WARNING: This is not another article about the importance of having a ‘motherhood’ Vision for your brand, business or organisation.
Rather, it’s about how the key drivers within your Business Strategy are included in your Brand Vision and then become key drivers within the overall Brand Strategy
But first what do we mean by Vision?
Vision, as defined in business literature, can vary from a simple sentence to a much more detailed description of the values and desired direction.
The BrandQuest view of Vision is aligned with Jim Collins and Jerry Porras who define it as a “vivid description” of what a company will be like in a number of years from now – being as descriptive as possible (refer; Harvard Business Review article “Building Your Company’s Vision”, Sep-Oct 1996).
If you were driving a car, then your Vision would be your end destination.
The reason you create a Brand Strategy is to deliver to your Brand Vision. Your brand strategy becomes the conduit that converts your Vision into actionable tactics that affect your customers/clients and even your staff in achieving your ‘end goals’ ie; your Vision.
For example, let’s compare two plausible Vision’s – Vision 1 sees your companies brand growing at its current organic growth rate, while Vision 2 sees the brand growth leaping 30% year on year over the next 3 years.
It is not hard to envisage that Vision 2 will have a significant difference on marketing requirements and resources. To begin with, your marketing budget to drive incremental sales will be significantly more in the second scenario.
Potentially it will also affect the number of people you need devoted to sales and marketing, your geographic presence, your pricing, your channel strategy, even where and how you promote. The impact on your brand strategy is considerable.
Similarly, your brand strategy will be impacted if your Brand Vision requires the development of a new product or service. This will mean a brand awareness strategy at the very least, but may also mean much more than that e.g. sub brand naming and logo development, brochures, addition to your website etc.
Your Brand Vision drives your Brand Strategy.
In much the same way as a destination drives your choice of route, your Vision directly impacts your Brand Strategy. For this reason, it is critical that your Brand Strategy is based on the key drivers to brand and business success identified in your overall Business Strategy.
Once this is achieved, your brand strategy will be aligned with your business strategy and you will have important indicators that identify any subsequent changes required as a result from any changes in your business or market.
What drivers are critical for inclusion in my Brand Vision?
At BrandQuest, we have found certain drivers to be more influential on your Brand Strategy. Before spending any more money on marketing, we suggest as a minimum, you have a clearly articulated Brand Vision that incorporates the following drivers:
- Revenue and Profit: What are your revenue and profit projections? As described above, the anticipated growth in these numbers will have a direct effect on all marketing. We find that if a business wants to significantly increase its growth rate, it will also have to significantly increase its marketing spend to drive those sales (while still maintaining its profit ratios).
- Market Penetration: What are your goals for your market penetration by product and market. The higher the penetration rate, either due to increased competitive pressure (stealing share from your competitors), growing the market (requiring greater brand awareness) or growing a new market (educating the market), require an increase in marketing spend above your normal sales / marketing ratio.
- Geography: What geographic presence will you have in 3 -5 years (this may be additional suburbs, cities within your state, country wide, regional or even global)? Geography will dictate how focused or widespread your marketing will be, as well as what types of media to use. For instance, if you are focused on an entire city you might consider mass-market advertising as opposed to a local suburb where mass-media will be an over-kill and incur lots of wastage. Conversely, bus or transit advertising may be efficiently used locally but might be too expensive to cover an entire city.
- Product and Services: What product mix do you intend to have? Clearly this impacts on how you market your products, how you might bundle them, cross promote them, up-sell them etc.
- Typically other areas that might impact your marketing are:
- Your exit/succession/promotion plans
- How technology may affect your business
- Potential Acquisitions etc.
- Operations Strategy: e.g. how many factories, your staff requirements by facility
- Organisation & HR Strategy: how many people, your bonus strategies, retention strategies etc.
- Financial Strategy: how you plan to raise money, your taxation policies.
How far ahead should you set your Brand Vision?
A period of 3 – 5 years lets you project your business far enough into the future to incorporate your aspirations – but close enough to still have a good level of built in realism.
Once key Brand initiatives and objectives are identified from your Brand Vision, make them integral to your marketing planning. We suggest that once you have identified the key Brand initiatives to achieve your Business Vision they be incorporated into your Brand Strategy (include them as an appendix to your Business Plan) and create a stand-alone document for these initiatives and their required planning.
The benefit is that the key drivers for the business success are now included as the Brand Vision within your Brand Strategy for marketing implementation. It is critical that this document be reviewed quarterly and/or whenever your business or market changes.
WANT BRANDQUEST’S HELP WITH YOUR BRAND VISION?
We can help you articulate a Brand Vision for your business.
Call Jason or Graeme on 02 8226 8702 or via email:
BrandQuest is a strategy and brand management consultancy that intrinsically believes that great brands are born of the founders and staff who work there. They are not the result of an outsourced creative endeavour but the cumulative knowledge that a company possesses.
Since 2007, BrandQuest has developed a process that within a 3 week time frame can extract and refine this inner knowledge into a powerful brand strategy.
Our clients work with us because they seek:
- Increased brand and business value
- Alignment, clarity and direction for their Branding
- Robust, authentic and fearless advice