Developing Your Brand Strategy

Marketing

by Kenny Hyder

StrategyLately I have been seeing a lot of star­tups figh­ting to boot-strap and deve­lop their stra­tegy in order to get things rolling. It seems like almost all of my friends are either run­ning or trying to start a small busi­ness these days! I love it! I think the grea­test thing about this is that the majo­rity of boot-strappers today are peo­ple like me, who just decide to start a busi­ness and figure the rest out as they go. I wan­ted to write a few basics to deve­lo­ping brand stra­tegy that I have lear­ned from launching a few star­tups as a remin­der to myself, as I am once again in star­tup mode, and to help others that are on the same path as me!

Launching a busi­ness shouldn’t be scary. If you have a little bit of con­fi­dence, some deter­mi­na­tion, and cof­fee, you should be good to go!

At the very core, your brand stra­tegy should have a vision, direc­tion and action plan.

Vision

Most com­pa­nies and brands get the vision part. Ever­yone has an idea of where they want to go with their brand, com­pany & future. It can be as grand as being the glo­bal lea­der in your industry, or as sim­ple as gro­wing big enough to be recog­ni­zed to the point so you can sell to a lar­ger com­pany. Unders­tan­ding and deve­lo­ping the vision of your brand is the cor­ners­tone to the suc­cess of your busi­ness. I think the impor­tant thing to strive for when deve­lo­ping your vision is not to over-complicate it. Deve­lo­ping a vision is a neces­sary pro­cess to help form a pic­ture of where you want to go; it will serve as a basic gui­de­line to follow, but it will also mold and change along the way. For some brands more than others, deve­lo­ping a rigid and com­plex vision at the start is the wrong approach and a waste of time. Get your vision, and move along.

Direc­tion

Your direc­tion, while dif­fe­rent than your vision, will get its influence directly from your vision. Direc­tion is the step you need to take to get to the end goal you have deve­lo­ped in your vision. Direc­tion starts with what is called a Cri­ti­cal Path Analy­sis, where you start with the end goal in mind, and work back­wards with each step requi­red to get to the next bench­mark in mind. Think of this as your blue­print for your brand’s suc­cess. Details in this plan may change, but once the foun­da­tion of the plan is laid out, it shouldn’t stray too much. Once you have the vision in mind, deve­lo­ping the plan and direc­tion nee­ded to get there shouldn’t be too dif­fi­cult. My recom­men­da­tion is to ask for help from other peo­ple that have suc­cess in areas you need help in. Deve­lo­ping your blue­print for suc­cess can be a daun­ting task at times, but peo­ple are willing to help and give advice!

Action Plan

The action plan is simply laying down the work for the direc­tion you have deve­lo­ped. How are you going to achieve the goals you have set in your Cri­ti­cal Path Analy­sis? Who is going to do the steps? Whose help is nee­ded to help achieve these goals? And then doing all of the steps.

Once you have these things in place, all that is left is to put in the time and do what you already know best! Run­ning your busi­ness from here on out should be a fun adventure!

Photo Cre­dit: romain­guy

{ 4 comments }

Chris December 15, 2009 at 9:37 am

Great post. Seems like most people have the vision part down, but absolutely no direction. They just pay attention to the end goal. One good tip I’ve heard before also is to think of direction as the car that gets you from point A to point B. If you don’t have that vehicle, 2 things are most likely to happen. Either you give up because the road is too long, and you don’t reach point B at all, or the trip to point B takes FOREVER.

I have no problem with starting a business and getting things planned out along the way, but at least some basics for each step should be planned out ahead of time. They can be tweaked along the way.

Good stuff. Looking forward to reading more.

Matt Siltala December 15, 2009 at 9:39 am

Solid advice here Kenny. I remember in 2004 I launched a new brand, and now several years later 1/4 of the traffic I get is for a keyword that didn’t exist a few years ago (my brand) You have to be able to see that (the vision part of what you are talking about) And then do it. You must check fear at the door, and make it happen. Great tips Kenny!

Austin December 15, 2009 at 9:37 pm

booya! good stuff man.

brian January 20, 2010 at 7:17 am

how long does a brand strategy plan take

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