A brand strategy can take as many forms as the number of brands that exist in the world. However, they fulfill certain criteria to successfully reach their brand goals. Here are the 7 most important criteria to check if you have developed a good and effective brand strategy.
1. Provides a clear overall direction
Without mentioning the specifics, a good brand strategy tells you the general approach you will have take to meet your goals. Look at Tesla as an example. The electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer could have entered the EV market with a value-optimizing car, just as the existing Chevy Volt and Toyota Hybrid did. Instead, Tesla focused on form and function – thereby, creating a whole new luxury sports EV segment all for itself. This is a brand which is anchored by a clear vision and purpose.
2. Utilizes competitive advantage
A strong brand strategy identifies areas of competitive advantage and takes advantage of these resources to address emerging opportunities. Have a look at the case of world-renowned animation film studio, Pixar. A single film is rumored to have a production cycle of about 5 years. The brand knows that it has the world’s most creative people on board and, therefore, follows a quality-over-quantity strategy to stay on top.
3. Minimizes resistance and barriers
Newly formed strategies bring about changes to any brand and will always encounter resistance of some sort. This is natural. A good brand strategy takes this into account and does not provide any reason for people to oppose the change in the first place. This is because the strategy has been well planned to account for existing resources and capabilities – especially those of the employees. Employees see the new brand strategy as an opportunity for personal and career growth.
4. Has a good system of action in place
A good brand strategy would have a carefully tailored system of value creation. The brand strategy actually addresses the aims of the organization and the issues faced by the customers. In short, it adds real value. It advances the overall mission of your company and reaches out to those affected.
5. Is understood and shared by the entire organization
Your entire organization must internalize the strategic direction of your brand. For your employees to be able to do this, the brand strategy must be applicable and relevant to what they do at work every day. Your strategy must be valid and clear enough that corresponding operational and tactical decisions can easily follow suit.
6. Follows deep analysis of internal and external environments
A good strategy is one formulated after taking into consideration the many influences on the brand – both external and internal. The brand strategy would, therefore, automatically optimize the usage of your brand’s strengths to take advantage of opportunities in the market and ward off any threats.
7. Is flexible in adapting to changing conditions
The eventualities you had foreseen in strategy planning won’t necessarily be what occurs during strategy execution. A good strategy takes this into account and is flexible enough to adapt to changing or unforeseen circumstances. For instance, Emirates partnered with Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston to showcase the wide range of in-flight facilities in a viral ad which put US airlines to shame. Following the recent ban on electronic devices on-board US-bound airlines from certain countries, Emirates recycled the same ad with a different theme: ‘Who needs tablets and laptops anyway?’ Instead of creating an entirely new campaign to address the latest developments, it simply shifted focus to how its in-flight entertainment is the perfect substitute for personal electronic devices.
At the end of the day, your brand strategy is the most deciding factor of your customers’ happiness. So, don’t hesitate to spend a good amount of time and effort in modifying your brand to fit our guidelines discussed above.