Brand strategy decisions must answer, “how can we get there?” Most importantly, 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. The strategic choices depend on market opportunities you see to build on your core strength, to build a bond with consumers, to battle competitors, or line up with your business situation. Unquestionably, every brand should have a long-range Brand Strategy Roadmap document that includes the vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Alternatively, some will call it a long-range strategic plan, or even a Strat Plan.
We have the strategy tools to help you build your brand
First, in this article, you will learn our method for how to write brand strategy statements that become the foundation for a long-range plan or the annual marketing plan. Then, we will show how to create a Brand Strategy Roadmap that can inspire and focus everyone on the team. Importantly, you will see how the Brand Strategy Roadmap combines the work of the marketing plan with the brand idea.
While marketers love their presentations, we love our one-pagers. We have created a Brand Toolkit that includes every slide you need to run your brand. We include our one-page Brand Strategy Roadmap. Equally, if you are looking to build out your marketing plan work, you can engage our Marketing Plan presentation template. Importantly, if you are looking to find the right brand positioning on your brand, we do run consulting workshops with teams to help come up with the ideal solution.
And if you like our one-page Brand Strategy Roadmap, you will love our one-page Brand Plan.
Brand strategy + Brand Idea
As well, the Brand Strategy Roadmap uses the brand idea to deliver a consistent brand across the five consumer touchpoints. These touchpoints that reach consumers include the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment, and consumer experience.
Your brand strategy should help build relationships with all of your stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders. Importantly, I believe branding is an essential part of the business that needs to be aligned with the business goals. To illustrate, read our story on the five steps to building a brand strategy.
A brand strategy statement is the heart of any type of plan
Everyone says they are a strategic thinker, yet few are. Early in my career, I confess that I was more of an instinctual marketer. To learn strategic thinking, we need to slow down and organize our thoughts.
Importantly, we look at five elements of strategic thinking, including the vision, strategic program, focused opportunity, market impact and performance result.
For this reason, we use a flywheel to capture all five elements of the strategy. Moreover, this will help you to see how these five elements serve as a good structure to communicate your brand strategy.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand strategy example.
What is a brand strategy?
Structuring your strategic statements
First, let’s look at how to turn your smart strategic thinking into writing a strategic objective statement that can provide specific marching orders to everyone who works on the brand. Our process covers all five elements of smart strategic thinking.
Below, you can see how we traditionally lay out the brand vision and key issue. This captures our first element of the strategic thinking. Then, as we dig in on the strategic statement, we will show how it captures the other four elements of the strategic thinking. Altogether, the strategic statement covers the remaining four other strategic elements, including the program investment, focused opportunity, market impact, and the performance result.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand strategy statement example.
Brand strategy template
To illustrate, click to zoom in on strategic thinking flywheel we use to come up with a brand strategy statement.
Brand strategy statement using our A + B + C + D
To illustrate, let’s build our the strategy statements around the four elements we just mentioned:
A: Capabilities investment.
B: Focused opportunity.
C: Market impact.
D: Performance result.
A) Program investment:
The 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 “Communicate Gray’s new “guilt-free” positioning to new consumers.”
B) Focused opportunity:
The breakthrough point where the brand will exert pressure to create a market impact. In this example, the focused opportunity is the “changing needs of proactive preventers.”
C) Market impact:
Achieves 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 “attract and tempt them to try Gray’s.”
D) Performance result:
Drive a specific performance result linked to the market impact, either making the brand more powerful or more profitable. In this example, “Drive market share.”
For example, click to zoom in on our example of brand strategy statements.
Video: Brand Strategy Statements
To illustrate, watch our video to see how we use our five elements of brand strategy. Importantly, this helps you structure your thinking. And, we will show how to build brand strategy statements that make it easy to explain them to others.
To view, use the ▶️ controls to play our brand strategy video.
Have you ever noticed people who say, “We need to get everyone on the same page” rarely have anything written down on one page. As a result, 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.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our strategic planning process.
Strategic plan template
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. Write the vision in a way that scares you a little but excites you a lot. Importantly, the vision steers the long-range strategic plan.
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. Values 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.
Use your deep-dive business review to answer, “Where are we?” Your analysis must summarize the drivers and inhibitors currently facing the brand. As a result, the analysis must discover future threats and untapped opportunities.
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Beloved Brands is a comprehensive guide that covers the fundamentals of brand management. It goes deep on strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plan development, advertising decisions, media planning, marketing analytics, and the brand financials. This is an opportunity to build your marketing skills to help your career. And, it will provide you with the roadmap for driving growth on your brand.
