16 Components of a Killer Brand Strategy

By , CEO, Hanson Dodge

March 16, 2016

Some see a brand as merely a logo and a tagline. At Hanson Dodge Creative, we know it’s much more. That’s why our brand strategies are far-reaching. And why we cull insights and beliefs from your team, the consumer and the market, and weave those insights into a strategy and three-year roadmap that will integrate with and help drive the strategic plan of the organization.

We’ve been creating brands for some of the greatest companies in the world for more than 30 years. During that time, our approach has identified 16 key components that every brand strategy should include:

1. Competitive Analysis - Who are your key competitors, what can you learn from them and what will it take to outperform them? Differentiation is crucial for your brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

2. Why? - What is the fundamental purpose behind your business that inspires everyone in the organization to do what they do -- and love doing it?

3. Brand Architecture - How does your brand fit into a larger brand portfolio? How will it evolve over time? How does your brand support your approach to product development?

4. Creative Elements - Everything you need to put your brand into action (e.g., logo, palette, typography, imagery, verbal tone, etc.).

5. Position - What is the fundamental idea that you own in the consumer’s mind?

6. Promise - What is the value that you promise to deliver to the consumer?

7. Reasons to Believe - Why will your target market believe your promise?

8. Market Opportunity - There is no substitute for the power of research to uncover game-changing opportunities for your business.

9. Consumer Insights - What does the consumer desire and how will you uniquely fulfill that desire?

10. Key Messages - What is your unique brand story, and what stories does it allow you to tell to your brand audiences?

11. Character - What is your backbone made of? What’s negotiable and what is not?

12. Personality - How do you present yourself? Do you have a sense of humor or are you honest to a fault? Are you a sport coat and jeans kind of brand, or an Armani suit?

13. Three-Year Road Map - Brands don’t hatch fully grown. They are more like gardens that take tending over time. A 3-year roadmap will keep you on track.

14. Barriers to Success - A killer brand strategy is not for the timid. Change is always hard. Your strategy needs to have an approach to anticipate and overcome obstacles.

15. Customer Profiles - Your customer needs to be vivid in the minds of your marketing team. Customer profiles based on real people will enable you to bring value and serve their needs.

16. Brand Expressions - How does your brand come to life across the broad spectrum of media?

Ken Hanson, CEO, Hanson Dodge

Ken's 30 years of interactive and graphic design experience and countless industry awards have earned him a reputation as one of the nation's leading marketing communication designers. A gifted artist and critically acclaimed photographer, Ken is also a superb strategist and marketing practitioner with a passion for building brand equity and loyalty. Combining creativity with technology, Ken helps clients build sustainable and authentic relationships with their customers.

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