Strategists sometimes get a bad rap for overthink. And overwrite. My brand briefs created to deliver master brand strategy are often 3 pages. That’s a lot of words. Brand briefs are not meant to provide by-the-pound insights and lovely writing. Nor are they to provide a circuitous narrative that makes a brand manager feel optimistic. They are designed to provide a serial story that builds a logic trail toward a business-winning claim about a product or service. That singular claim – yes, I said singular – is built upon customer care-abouts and brand good-ats. That’s the strategy component… or the information and data boil-down for which I get paid the big bucks.
But strategy without action is simply ink. The best laid plans don’t work unless they’re acted upon and to be acted upon they must be advocated from on high, shared throughout the company, and operationalized. You can’t convince consumers unless you convince your workforce. Many practitioners believe brand strategy to be the sole domain of the marketing department. These companies are most likely to fail with marketing – even with $50 million budgets. Brand strategy must be encultured throughout a company.
You can’t write an effective marketing plan without a brand strategy. And you can’t write an effective brand strategy without an effective marketing plan. And make no mistake a marketing plan is an action plan. Fully funded. Not piece meal funded. Measured and corrected.
Strategy and action.