“Strategy” is the underlying thought process that ties everything together in a business’s brand, campaigns, or events. It’s the secret sauce and golden thread that makes sure everything works together cohesively, not only to make sense, but also to create something that is unique and memorable in the mind of consumers.
Creating this type of action plan from scratch might seem overwhelming, but with our help you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals in no time!
The key to a successful, well, anything, is building a good foundation. The elements in this foundation are what helps a brand stay true to who they are and what they are doing, no matter what unforeseen circumstances are thrown their way. Starting our recipe by outlining your brand’s vision, mission, and values, gives you a better idea you’re your company is really about, what it stands for, and how you can show that to your potential customers.
So how do you do it? You start by asking: What is my business currently doing (mission), what do I want it to be doing in the future (vision), and what are the principles that my brand stands for, that I want to keep consistent throughout (values)? With the answers to these 3 questions, you’ll have a better understanding of how to help your uniqueness shine through to clients as you work on elements and campaigns related to your brand.
Ah, the old-faithful SWOT analysis. It may seem like this step is overdone or unnecessary but, in fact, this is a vital step in formulating any business strategy! It can show you where potential holes in your plans can emerge, and shed light upon areas where you didn’t even realize you might have the upper hand! With this knowledge in mind, you can set up any necessary contingency plans, and take full advantage of the opportunities you may come across to really stand out from your competitors.
To perform a SWOT analysis, you should ask yourself what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are. Strengths and Weaknesses can be found within your own company. This is where you should ask what are you naturally amazing at, and what do you tend to struggle with? Weaknesses and Opportunities on the other hand have more to do with your competitors and the business landscape as a whole. Ask: Can you keep up with your competitors and their latest strategies and technologies? If you can’t, this is a weakness. If there is an obvious gap in the market, or an area where your expertise outweighs your competitors’, then this would be an opportunity – and it should be capitalized upon to create a competitive advantage.
You know that saying that “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? This is especially true here. Without long-term goals in mind, it’s difficult to know whether your current business efforts are on track to achieve said goals or not. With a goal or two in mind, you can focus on specific areas within your business and brand strategy that need to be improved upon, and you can even tell which parts of your business will become redundant over time as you hone-in on perfecting your brand and offering to achieve the goals you’ve set out.
At this point it’s a good idea to look at long-term goals in realistic increments. What do you want you brand/event/campaign to achieve in the next year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years? Breaking goals down into these timelines can create a sort of checklist that will help you confirm at those points in time whether or not you are on track with where you want to be. If you haven’t laid goals down beforehand, it’s like going in blind and hoping for the best.
This is where things can get really fun! When deciding how to action the plan you’ve set up, there are so many ways to get creative with it! Just take a look at this article by Bishal Rai, and you’ll see that there are constantly new ways to deliver a message. Besides the classic billboards, brochures, and other traditional media forms, embracing the digital can take a message to a whole new level. We’re not only talking a website and social media, though. We’re talking the opportunity for your business to use chat bots creatively, how you could perhaps incorporate voice search functionality like McDonald’s did, or maybe even just incredibly creative storytelling on platforms like Instagram through stories and IGTV. When marketing efforts are fleshed out so robustly, the message comes through loud and clear and is more likely to stick in the mind of consumers long after they’ve first encountered it.
Great, so you’ve set up a plan and worked out some goals, what now? It’s time to look at exactly how you will measure the success of these plans and goals using KPIs (key performance indicators). Ways you can measure this is by looking at whether certain goals are achieved within a specific time frame, if they generate x amount of traffic to your website, if you get a certain amount of sales by a set date, and so on. These are tangible results that can be measured and gaged to see whether your efforts have truly been successful or not.
And there you have it! If you follow this recipe, you'll have a feast of business success cooking before we can say “strategy”.
No matter what your idea or challenge, share it with us! We thrive on coming up with mind blowing solutions, and no matter what you need, nothing is impossible when using creative concepts backed with serious methodologies.