Do you have a brand strategy that isn’t working for you?

Maybe it doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’re not getting the results you were hoping for. Maybe you feel lost.

Your Brand Strategy is your guide. It’s there to help you reach your goals, to keep you on track, to get you where you want to go, to help you make decisions and keep you focussed.

If it’s not helping you do those things, then something is wrong.

Big question… are you using it?

If it stays unopened then it won’t work… so if you haven’t taken a look at it lately, go and do that. It could make all the difference.

If you are using it – are you using it right? Are you executing the tactics properly? Referring to it so that everything stays on track? It’s important to USE your strategy when you’re creating anything for your business. Packages, experiences, products, content, customer service, marketing, packaging.. anything at all. Your strategy will help keep these pieces flowing and working together so that your brand appears consistent in all areas. Make a list of your touch points and check them all against your strategy to see if you’re implementing them. It might be there’s improvements you can make that will help your brand come across stronger.

Next up.. when your strategy was created how involved were you in the process? Did you have a big discussion with your strategist or write it yourself?

If not, then you’re probably not connected to it. You’ll have no oomph behind you because it won’t be based on you. It matters that your strategy is something that you can get behind, that it covers what you actually want and care about, that it means something to you.

Maybe… there’s something off.

Your strategist ought to have spent time running through questions, maybe workshopping some areas, helping both of you to find the clarity needed to write a workable strategy. Lack of clarity, not digging deep enough, not understanding your purpose or position – this matters. It’s important to make time for this. Were the right questions asked? Was enough research done?

If you wrote it yourself, did you know what you were doing? Could you have missed something? Not explored something more deeply? Writing a strategy isn’t hard, but it does require commitment, research, thinking, time and a willingness to look hard at your business and your heart. Revisit, review and re-write!

You’re ignoring the strategy and jumping straight into action.

Wise words from Sun Tzu… “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” If you’ve jumped ahead to the tactics and ignored all of the strategy work then yes you’ll make some progress, but your action won’t be rooted in strategy – you need the map so you can follow the route. Don’t skip out on the pieces that matter.

Everything you do for your brand – when you’re marketing your business, speaking to customers, delivering the work or product – needs to be aligned with the purpose, values, personality, brand idea and goals of your brand. If you’re striking out without reference to these then you might be missing them.

Is it possible that you’ve taken an action which doesn’t align with your strategy?

It’s really important to stick with your strategy. If you do something that isn’t congruent with your decisions, with how you present your brand, with your purpose.. people will notice. And that can cause them to lose trust.

Things change.

It is perfectly OK to change your strategy if aspects of it don’t ring true anymore. Not on a whim or on a weekly basis – just when key things happen.

It’s a long term guide, but even the best long term plans can be altered, things happen. Suddenly an opportunity arrives or something happens which you’d never have imagined and takes you in a different direction and-poof!- your strategy needs a twiddle. There’s a slight audience change, or a competitor does something and suddenly you can fill a gap better, or maybe the key issues change or something new appears which changes everything.. then it’s important to consult your strategy and change the areas which need changing. See where alterations are required within your existing strategy – not changing every single piece of it as a result, just tweaking gently where it’s required so that it makes sense again under new conditions. As you grow, your brand needs to grow too.

If it’s time to revisit your brand strategy – or if you don’t have one – I’m right here. Get in touch!

Amy Purdie, The Brand Explorer takes you on an Adventure to discover what your brand is all about, helping you with your brand strategy, brand visuals and content ideas. You can join Amy’s Brand Success Club or join her in your very own Private Brand Adventure.

Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.

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