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Illuminate Your Marketing With A Brand Strategy

This post first appeared on July 31, 2017.

I wrote a movie script. It goes like this:

Hello. I’m Kevin Walker from Boardwalk. I’m standing in the dark because I want to illustrate a point about the value of having a well-considered brand strategy. Any business, product, service, campaign or event needs to be marketed. And if you have something that needs to be marketed then you need a clear brand strategy to light your way. Otherwise, your marketing team, like so many these days, will be operating in the dark. Now, even when a marketing team is lost in the dark, they still have tactical options. They can do the things most marketing teams do. They can improve their website, run some ads or print a brochure. But they will be feeling their way, lacking a clear direction, and always in fear of falling off a cliff or running into a wall or some other obstacle because … well, they’re in the dark. They have no vision. They can’t even be clear about where they want to go.

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Seven Steps to a Brand Refresh in 2020

To build a brand, one has to, first, determine what your market expects of your enterprise and, then, align the presentation of your products and services to match those expectations. For most existing enterprises – businesses, nonprofits, etc. – the alignment can be relatively easy to accomplish because, presumably, they’ve already been more or less meeting expectations for some time. Very often, all that’s required is a brand refresh, sort of like when a married couple renews its vows. Sometimes, however, existing companies allow their brands to become so neglected they lose all value and power. These companies reduce themselves to commodities and, if they are to try to rebuild their brand, they have to start at the very beginning, as if they were brand new.

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How To Calculate Return On Brand Promise

Return on investment. Buy low, sell high! We all know the basic objective of business. Cover your costs, earn a profit and generate wealth. And repeat. It sounds so simple and yet thousands of businesses flounder and die every year. How do businesses fail? There are too many ways to count. But some fail because they focus solely on making money and forget they exist to serve a purpose – a purpose to the market. Some forget, or never realized in the first place, that they have a brand promise to keep. The market expects them to deliver on it and, if they don’t, the market will not reward them with repeat business. That’s a recipe for tepid sales or, at worst, a going-out-of-business sale. But how does a business, even one that has formalized its brand strategy, know when it’s staying on-brand? How can it keep from drifting into territories that will dilute its relationship with the market? With the ROI/ROBP grid. That’s how.

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Why All Business Brands Are B2H

Every company has a brand. B2C companies tend to take their brands seriously. They know how important it is for them to establish a rapport with consumers. They know their customers buy based on emotional factors. So they take care to wrap their messaging in the right kind of emotional triggers, using the right colors, […]

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Business Strategy and Brand Strategy

My background as an artist and graphic designer led me to my entire approach to brand strategy. I work with my branding clients the way I do because my background and experience brought me to my unique methodology. I see brands as the shared relationship between marketable assets and their markets. Brand strategy is the art and science of defining and managing that shared relationship for growth and profit. But then I wondered, what is the difference between that and an overall business strategy? So I set out to learn all about business strategy. I fired up the ol’ Google machine and started clicking and reading. It turns out a lot has been written on the subject of business strategy – apparently, all by people who have never talked to one another. I can’t exactly say that the articles I read on the subject often contradicted each other. But they all put emphasis on different things and, often, even omitted different things. In the following paragraphs, I’m going to attempt to describe how brand strategy fits into an overall business strategy. But, readers, please be aware. I’m going to use a definition of business strategy that makes sense to me but it may not be the one that makes the most sense to you. But, hopefully, you’ll see how brand strategy fits into your definition as well.

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