How to lead the brand planning process

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

Make sure your brand planning process includes a deep dive business review, brand positioning, key issues and then the writing of the brand plan. 

A brand planning process is an opportunity to make decisions on how to allocate your brand’s limited resources to the smartest ideas that will drive the highest return. 

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.

People say they are good decision-makers, yet struggle when faced with two distinct choices, so they creatively find a way to justify doing both options.

Brand planning process

Start by looking at building a consumer target profile and then building a brand positioning statement that balances the functional and emotional benefits. From there, build a brand idea that will connect with consumers and employees; to help line the brand idea up to the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment and the consumer experience. Build out your strategic brand plan that steers everyone who works on the brand. Lay out the vision, purpose, values, issues, strategies, tactics and goals. As you move to marketing execution, build out a creative brief, innovation plan and channel customer plans. 

1. Brand Positioning Workshop

Start with a brand positioning statement and brand idea that sets up a brand concept that will help your brand win in the marketplace.

Detailed explanation of our brand positioning process

As part of our brand strategy consulting process, start your brand positioning workshops by defining a focused consumer target profile with consumer insights, enemies and buying behaviors. From there, use our consumer benefits ladder to move your thinking from product features to the functional consumer benefits and emotional consumer benefits. At Beloved Brands, we have created our consumer benefit cheat sheets that have 50 possible functional benefits and 40 potential emotional benefits to help your team explore, define and focus on the right benefit space for your brand. We also have tools to find support points and claims to back up your consumer benefit. The goal is to find a winning brand positioning statement in a space that is unique, ownable, and motivating to your consumers. 

Once you have the brand positioning statement as a foundation, move on to help you build a brand idea that becomes your brand’s 7-second pitch. As a checklist, a great brand idea should be interesting, simple, unique, inspiring, motivating, and ownable. Then, stretch the brand idea out across the five touchpoints to drive consistency throughout your organization, which includes the brand promise, story, innovation, purchase moment and consumer experience. Finally, take all this great work and turn it into a brand concept and a brand story that sets you up to execute and win in the marketplace.

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Read more on our brand positioning process

2. Strategic Brand Plans Workshop

Build a strategic brand plan that forces smart focused decisions to help organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth.

Detailed explanation of our strategic plan process

At the beginning of the brand strategy consulting planning process, start with a deep-dive business review to look at every aspect of the brand, including the marketplace, consumers, channels, competitors and the brand. This analysis can include key interviews with executives and customers, as well as an audit of competitors and your brand’s work. After the review, summarize the drivers and inhibitors currently facing brand, and the potential risks and opportunities we see in the future.

Through our brand strategy consulting workshop, we use our Strategic ToolBox questions to open up your team’s thinking and help you frame the key issues facing your brand. Lay out each element of the strategic brand plan, with unique tools to inspire thinking and guide the writing of brand vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Once you finalize all the plan elements, put the strategic brand plan on one page and in a formal presentation.

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3. Marketing Execution Planning

Align your marketing execution behind a brand idea that tightens your bond with consumers and moves them through their buying journey

Detailed explanation of our marketing execution process

We believe the goal of any marketing execution is to tighten your bond with consumers and drive demand for your brand. From the positioning work, we stretch your brand idea across all five consumer touchpoints: promise, story, innovation, purchase moment and consumer experience. With our brand consulting process, we make sure the execution will move consumers through the stages of the purchase journey. 

To focus your agencies, start with a creative brief that takes the work of the brand positioning and the strategic brand plan. The brief will focus any outside agency in developing smart, creative advertising and media decisions. Work with sales to find programs that work at the purchase moment through retail channels, packaging, e-commerce, direct selling, customer service and merchandising. Moreover, work with product development to create an innovation process that brainstorms new ideas, turns them into concepts, looks at a testing and assessment method, and then builds and executes a launch program. 

With my 20 years of marketing experience, I can offer coaching and consulting on any marketing execution including advertising, media, innovation, in-store promotions, and internal marketing communications. 

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For our brand planning workshops, we use our customized brand planning workbooks to help challenge and guild and push your team through each stage of the brand positioning, analytics and brand plan process. In each of the workbooks, we pose very challenging exercise that can provoke the thinking of your teams. 

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Now, you can get our ideal brand plan format

  • Get our ideal Brand Plan in a downloadable PowerPoint file that includes formatted blank slides with key marketing definitions where you can insert your own brand plan.
  • We include slides for vision, purpose, analysis, key issues, strategies, brand positioning statement, and execution plans.
  • You will get the one-page brand plan and brand strategy roadmap. 

You can find Beloved Brands and B2B Brands on Amazon, Rakuten Kobo or Apple Books

To purchase Beloved Brands or B2B Brands, click on the icon where you buy your books 

Beyond the MBA is our virtual brand management training program designed for the real world

You will learn how to think strategically, figure out brand positioning, write brand plans, make decisions on marketing execution and analytical skills.

This is your opportunity to gain access to world-class brand management training

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