Credit from book Beloved Brands
Every brand should have a brand strategy roadmap that includes the vision, purpose, values, key issues, strategies, and tactics. As well, it should layer in the brand idea to deliver a consistent brand across the five consumer touchpoints. To ensure you have a long-range plan everyone can follow, you should get your brand strategy roadmap down to one page. Some will also refer to this as a strategic plan, or even a strat plan.
Get your long-range plan on one page
Have you ever noticed people who say, “We need to get everyone on the same page” rarely have anything written down on one page? The same people who use the term “fewer bigger bets” are fans of little projects that deplete resources.
People say they are good decision-makers, yet struggle when faced with two distinct choices, so they creatively find a way to justify doing both options.
Always look at a long-range plan as an opportunity to make decisions on how to allocate your brand’s limited resources to the smartest ideas that will drive the highest return. Think of the brand strategy roadmap as a decision-making tool to align your team with the best financial investment choices and the best decisions on how to deploy your people. The brand strategy roadmap should then align and focus everyone who works on the brand, including the leader who writes the plan.
The brand strategy roadmap combines our brand idea map and the long-term plan elements.
Align the brand idea across five consumer touchpoints
Today’s market is a cluttered mess. The consumer is bombarded with brand messages all day, and inundated with more information from influencers, friends, experts, critics, and competitors. While the internet makes shopping easier, consumers must now filter out tons of information daily. Moreover, the consumer’s shopping patterns have gone from a simple, linear purchase pattern into complex, cluttered chaos.
Five main touchpoints reach consumers, including the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment, and consumer experience. Regardless of the order, they reach the consumer; if the brand does not deliver a consistent message, the consumer will be confused and likely shut out that brand.
While brands cannot control what order each touchpoint reaches the consumer, they can undoubtedly align each of those touchpoints under the brand idea.
Here’s how the brand idea stretches across the five consumer touchpoints
Brand promise: Use the brand idea to inspire a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors, and projects your brand as better, different, or cheaper, based on your brand positioning.
Brand story: The brand story must come to life to motivate consumers to think, feel, or act while it works establishes the ideal brand’s reputation to be held in the minds and hearts of the consumer. The brand story should align all brand communications across all media options.
Innovation: Build a fundamentally sound product, staying at the forefront of trends and technology to deliver innovation. Steer the product development teams to ensure they remain true to the brand idea.
Purchase moment: The brand idea must move consumers along the purchase journey to the final purchase decision. The brand idea helps steer the sales team and sets up retail channels to close the sale.
Consumer experience: Turn the usage into a consumer experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of the consumer’s day. The brand idea guides the culture of everyone behind the brand to deliver the experience.
Start your strategic plan rough draft with the brand strategy roadmap elements
Vision: The vision in the brand strategy roadmap should answer the question, “Where could we be?” Put a stake in the ground that describes an ideal state for your future. It should be able to last for five to 10 years. The vision gives everyone clear direction. It should motivate the team, written in a way that scares you a little and excites you a lot.
Brand purpose: The purpose has to answer the question, “Why does your brand exist?” It’s the underlying personal motivation for why you do what you do. The purpose is a powerful way to connect with employees and consumers, giving your brand a soul.
Values: The values you choose should answer, “What do you stand for?” Your values should guide you and shape the organization’s standards, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, and motivations. A brand must consistently deliver each value.
Goals: Your goals in the brand strategy roadmap should answer, “What will you achieve?” The specific measures can include consumer behavioral changes, metrics of crucial programs, in-market performance targets, financial results, or milestones on the pathway to the vision. You can use these goals to set up a brand dashboard or scoreboard.
Situation analysis: Use your deep-dive business review to answer, “Where are we?” Your analysis must summarize the drivers and inhibitors currently facing the brand, and the future threats and untapped opportunities.
Then set an action plan to include in the brand strategy roadmap
Key issues: The key issues answer the question, “Why are we here?” Look at what is getting in your way of achieving your brand vision. Ask the issues as questions, to set up the challenges to the strategies as the answer to each issue.
Strategies: Your strategy decisions must answer, “How can we get there?” Your choices depend on market opportunities you see with consumers, competitors, or situations. Strategies must provide clear marching orders that define the strategic program you are investing in, the focused opportunity, the desired market impact and the payback in a performance result that benefits the branded business.
Tactics: The tactics answer, “What do we need to do?” Framed entirely by strategy, tactics turn into action plans with clear marching orders to your teams. Decide on which activities to invest in to stay on track with your vision while delivering the highest ROI and the highest ROE for your branded business.