Marketers see Beloved Brands playbook as a go-to resource, as they keep it within arm’s reach for any new project. We are thrilled to see that it has received a 5-star rating from nearly 90% of Amazon reviewers. Additionally, we have also created playbooks for B2B Brands and Healthcare Brands, catering to specific industries.
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. Moreover, these strategies are the answer to each issue.
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. 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. Importantly, the best ideas must deliver the highest ROI (return on investment) and the highest ROE (return on effort). Finally, with a long-range strategic plan, you don’t have to get too specific with the tactics.
Managing the brand
Your brand idea is at the heart of your brand strategy
When we help find your brand strategy, we use a brand idea to represent the inner brand soul of everyone who works on the brand, inspiring employees to deliver the brand promise and amazing experiences. Importantly, the brand strategy must be ownable, so no other competitor can infringe on your space, and you can confidently build your brand reputation over time. Equally, make sure this work is based on your brand positioning statement.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand idea.
Brand Strategy brainstorm
In stage one of finding your brand strategy, we hold a keywords brainstorm for each of the five areas. To start, brainstorm 20-30 words that describe each of the five elements of the brand idea.
Next, in stage two, we turn keywords into key phrases for each of the five areas. Then, get the team to vote to narrow down the list to the best 3-5 words for each section. You will begin to see certain themes and keywords. Take those selected words and build phrases to summarize each section.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand idea brainstorming.
In stage three of our brand strategy workshops, summarize everything to create a brand idea. Once you have phrases for all five areas of our brand strategy model, the team should feel inspired to use their creative energy to come up with the brand idea. Importantly, find a summary statement that captures everything around the circle. Try to get a few different options you can test with both consumers and employees.
Align the brand idea across five consumer touchpoints
Today’s market is a cluttered mess. Essentially, 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. I believe 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. Importantly, 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
Brands must be consistent. There are five main touchpoints that reach consumers, including the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment, and consumer experience. 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. Undoubtedly, align each of those touchpoints under the brand idea. The consumer will start to see the brand as consistent.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand idea map process.
When you use the brand idea to inspire a simple brand promise it separates your brand from competitors. Essentially, make sure you position your brand as better, different, or cheaper.
When you use a brand story to bring the brand idea to life it helps 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.
When you use the brand idea to build a fundamentally sound product, it helps stay 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.
When you use the brand idea to move consumers along the purchase journey to the final purchase decision, it helps align the sales team and set up retail channels.
Finally, turn the usage into a consumer experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of the consumer’s day. As a result, the brand idea guides the culture of everyone behind the brand who deliver the experience.
Brand Strategy Template
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 resources 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.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand strategy roadmap template.
An example of our Brand Strategy Roadmap tool for a Prescription Healthcare brand
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our healthcare brand strategy roadmap example.
An example of our Brand Strategy Roadmap tool for a medical equipment brand
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our Healthcare brand strategy roadmap example.
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.
Now, you can get everyone on the team to keep the Brand Strategy Roadmap and one-page brand plan handy.
What I recommend is to laminate two documents back-to-back. Having both documents on one-page keeps everyone focused and aligned on what they need to deliver. For more info on our one-page brand plan, click on this link: You will love our one-page Brand Plan
To illustrate, click on the Brand Strategy Roadmap and the one-page Brand Plan example.
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. Importantly, 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. Essentially, 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. Indeed, 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
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. Essentially, it is a beautifully written document and ahead of its time.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our brand credo example.
What is brand strategy
Learn how to write a brand strategy statement
Our unique model will force you to pick answers to build a brand strategy statement with marching orders for those who follow your plan. Most importantly, as you build your brand plan, I recommend you use these four elements of smart brand strategy statements to ensure you structure the thinking.
To illustrate, click to zoom in on our process for writing brand strategy statements.
A: Strategic program
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. For 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. For instance, 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. For 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. For instance, “Tightening their bond with our brand.”
Does your brand have unrealized potential?
Here are five questions you need to be able to answer about your brand:
- First, can you describe your brand in seven seconds in a way that motivates consumers to engage and in a space that is own-able for your brand?
- Second, are you making the right investments that will create a market impact for your brand, and lead to a performance result for your business?
- Next, does everyone on your team know their role and know how they contribute to building a successful brand?
- Does your marketing execution establish your desired brand positioning and move customers to purchase?
- Finally, are you investing in your people to ensure they make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth?
