Planning for Tomorrow
We’ve written a lot about the importance of aligning brand and business strategy. But many leaders dismiss the business strategy as something necessary for the brand strategy. However, without understanding where the business is going, the brand can’t help the business grow in strategic ways.
It’s obvious to work with the marketing team when developing a brand strategy. But gaining clarity on the business strategy can’t happen in a silo. You can’t develop a coherent brand strategy without internal alignment around the business strategy. That means bringing together the product, engineering, operations, sales, marketing, and HR leaders alongside the CEO to align on the direction of the business.
Aligning executives around where the business is headed helps us create the right brand strategy to achieve the strategic goals for the business strategy. Facilitating intensive executive interviews and running workshops within the leadership team goes a long way. With clarity around the business strategy, we are in a better position to ensure that the brand strategy we develop is tightly and strategically aligned to business goals and objectives.
What Your Business Strategy Should Answer
It’s important that when aligning leaders around a shared and articulated business strategy, you answer the following questions. The answers to these questions help us do the strategic work for you.
- What are the short- and long-term goals for the business? Is there an exit strategy? A merger or acquisition in the future?
- What are the revenue and growth expectations? Are there specific target revenue goals the board is looking for? Your investors? Wall Street?
- What is the growth strategy? What is your pricing model? Are you selling products or solutions?
- What’s the human capital plan for achieving the desired business goals? Does that involve recruiting a different and higher level team in order to execute?
- What is the product road map? Are you entering into new markets? Developing new products? What are you building vs. buying to enhance your product offering?
- Is your business set up in the right ways to achieve your goals and objectives? Do you need to shift your organizational structure? Are you ready to hire in a C-suite team? What do they need from the brand?
- How should you allocate resources in order to accomplish these goals?
These questions are integral for shaping the brand strategy – helping to guide your business toward its goals and objectives in the most efficient manner.
Clear Goals Enable a Clear Business Strategy
With the plan for the future of the business clarified, the brand strategy will answer:
- What category do you fit into?
- How do you define market fit?
- What is the competitive landscape?
- What is your positioning in the marketplace?
- Who are your top target audiences?
- What is the value proposition?
- In what ways is your brand unique?
- How does your brand look and feel?
- What voice does your brand speak in?
Business strategy and brand strategy need to work together. Aligning the brand strategy to your business strategy makes your brand better positioned for success. As a result, you will differentiate your brand and make it more meaningful. Defining a clear business strategy makes it easier to create a roadmap that is tailored toward your brand’s short- and long-term growth.
And most importantly, leaders who see the value in sharing their business strategy and long-term vision for their business will get far more value and a stronger ROI from a brand strategy.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy agency.
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