July 2, 2013 by Rebecca Anderson
We’re at the midpoint of a six-part series on branding, and it’s time to talk strategy. (Break out the playbooks and dry-erase markers. It’s XXs and OOs time.)
The worksheet included a section on strategy, and posed the following questions:
- What is your company’s ultimate purpose?
- Do you have your company’s mission, vision or value proposition written down?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What is the most important element of your product/service?
If you are a budding student of the brand, you’ve already taken the time to write down the answers to these questions. All others must write “I will not water down my brand” 1,500 times on pieces of Mead wide-ruled notebook filler paper.
But seriously, the answers to these questions are crucial in helping develop a brand strategy. Your business may have several facets, but you don’t haphazardly focus on an element without developing a strategy. You have to know who you are to know where you are going.
McDonald’s executives aren’t likely to sit in a board room and talk about the little nut packets that come with hot-fudge sundaes. This is not the focus of their marketing efforts. Those nuts aren’t important enough to generate revenue and therefore, don’t warrant marketing dollars.
According to an April article in Forbes magazine, what’s really going on is, “McDonald’s continues to broaden its product portfolio by offering high quality coffee and healthy drinks (either through its traditional restaurants or the Cafés), competing head to head with Starbucks and local cafeterias—benefiting from local trends like austerity in Europe.”1
It’s hardly haphazard.
Just because you aren’t the world’s largest food chain, doesn’t mean that you can’t approach your branding and promotion with the same precision.
And take a serious look at the answers to the questions you’ve written down. Take some time to think about those answers, and how you incorporate them into the development and perpetuation of your brand.
Don’t break the playbook before it’s written.