So often in our businesses we look at strategy as a planning function and the focus is all about getting a plan on paper and not about what really matters which is implementing a strategy that will drive real results. Strategy should never be about planning alone, rather we need to focus on strategic management of our companies taking a systematic approach which incorporates assessment; positioning; planning and implementation and which vitally has buy-in from not just management but the entire organisation. These principles can and should be applied to the Branding Process to ensure that the Brand is authentic for both customers and staff alike and that it offers the differentiation and the scope required to position a business for both short and longer term goals.
It can be difficult to take that step back within your business, to be really objective and to see yourself through the eyes of your customers (and indeed the competitive marketplace you inhabit). Only when you make an open and honest assessment of your business can you begin to understand what you have to offer and to articulate this to your target audience. Brand is a vital part of this process and one that you cannot afford to get wrong in a world where the customer is faced with so much choice and service expectations have never been higher. Any competitive advantage is temporary so in order to be successful it’s vital that Brands recognise this and are constantly assessing their positioning versus that of their competitors and consistently reinventing themselves through continuous improvement and innovation. This process requires dedication and investment but it is one that none of us can ignore.