You are what you do, and not what you say you’ll do.
The simple truth which proves itself time and again in the business world.
Strategy and planning are crucial for the success of any kind of execution. But, without action, these remain just words. Actions are necessary to translate an idea to reality. It is only the reality that can be sensed, measured, evaluated and refined.
At the basic level, Brand Strategy is nothing but Strategy! A good brand strategy is the one that is constructed around well defined and orchestrated set of functional and emotional experiences that one wants their customers to experience when they communicate with the company. Strategy and Action, both are indispensable to Brand Building and that is the reason, many organizations suffer at the hand of execution in spite of having built beautiful websites and content.
Having worked extensively with companies to execute their Branding Strategies, here are some points that ensure an appealing reality experienced by customers.
Brand Roadmap: The roadmap allows the organization to identify the initiatives, both, internal and external which play a key role in delivering the (customer) experience, which the Brand Strategy aims for. It also enables the decision-maker to begin to execute and take action immediately with clear set priorities and assigned resources.
Customer Experience Innovation: One of the most critical and time taking process. A successful Brand Strategy is always associated with a set of customer experience innovations that align with what people think when they interact with the brand. E.g. if the brand strategy is built around notion of agility, Brand roadmap should be designed in such a way that it improves and delivers customer experience while reinforcing agility at every step.
Corporate Narrative: The strongest brands tirelessly focus on re-shaping the industry dynamics in a manner that is completely in sync with their own brand vision and strategic growth plans. This can be achieved through a carefully designed corporate narrative, which presents an inspiring yet believable future that can be made possible by the company’s unique value and perspective.
Measure: The old saying “You cannot manage what you can’t measure” could not be more true! Brand performance needs to be measured and managed at regular intervals, which needless to say, needs to be done with precision. This is an important step, as regular check-ups will help the organization take the corrective measures in time and help in achieving the intended goal.
Employees First: Last but not the least; your employees are your key to develop your brand. Employees’ clear understanding and avid endorsement of the brand strategy (with its purpose, vision and benefits) are essential to ensure customer interactions result in the desired impression and associations. Let’s remember – Brands are created by the people, for the people!
Action is paramount to realize the potential of any Brand Strategy, as long as it is resolute, planned, smart and honest. Else, it is just motion.