Michael Porter once said “Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.”
If you think that’s easier said than done, here are 12 tips that we’ve found useful over the years:
Articulate why your BRAND exists
Having worked with both big brands and little brands, the one thing they often have in common is that those who run them aren’t always aligned on why their brand exists. Whether it takes 20 minutes or 4 hours, take the time to describe why your brand exists. It’s often a good idea to do so from the perspective of a consumer and focus on benefits!
Get together with enthusiastic people from a variety of backgrounds and challenge each other to be provocative and brave.
Be the thing that’s better
Take some time to understand the customer journey. Find the frustrations and make life a little bit better for people.
Define a direction and storyboard your strategy
Set out a plan that takes you toward whatever you wrote in answer to why your brand exists - think about big picture chapters and themes.
Start ideating in the future and wind back to today
Add details regarding what you’re going to be offering ‘one day’ and then think about what you’re going to be offering “in the long term', then ‘the medium term’; and finally in the ‘short term’. If you start where you are today you won’t get to such an exciting place!
Be true to yourself and your customers
Don’t be swayed by opinion. Make use of what makes you unique. Stick to your guns.
Don’t we swayed by your competition – who says they know what they’re doing?
See above…. it’s wise to check out the competition, but don’t copy them. Doing so assumes that they know better than you!
Don’t take shortcuts - attention and trust are earned, slowly.
All the successful brands, artists, youtuber’s etc got there by hustling and making content consistently. It might look like they suddenly became famous, but there are always backstories that show times when they struggled but kept going. He might play to huge sell-out audiences now, but in 2010 Ed Sheeran was playing at The Swan pub in Ipswich.
Yes. New stuff is scary
If you’re crafting a plan that’s going to grow your brand then it should instil a blend of fear and excitement. If you just feel one of those, then it probably needs either reigning in or stretching!
everyone feels out of their depth sometimes
We already said that new stuff is scary… but alongside this, it can help to craft your strategy and identify where you need help - identifying this early gives you plenty of time to find the skills that will lead to growth.
Enjoy the ride, celebrate the success
It’s easy to enjoy the ups, but important to recognise that the downs are a part of the ride - so try and enjoy the whole journey!
Hustle, hustle, hustle - a lot of people start out with a big idea, but it’s the one’s who refuse to give up that become the successful because the competition have dropped out. So hang in there!
Whether you’re start-up, innovating for the future or thinking about a strategic brand refresh, get in contact for some serious strategic support.
Big picture creative type seeks brands that are hungry to grow for LTR. Must have GSOH and love acronyms. Broad set of marketing expertise; doubt anyone knows more about Claims and Demos. Email me