Democratization of Brand Strategy.

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Brand planners don’t just deliver the strategy to a marketing department and agents then go away. They stick around and help nurture and manage the strategy. Of, if they can’t stick around, insure proper hand-off and follow-through. In my consulting practice, a brand strategy consists of 1 claim and 3 proof planks. Clients who give the strategy the account executive nod but are not convinced are a problem. Clients who truly believe the plan differentiates them and delivers max value to company and customer are ready to start. This stage is critical. Half assed buy-in never works.

Democratization.
Once the strategy is in place, it needs to be shared throughout the company. (I’m not talking about sharing the ad campaign, I’m talking strategy.)  It needs to be learned and understood by employees — then practiced. A brand strategy that stays in the marketing dept., by definition, is not a strategy. It’s a law. It’s despotic.

Brand planners who set strategy for brands — upstream brand strategy, that is – need to make sure the tools are in place to insure democratization. (The “deck and done” approach never works.) The tools are: 1. Executive buy-in. 2. Marketing dept. willingness to champion the strategy. 3. Constant and unrelenting brand management. 4. Sales training. 5. New employee orientation. 6. Ad agents (vendors) who know what a brand strategy is and that it is sacrosanct.

Learn, understand, practice. Brand building 401. Peace.