Brand strategy, in this age of service marketing and the internet, where not everything sold has a label, is not as it used-to-was. Here’s a new worldview.
At What’s The Idea? brand strategy is defined as “an organizational framework for product, experience and messaging.” The existential function of branding to date has been naming, logos and labeling — followed by the design of marketing materials. But a huge percentage of sales these days come not from labeled products and goods, but from services and digital; things that are malleable and easily changed. Today it’s okay – no preferred – for brand strategy to inform the product, not just the other way around.
It’s a strategic palindrome: the product/service informs the brand strategy and the brand strategy informs the product/service. That’s step one. Brand strategy informs the product.
Step two is brand strategy informs product handlers. This allows everyone instrumental in selling, marketing and product-consumer interface (experience) to do so in a non-random, value-based way. Not cookie cutter. Strategic.
From metaphor land, product handlers are making deposits in the brand bank.
Once the product is right and the product handlers are indoctrinated, then we can start to think about messaging.
Sadly, branding dollars are mostly spent on naming, signage, collateral design and ads – without a deeper codified thought. A paper strategy or strategy of words is the brand building fundamental today. It can be measured. And, overlaid with revenue numbers. Try doing that with a logo.
(Rest in peace mama. You were a treasure.)