A Tale of Two Strategies: When Brand Strategy Impacts Business Strategy
A Tale of Two Strategies: When Brand Strategy Impacts Business Strategy
Understanding the Struggle: Symptoms of a Dissonant Brand Strategy
As a business owner or marketing professional, you might feel disconnected between your brand and your business strategy, even if you can't pinpoint its source. You see the symptoms: a promising product line fails to resonate with your audience, or your new service, which should be revolutionary, stirs only ripples in the market instead of waves. Your marketing and sales teams seem to be reciting from different scripts, leaving your customers puzzled about what your brand truly stands for. At Deksia, we've not only seen this tale unfold, but we've lived it ourselves. We understand the frustration of disjointed messaging and the yearning for a narrative that sings in tune with your vision.
The Rift Between Brand and Business
The problem often lies hidden in plain sight: a rift between your brand strategy and your business strategy. This gap can occur, and then widen unnoticed, muddying your messaging and diluting the impact of your offerings. It’s like a café that begins with a mission to offer a cozy space and the best locally roasted coffee, yet over time, it starts to introduce a dizzying array of international teas, pastries, and merchandise. The original brand message of premium, locally sourced coffee becomes obscured. Customers start to wonder, is this a coffee haven or a general store? The brand’s essence is lost in the mix, and with it, the distinct appeal to its loyal coffee enthusiasts. It's a common story that we, as entrepreneurs and marketers, know all too well.
Consider a well-known tech company that started with a simple, clear mission: to create an intuitive operating system for personal computers. Over the years, their product line expanded to phones, music players, news websites, and even streaming services. While innovation spurred growth, it also complicated their brand narrative. Was their core identity still about simplifying technology, or had it morphed into something unrecognizable? Without reevaluating their brand strategy to align with their evolving business strategy, they confused their customers and eroded their foundational brand equity. Since then, Microsoft has closed or spun off business units that do not align with its brand. The result? Its market position, profitability, and share price positively reflect its renewed focus.
In both scenarios, the businesses’ strategies shifted without updating their brand strategy to support the new strategic focus. This misalignment is not just a marketing challenge; it's a strategic fault line that can fracture the foundation of a business’s identity and market position.
Aspiring for Growth: Your Brand's Unmet Potential
You desire growth, and not merely about broadening your customer base, but deepening the roots of your brand's presence in their lives. Growth should be symbiotic, with your brand and customers flourishing together. Your brand should be the lighthouse, its beam consistently cutting through the fog of market saturation to arrive at the shores of your audience's needs and desires. This beacon is not just seen but felt, drawing customers toward you through the emotional and psychological resonance of a shared identity and values.
This is the dream we share with you—a dream that motivates us to transform potential into performance. It's about understanding the profound mechanics of brand strategy as the gravitational center of your business universe. From product development to customer experience, from your internal culture to your external communications, everything orbits around your brand identity. When all elements are in harmony with each other, your brand's gravitational pull becomes irresistible, drawing in customers and propelling your business toward the growth you aspire to achieve.
Bridging the Gap: Assessing Your Strategic Alignment
To discern whether your brand strategy is in harmony with your business strategy, consider these key questions:
- Confused Audience Perceptions: Audiences have a vague or conflicting understanding of what your brand stands for or offers.
- Inconsistent Experience: There's a noticeable disconnect between the brand promise and the actual experience with your products or services.
- Lack of Credibility: Specific market segments question the brand's authenticity or reliability due to inconsistent messaging or unmet expectations.
- Reduced Loyalty: There's a drop in repeat business or referrals, indicating that the brand isn't resonating with or retaining its target audience.
- Competitive Vulnerability: Competitors are encroaching on your market position due to your brand strategy being disconnected from your business strategy, a gap they can and do exploit.
- Ineffective Launches: New products or services confuse the market because they don't align with the established brand narrative or customer expectations.
These questions are a starting point to understand if there is a problem being caused by your brand not aligning with your business strategy. There are many more ways to identify if there is a gap and the consequences of that gap for both marketing and business objectives. Confused? Don’t be. Connect with us, and we’ll do a complimentary working session to determine if there even is a disconnect, and if so, what are some options to address it.
Archetypes and Their Role in Brand Strategy
The crescendo of a successful business lies in the sophistication of its strategies. The right brand strategy can profoundly and positively influence the realization of business objectives. But to achieve this, one must understand a core tool psychological shorthand that brands embody—archetypes. These universally recognized characters offer a way to swiftly connect with both internal and external audiences, providing a narrative framework that is instinctively understood and related to.
Archetypes serve as the conductors of brand perception, guiding the narrative and ensuring each movement is purposeful and understood. By aligning your brand with an archetype, you tap into the deep-seated stories and characters that shape human understanding, making your brand instantly recognizable and relatable.
Not sure where to start? Try our brand archetype quiz. While it does not define your archetype for you, it gets you thinking and exploring in the right direction.
Orchestrating Alignment: Attuning Your Brand with Your Business Vision
Navigating the alignment between your brand and your business strategy requires a thoughtful and proactive approach. The following steps serve as a guide to bridging any gaps, ensuring that your brand not only reflects your business's core objectives but also propels it forward in the marketplace. Here's how you can start this pivotal journey:
- Clarify Business Strategy: Re-examine your business strategy to ensure it is clearly defined and articulated. It should be evident how each department's objectives contribute to the overarching goals of the company.
- Assess Brand Coherence: Evaluate whether your current branding effectively reflects and supports your business strategy. Consider if there is a need for diversification of brands to better represent different products, services, or market segments.
- Analyze Brand-Strategy Alignment: Systematically compare your brand strategy against your business strategy to identify gaps and inconsistencies. This should include reviewing your brand's mission, vision, values, and messaging.
- Review Business Evolution: Reflect on how your business has evolved. Have new product lines, services, or markets been developed since the last brand update? Ensure that the brand has adapted to these changes and continues to represent the business accurately.
- Evaluate Market Dynamics: Understand the current market dynamics and how they influence your business strategy. Your brand should be agile enough to adapt to these changes while maintaining its core identity.
- Create an Alignment Roadmap: Develop a strategic plan (with clear, actionable steps) that addresses any identified misalignments. This roadmap should outline actionable steps for updating your brand strategy to ensure it complements and enhances your business strategy.
- Implement and Communicate Changes: Once alignment is achieved, implement the necessary changes. Communicate these changes internally and externally to ensure all stakeholders understand the brand's evolution and its role in the business strategy.
A business that masters the art of integrating its brand strategy with its business strategy conducts a performance that resonates with authenticity and drives sustainable growth. The alignment of these two strategies is not merely a marketing exercise but a fundamental business practice that ensures every note played echoes the core message and values of the company.
A brand that resonates in perfect harmony with your business strategy isn't a distant dream. It's the reality we build with our clients every day. Let Deksia be your guide from dissonance to resonance, from potential to performance.
A Strategic Invitation
Ready to align your brand with the rhythm of your business goals? Meet with our Director of Strategy to review your current brand and business strategy and uncover opportunities for growth. Together, we'll forge connections and set the stage to amplify your business's potential. [Book Your Review]