You’ve Got a Brand Strategy – NOW WHAT?

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If your company has finally taken the initiative and taken on the task of developing a brand strategy then give yourselves a well deserved pat on the back. Chances are you’ve put a lot of effort into developing your strategy and you believe that you’ve developed something that will differentiate you in your market place.

Now comes one of the most difficult stages in addressing your brand strategy – initiating it.

What is your long term plan for making your brand strategy real? How are you going to convince all the stake holders of your brand to embrace all that you have developed? How passionate will they be with the role-out of the new brand strategy? These are very hard questions. Many companies and municipalities that have worked so hard to develop their brand strategies think that they have been diligent through out the process by keeping stake holders “informed” of progress and decisions made. But in many cases they (certain stakeholders) have agendas that have nothing to do with the success of your efforts.

While it may seem absolutely impossible to make everyone happy about the journey they are about to embark on, there is a way to minimize negative responses to the roll-out of your brand strategy.

“The plan” is to address this at the very BEGINNING of the process. Before you start your journey down the road to establishing a stronger- more effective brand, you must build a strategic branding team. This very important group of people must be comprised of stakeholders who not only represent every touch point of your brand but also who will become your brand advocates once the process is complete.

Among this group are what have been called “wrenches”. These are folks who are good employees, but are by their nature, people who throw monkey wrenches into what are essentially good initiatives because they are not as passionate about them as the you. These people are usually seen as leaders among their peers. They are outspoken and are then followed by those who are more introverted. We want these “wrenches” on our branding team because if we make them a part of the solution, they will become advocates for the brand. This will go a long way into helping make the brand strategy real in the hearts and minds of all the stakeholders.

As a matter of fact I’ve seen this technique used to get buy ins from employees on other issues as well. It is of course human nature. Once their opinions are taken seriously on an issue and they’re implemented, their level of respect for that issue takes on a whole different life of it’s own. It is now “their issue” and they have a vested interest in it’s success.

What ever your plans are to launch your brand strategy, this is one area that will torpedo your efforts if you do not handle it properly. Wrenches can become a plague if they go unchecked. You don’t want your efforts to become any more difficult than they have to be.

Comments

  1. Good points, Ed. I’m amazed by how little frontline staff get paid. No wonder they don’t become advocates for people’s brands.

  2. Do you think that money is always the motivation? I’ve worked for people over the years who might have under paid me BUT I loved working there. I would suspect that if an employee isn’t an advocate for the company, it’s really not about the money.

  3. I agree Ed, I have recently graduated from University and have about 4 years experience working in a markeitng department.

    I am now working for a design and branding company and not on a huge wage but I love my job. Many graduates finish University expecting big bucks but I am doing something every day that I adore. I get excited when I start a new branding campaign or marketing project. Lets hope I feel like this for a long time to come.

    Chris
    http://www.threerooms.com

  4. Your passion really shines Chris. I think you will always feel like you do right now.
    Being in an industry that motivates people is an endless fascination. It’s much like a rock star. Their motivation is their art. Sure the money’s great at the top, but even if they chucked it all, in the end they still love to create. (and they do again just for beer money).