Brand Strategy On High.


Yesterday I wrote about the need for brand strategy at startups. Today, I’m taking on existing businesses.

When a C-suite executive drives into the executive parking lot in the morning the last thing s/he is thinking about is brand strategy. Let’s take IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty.  She may be thinking about invigorating the stock price or how making more money solving the rising security concerns of top clients. Or she may be thinking about the impact of Medicare For All on revenue. But is she debating and prioritizing the “good ats” and “care-abouts” that will shape perceptions of employees, customers, and shareholders? Prob not.  Leave that to the branding nerds. Mistake.

In long term planning meetings at large corporations, the chiefs look at the bottom line by department: product, people, channel, real estate, taxes – not brand strategy. Yet brand strategy touches all those things. Brand strategy is an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. It creates context for decisions across the corporation. From designing physical plant to hiring policy to pricing.  

I tell clients that when a receptionist answers the phone and is asked to make a quick decision on behalf of the company, those who understand the brand strategy have answers.  

For reals.