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The six BIG benefits of a brand strategy.

A recent Gartner CMO survey put brand strategy as the number 1 strategic priority going into 2021 - ahead of subjects like market analytics, marketing operations, and digital commerce. But why is that? And exactly what is brand strategy?

A brand strategy is a framework to make good choices by prioritising the purpose and character of your brand. Its role is to inspire and equip you (the brand owner) to make the best decisions in the delivery of your brand to your customers.

In this two part series I’m going to unpack the six BIG reasons why brand strategy is such a priority for CMO’s, founders and leadership teams.

1. Internal alignment

The first reason is that, ironically, a brand strategy does not belong solely to the marketing department, it’s meant for the whole organisation. It impacts the whole organisation because it should represent the business and everyone that surrounds it.

I often think of the brand strategy as having a dual purpose. Yes, it has to communicate your brand to your customers, but for me as a brand strategist, the most important audience is your team – those responsible for communicating the brand to your customers. I call it the duality of a brand strategy.

2. Resource efficiencies

The second big benefit is all around the notion of boosting your resources. If everybody is aligned, if the whole team is going in the same direction, you’re going to be more effective in your communications, and you're going to be more efficient in how you use your resources.

This will also deliver cost savings as all your team and your suppliers will have a crystal clear understanding of what the brand stands for and what it doesn’t – meaning right first time creative presentations or new product innovations for example

3. Direction definition

The third big benefit is knowing where you are going as a business. I call it brand vision and often think of it as a destination. The useful thing about a destination is, if you define it, you'll know when you arrive. (Conversely, if you don't define your destination, how do you know when you get there?!)

By defining a brand vision - two or three sentences in language that's understandable - allows your team to move in the same direction, and importantly it gives you the opportunity to say, “what do we have that's going to help us move towards this destination?” I call these your Drivers. Equally, it will allow you to ask, "what's going to slow us down? What are our Barriers?" If we recognise our drivers, we can draw from them; if we acknowledge our barriers, we can deal with them.

In Part 2, we will look at how a brand strategy can help a business prioritise its focus, define its true value and ensure its differentiates itself from others in its sector.

Bruce M McKinnon is a Brand Strategist and author of the award-winning book ‘What’s Your Point?’ that can be purchased from Amazon. The book explores how brand strategy can fuel business growth, referencing some of the world’s most successful brands as well as sharing case studies from his own global consulting practice.

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