If you cannot answer these five questions, your team will be confused. Clearly, your brand investments will be scattered and won’t pay back. You will see inconsistent execution in the market. The consumer will not know how to define your brand. And, you won’t grow! It is time to make decisions.
We help brands define themselves so they can drive new growth opportunities.
At Beloved Brands, our brand strategy process will help you define your brand and map out a strategic plan for the best possible future for your brand.
We will help you define your brand positioning statement and narrow down to a brand idea that is your seven second pitch. Then, we challenge you to select the right strategic investments for your brand, and build a strategic plan that everyone can follow.
Importantly, you need your marketing execution to build your brand reputation in the market and moves customers along their purchase journey.
Brand strategy FAQ
What’s business strategy? What is a brand strategy?
Business strategy forces brands or companies to make choices that define how they will achieve their vision. The five elements of a brand strategy include the vision, investment choice, focused opportunity, market impact, and performance result. We use these elements to build out the brand strategy statement you can use in any plan.
Why brand strategy is important?
The brand strategy aligns the company behind a few strategic investments. The brand strategy helps gain approval from senior management including C-suite and CEOs. And, a brand strategy roadmap steers everyone who works on the brand. While it provides the long-range elements such as brand vision, purpose, and values, it lays out the key issues, strategies and tactics. As well, our brand strategy roadmap shows all those who work behind the scenes how to handle the execution against all the consumer touchpoints. This helps focus the brand’s look and feel, marketing communications, innovation, sales, operations, and culture.
Why have a brand strategy?
Unquestionably, every brand should have a long-range Brand Strategy Roadmap document that includes the vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Alternatively, some will call it a long-range strategic plan, a business strategy, or even a Strat Plan.
What are the 4 types of brand strategy?
The strategic choices depend on market opportunities you see to build on your core strength, to build a bond with consumers, to battle competitors, or line up with your business situation.
If you are running a brand, or a service provider for brand strategy, our brand templates will help you save time and provide best-in-class presentations. We provide brand templates that help you run your brand. For instance, you can find brand templates for brand plans, brand positioning, business reviews, and creative briefs. For those who need to go deeper on marketing execution, we have a marketing plan template. Moreover, we have all-in-one brand toolkits with all the presentation slides you need to run your brand.
To view, click to zoom in the brand template slides.
Our brand templates will make your job easier!
Our brand templates are used by many of the best brand companies around the world. They reflect the work we do as a brand consultant and the tools from our Beloved Brands playbook. With each template, we include fully completed examples and blank slides for you to enter your own strategies.
We empower the ambitious to achieve the extraordinary.
Without a doubt, our role at Beloved Brands is to help the ambitious marketers who are trying to improve their marketing skills. Most importantly, we will prepare you so you can reach your full potential in your career. You will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, and marketing analytics. As well, we provide a suite of marketing tools, templates that will make it easier to do your job, processes that you can follow, and provocative thoughts to trigger your thinking.
Have you gone through an assessment of the marketing skills of your team? Take a look below:
The fundamentals of marketing matter.
Our Beloved Brands marketing training programs cover different streams to suit the type of marketer you are. For instance, our marketing training covers consumer marketing, B2B marketing, and Healthcare marketing.
The marketing fundamentals that we show in this article are part of what we use in our marketing training programs. Ambitious marketers will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, writing creative briefs, advertising decision-making, marketing analytics, and marketing finance.
Importantly, when you invest in our marketing training program, you will help your team gain the marketing skills they need to succeed. Without a doubt, you will see your people make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth.
Finally, I wrote our Beloved Brands playbook to help you build a brand that your consumers will love. If you are a B2B marketer, try our B2B Brands playbook. And, if you are a Healthcare Marketer, try our Healthcare Brands playbook.
We designed our brand templates to make it easier for you to do your job.
Moreover, we provide brand templates that help you run your brand. For instance, you can find templates for marketing plans, brand positioning, creative briefs, and business reviews. Altogether, we offer brand toolkits with all the presentation slides you need.
Beloved Brands video
Everything a Marketing must know about.
Importantly, Brand leaders need to know how to think, define, plan, execute and analyze with the best of them. Moreover, while the brand leaders don’t really know how to do anything, they are looked upon to make every decision. Have a look at our five minute video on everything a marketer must know. To read more, click on this link: Everything.
To view, use the ▶️ controls to play or volume buttons
If you are looking to make your marketing team smarter, we can help. To get started, email Graham Robertson at [email protected]