Ask a small business owner if they have a “business strategy” and they can’t help but answer yes. Probe a little and they’ll answer you with superlatives about product and service such as “to provide the best food and dining experience in the area” or “offer an uncompromised level of tax return service to the community,” “help improve lead generation thru web search tools at the lowest cost.” These are make-more-money explanations – perhaps mixed in with a little bit of strategy.
Ask that same small business owner if s/he has a “brand strategy” and you get a different response. Most will say yes, but it will be attached to slightly quizzical expression. The brain lights up with synapses popping around name, logo, packaging and ads, but the word “strategy” confuses. They don’t really know what a brand strategy is.
A brand strategy is “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.”
A brand strategy is a set of words that provide a litmus for product marketing success. You are either on brand strategy or off. With brand strategy before marketing happens everyone agrees with what success looks like. It’s binary. It’s measurable. It’s scientific.
With science in the house, the creative process can begin. Small businesses often forget the science. They just start making. Invest in brand strategy and divest of random marketing and business tactics.