On prompt, many company executive will tell you their business strategy is “Make more money.” Some invest to make more money others reduce the cost of goods. There are many ways to invest or cost-cut: alter the product, play with pricing, change distribution, promote in a new way. All are business decisions.
Ask that same company executive what their brand strategy is, though, and you may get a quizzical look. Or the quick parry “To provide customers with the best product, at the best price, with uncompromising service.” But that’s not a brand strategy, that’s the brand marketing equivalent of pasteurized cheese.
A brand strategy is created at a product’s molecular level. It is inherently product-based. A brand strategy grows from the product then gives back over time. And I’m not just talking “deposits in the brand bank,” I’m talking about informing product innovation, brand extension, expansion, even M&A activity.
A brand strategy is deeply rooted in the consumer — the consumer’s environment (physical and emotional) and needs (known and subconscious). Brand strategy is about growth and growth doesn’t happen without nourishment, environment and caring.
A brand strategy is a living thing. Not a business thing.
Business strategies are logical. They are easy to articulate. Brand strategies are psychophysiological. They are harder to articulate but have a pulse. And when right — they quicken the pulse. Peace!