When outlining your brand strategy for next year (or this year, in case you’re behind), keep these three considerations in mind to ensure that the copy and paste keys aren’t being hit and applied to this year’s brief.
1. Is your brand strategy on board with your business goals?
Your strategy should align with the brand’s overall business and marketing goals. If those haven’t been established yet, definitely take the time to stop and define them. If those are the same as last year, take a step back and see why they’re the same and if there should be any adjustments made based on past year’s performances.
Once the business and marketing goals are hammered out, cross-check the brand strategy to make sure that it’s geared in the right direction to achieve those goals, and maybe even surpass them.
2. What are key insights that guide this year’s brand strategy?
Don’t underestimate the insights that can be found from last year’s successes or failures. If something was done well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be done again, but discovering why it performed well can provide valuable insights into strategy development for the next year.
Whenever possible, allocate budget for in-depth research, to act as support in building brand strategy. Many times your gut reaction will be spot on, but there are very surprising insights that can be found that would go otherwise unknown without research. We’ve all been there – those focus groups when all hell breaks loose because the results indicate your strategy is completely off target. And that’s okay. Adjust, refocus and you’ll reap the benefits.
3. Who cares?
At the end of the day, your brand strategy should resonate with the consumer target you’re looking to recruit and engage. If it doesn’t resonate with the people who are purchasing your product, it won’t matter if it makes sense to your brand management team.
Take previous year’s insights into account and perform research to learn more about your target. Don’t have the budget to get official? Leverage online resources and your internal teams to gather insights in specific categories. You’ll be surprised (or maybe not) by the guy in accounting that has a secret love of cat grooming.
That’s it for the headlines. Have any additional points to add? Share it with us!