Many executives believe that business strategy is strategic and that brand strategy is a marketing tool, not a strategic asset. Unfortunately, it’s all too often to have to work on brand strategy without first knowing the business strategy in full scope. Without understanding where the business is going, we may end up taking the brand to a different destination.

The brand cannot help the growth of the business without taking into account that for both to be successful, they must be aligned. It is common for branding professionals to work with clients structured in watertight departments, but it is not feasible to build a solid strategy if it turns out that there is no clear internal alignment with respect to the business strategy. And experience tells us that this is something that does not always happen. In the same way that business strategy is part of the decisions of the company’s senior management bodies; The brand strategy should be agreed upon and promoted from the same spheres.

Let’s look at the etymological root of the term “strategy”, which derives from two Greek words: “stratos” (army) and “agein” (driver, guide). Its primary meaning centered on the art of conducting military operations, with the aim of winning battles. An aspect with which business and brand strategies share the same purpose. Although today we can refine that we have gone from the previous intention of gaining territories to the current need to win wills. This is really the terrain that all kinds of companies and brands are facing today.

Business Strategy

The business strategy has focused primarily on achieving economic profit. It generally includes: the business idea, the organization and structure necessary to achieve it, the appropriate economic resources, the products or services, knowledge of the market and competition… All this is included in a document that considers how the best combination of a set of aspects should be to achieve objectives: mission, vision, values, culture, product portfolio, market structure, targets, costs involved, logistics and distribution, expected results, etc.

In this case, and in terms of business strategy, in order to be able to propose a good brand strategy, we must find answers to at least a series of basic questions about the business:

  1. What are the short, medium and long-term goals?
  2. What are the growth expectations?
  3. Are you thinking about some kind of external support to achieve this?
  4. How is the Company organized?
  5. What are the products or services? Do they offer any competitive advantage?
  6. What is expected of the brand(s)?
  7. Are the resources available to achieve the objectives?
  8. What are the barriers?

Branding Strategy

Brand strategy and branding exist to enable, express, and bring business strategy to life. Therefore, the brand is the expression of the essence of an organization, product or service, its raison d’être, its essence. Branding communicates the characteristics, values, and attributes that the organization or product represents, how it positions itself differently from competitors, and why a customer would buy it. Of course, the brand must share values with the Company, but it is also important to identify its benefits and extract all those elements that make it different. Brands connect with people, so we must provide clear personality traits , based on who we are and thinking about the people with whom we want to connect. Another important aspect is the culture, which will define how the brand will behave in its relationships, which are otherwise essential.

So with the brand strategy we must be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Why should we care about anyone? What is our purpose?
  2. Who are we targeting?
  3. What is our market positioning?
  4. What is our differential value proposition?
  5. How do we do it? What is our personality and attitude?
  6. What is the tone of voice we use with our interlocutors?
  7. Do our identity and image correspond to our positioning?

Marketing Strategy

In this equation of business and brand, we cannot forget marketing, but it is perhaps worth remembering that marketing refers to the market and not to the brand. Once an organization has approved its brand strategy, it will need to create a marketing strategy and plan. The marketing strategy aims to bring the brand, i.e. its services or products, to the market and can consider the mix of the 4 P’s: Product, Place, Price, Promotion.

It’s about putting the right product/service in the right place, at the right price, at the right time. Its main purpose is to achieve the activation of buyers. All marketing initiatives and campaigns must reinforce and support the essence of the brand.

A marketing strategy answers the following questions in a marketing plan:

  1. What are the business objectives for the period covered by the plan?
  2. What is the buyer’s profile?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses, and what are the opportunities and threats?
  4. What marketing techniques are going to be used to achieve the goals?
  5. How much will they cost?
  6. What initiatives and programs can be used to activate the plan?
  7. What are the key performance indicators for stocks?

Point of intersection company – brand – marketing

As you may have noticed, there are several points of union between business strategy, brand strategy, and marketing strategy. That is precisely where its strength lies:

  • The mission, vision and business values are closely related to the positioning and purpose of the brand.
  • The organizational culture must also align strongly with the brand.
  • The competitive environment, market structure, and target customers are important for all three strategies.
  • Competitive strategy relates business strategy to brand strategy and sheds light on aspects derived from marketing strategy.
  • Business strategy, brand strategy, and marketing strategy should all take pricing strategy into account.
  • All three strategies should consider the market environment and trends.
  • Branding paves the way for marketing strategy.
  • All marketing initiatives and campaigns should reinforce and support brand positioning.

Conclusions

Once these strategies have been developed and implemented, day-to-day operations become less complex because each of the actions taken will have a clear direction. We can think of planning as a vehicle for success, although “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do,” as Professor Michael Porter posits.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward