“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
Most companies today will have encountered Carl Jung’s words many times during their course of business. To succeed in any form of endeavour, it is vital to have tactics and strategies in place. Be that as it may, without action even the best plans have no value. Actions transform ideas and thoughts into reality – one that can be experienced, evaluated and made better.
Everyone is out to be the greatest ‘brand’- from established corporations to up & coming start-ups. With impressive brand strategists by their sides, businesses often think they have got their brand sorted.
As hyped as it may be, brand strategy is just as it sounds – it is a strategy, a plan. A good brand is built around a clearly defined set of emotional and functional experiences that it gives to the customer while he/she is interacting with the product/service. There is no brand without that experience and no experience without swinging that perfect strategy into action. Both strategy and action are vital to brand building, but thanks to Digital Marketing, Social Media in particular – brands today are built (or not) with pretty pictures and prettier words.
If you are in for the long run, build a brand with not just an effective strategy but also by putting it into action. Expertise in Marketing and Brand Management will help you execute your brand strategies to their full potential. Here are five key pointers that can help you deliver the promise defined by your brand strategy:
- Brand roadmap. This is how it usually flows: first, a brand strategy is approved. Next, the Brand Manager puts together the resources, agreements and plans from different functional areas to turn that strategy into reality. But the hurdles often faced, along with other business pressures can lead the decision-makers to settle for a less effective plan, therefore affecting the intended experience on the customers. To avoid such situations, brand roadmap should be outlined in the development process. This helps the organization identify initiatives, both internal and external, that are important to delivering the objective of the brand strategy. A roadmap for the brand further enables the Brand Head to start implementation with clear priorities.
- Employees first. Brands are made by people for people. To ensure that customer interactions give the expected impressions and associations with the brand, it is important that employees clearly understand and passionately endorse the brand strategy. Invigorating the brand’s purpose and relevance across the workforce will help the initiative reverberate with the customers.
- Customer experience innovations. This is usually the most tedious and troublesome part to execute a brand strategy; it is also probably the most critical. Any effective brand strategy must be associated with a set of customer experience innovations that are in tandem with what we want people to think and feel when they interact with a product/service. Customer experience innovations along the customer journey stretch across multiple functional areas and operational workflow. If the core positioning of a brand is built around the notion of agility, designing roadmaps of activities will help deliver a customer experience that supports readiness at every interaction with the company.
- Corporate narrative. What is the most common trait among the strongest brands in the market? It does not stop at building preference and differentiation; they strive relentlessly towards shaping the dynamics of the industry in a manner that it aligns with their own vision and plans of growth. A corporate narrative, which presents an inspiring yet believable future helps accomplish such strategic goals. All-powerful corporate stories require a storyteller, a role perfectly suited to a CEO. Some of the ace storytellers like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs with their powerful narratives have provided frameworks for understanding the future, reassuring stakeholders they knew how to get there.
- Measure. The old proverb is right: you can’t manage what you can’t gauge. You cannot achieve unless it is measured. Once developed, the effectiveness of a brand strategy needs to be constantly assessed often followed by corrective actions aimed at achieving the proposed objectives.
For a purposeful, planned, intelligent and honest brand strategy to realize its potential, the action is critical. And for that a structured process, rightly skilled team is essential.
How to source the right resource or how to re-skill the current team is a point of discussion for another post.