How to use a brand strategy roadmap to align and focus everyone

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What is brand strategy? Your brand 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 that 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.  Every brand should have a brand strategy roadmap that includes the vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Also, it could be called a long-range strategic plan, or even a strat plan.

As well, it should layer in the brand idea to deliver a consistent brand across the five consumer touchpoints. Your brand strategy should help build relationships with all of your stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders. Branding is an essential part of the business that needs to be aligned with the business goals. 

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Our brand strategy roadmap combines long-range strategic plan elements with a brand idea map

Have you ever noticed people who say, “We need to get everyone on the same page” rarely have anything written down on one page. Moreover, the same people who use the term “fewer bigger bets” are fans of little projects that deplete resources. To start, every brand needs a long-range plan everyone can follow. Above all, make sure you can get your brand strategy roadmap on one page. 

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Start with the long-range strategic plan elements


First, 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. Essentially, the vision gives everyone clear direction. Most importantly, the vision should motivate the team, written in a way that scares you a little and excites you a lot. The vision steers the long-range strategic plan.

Brand purpose: 

Next, 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.  


Then, layer in values that 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. Above all, the brand must consistently deliver each value.


Your goals in the brand strategy roadmap should answer, “What will you achieve?” For example, 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. Accordingly, your goals 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. 

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Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. Over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management. We will show you how to build a brand strategy, and build it into your planning execution process.  

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. Then, ask the issues as questions, to set up the challenges to the strategies as the answer to each issue.

Brand Strategy: 

Next, use your brand strategy decisions to answer, “How can we get there?” Your choices depend on market opportunities you see with consumers, competitors, or situations. Most importantly, the strategies must provide clear marching orders. Above all, the brand strategy 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.


Finally, 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. Most importantly, the best ideas must deliver the highest ROI (return on investment) and the highest ROE (return on effort). With a long-range strategic plan, you don’t have to get too specific with the tactics. 

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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.

Brands are more than a name or logo. In today’s age, brand strategy is a business strategy. They provide an identity for some specific products and services, as well as the company that offers those products and services. Your brand strategy should help build trust among customers by conveying a message, a promise of quality and consistency.

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. Brands cannot control what order each touchpoint reaches the consumer. And, they can undoubtedly align each of those touchpoints under the brand idea.

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Brand promise: 

First, use the brand idea to inspire a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors. Essentially, make sure you position your brand as better, different, or cheaper.

Brand story: 

Next, use a brand story to bring the brand idea 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. Above all, the brand story aligns all brand communications across all media options.


Then, use the brand idea to 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: 

In addition, make sure the brand idea must move consumers along the purchase journey to the final purchase decision. Essentially, use the brand idea to align the sales team and set up retail channels. 

Consumer experience: 

Finally, turn the usage into a consumer experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of the consumer’s day. And, the brand idea guides the culture of everyone behind the brand who deliver the experience.

The brand strategy roadmap aligns and focuses everyone

Always look at a long-range strategic 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, the long-range strategic plan forces you to make the best decisions on how to deploy your people.

We include our Brand Strategy Roadmap in our Brand Toolkit

The B2B version of our Brand Strategy Roadmap template

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Our healthcare Brand Strategy Roadmap template

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Learn more about how to find your brand positioning

To find your ideal brand positioning statement, you want to find the space that is most motivating to consumers. And, find the space that is most ownable for your brand. Our brand positioning statement process starts with a defined consumer target your brand will serve. Then, we focus on the emotional and functional benefits that differentiate your brand. Further, we use support points to help differentiate your brand from competitors.

Learn more about how to write marketing plans

A strategic marketing plan gets everyone on the same page, including senior management, sales, product development, customer service and your agency partners. So, we have a one-page brand plan to help. That way, everyone drives against the same vision, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Throughout this article, I will show how to write a marketing plan, with a few marketing plan examples. And, we have a marketing plan template you can purchase. 

How brand strategy successfully builds brands

A brand strategy can be defined as a plan for the development and implementation of the marketing mix. It is a process that is used to create, communicate, deliver and maintain value for the organization by aligning its different actions with its desired direction.

A well-planned brand strategy is based on research about the company, its competitors, customers and their needs. The research provides information on who are the target markets, what are their needs, how should they be communicated with, what are the best channels to use for this communication etc.

Brand strategy can help to create successful brands by improving customer experience through better service or product quality. A good understanding of marketing strategies also helps to create an effective marketing campaign that will increase awareness levels of your brand in an efficient way.

Use the brand strategy to steer everyone who works on the brand

The best brands consistently deliver. Use a cross-functional team, including salespeople, R&D, human resources, finance, and operations. Their participation is one way to gain their buy-in. But that’s not where it stops. 

Use your internal brand communications tools to drive a shared definition. Get everyone to articulate how their role delivers the idea. Give the external and internal brand story equal importance to the consumer experience you create for your brand.


Everyone needs a common understanding of and talking points for the brand

When you work on a brand that leads to the customer experience, your operations people will be responsible for the face-to-face delivery of your brand to the consumer. Develop a list of service values, behaviors, and processes to deliver the brand idea throughout your organization. 

Everyone who works on the brand should use the idea as inspiration, and to guide decisions and activities across every function of your organization. It is the people within the brand organization who will deliver the brand idea to the consumer. Everyone needs a common understanding of and talking points for the brand.

When you work on a brand that leads to the customer experience, your operations people will be responsible for the face-to-face delivery of your brand to the consumer. Develop a list of service values, behaviors, and processes to deliver the brand idea throughout your organization. 

Explaining your brand strategy through a brand credo

Brand Credo brand strategy

Having spent time at Johnson & Johnson, I was lucky to see how their credo document has become an essential part of the culture of the organization. Not only does it permeate throughout the company but you will also likely hear it quoted in meetings on a daily basis. It is a beautifully written document and ahead of its time.

Learn how to write a brand strategy statement

brand strategy statement

A: First, the brand strategy statement calls out the investment in a strategic program, with crystal clear marching orders to the team, leaving no room for doubt, confusion, or hesitation. In this example, the strategic program is to “Create an elevated VIP consumer experience.” 

B: Focused opportunity: Second, the brand strategy uses a breakthrough point where the brand will exert pressure to create a market impact. In this example, the focused opportunity is to “Reward our most loyal consumers.” 

C: Market impact: Third, the brand strategy should achieve a specific desired market impact with a stakeholder you will attempt to move, whether it is consumers, sales channels, competitors, or influencers. In this example, the desired impact is to “Turn the consumer’s regular usage into a higher frequency ritual.” 

D: Performance result: Finally, the brand strategy statement must drive a specific performance result linked to the market impact, either making the brand more powerful or more profitable. In this example, “Tightening their bond with our brand.”

Our unique model will force you to pick answers to build a brand strategy statement with marching orders for those who follow your plan. And, as you build your brand plan, I recommend you use these four elements of smart brand strategy statements to ensure you structure the thinking. 

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