, the consumer will be confused and likely shut out that brand.strategic plan. While brands cannot control what order each touchpoint reaches the consumer, they can undoubtedly align each of those touchpoints under the brand idea.

  • Brand promise: Use the brand idea to inspire a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors. Position your brand as better, different, or cheaper.
  • Brand story: The brand story must come to life to motivate consumers to think, feel, or act while it works establishes the ideal brand’s reputation to be held in the minds and hearts of the consumer. The brand story aligns all brand communications across all media options.
  • Innovation: Build a fundamentally sound product, staying at the forefront of trends and technology to deliver innovation. Furthermore, steer the product development teams to ensure they remain true to the brand idea.
  • Purchase moment: The brand idea must move consumers along the purchase journey to the final purchase decision. The brand idea aligns the sales team and sets up retail channels. 
  • Consumer experience: Turn the usage into a consumer experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of the consumer’s day. The brand idea guides the culture of everyone behind the brand who deliver the experience.
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Our playbooks will show you new ways for how to think, define, plan, execute and analyze your brand

  1. You will find new strategic thinking models and examples for each of the four strategic thinking methods, looking at core strength, competitive, consumer, and situational strategies. 
  2. To define the brand, I provide a tool for writing a brand positioning statement as well as a consumer profile and a consumer benefits ladder. I have created lists of potential functional and emotional benefits to kickstart your thinking on brand positioning. We show a step-by-step process to come up with your brand idea and bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept. 
  3. For brand plans, I provide formats for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan with definitions for each planning element. From there, I show how to build a brand execution plan that includes the marketing communications plan, innovation process, and sales plan. 
  4. To grow your brand, I show how to make smart decisions on marketing execution with chapters on how to write a creative brief, how to make decisions on creative advertising and how to lead the media choices. 
  5. When it comes time for analyzing the performance of your brand, I provide all the analytical tools you need to lead a deep-dive business review, looking at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand.  

You will learn everything you need to know so you can run your brand and be successful in your marketing career.

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