November 2, 2016

    The Top 5 Reasons You Should Integrate Brand Strategy into Your 2017 Business Planning

    As the time of year approaches for business leaders to evaluate 2016 performance and fine-tune plans for 2017, smart organizations know that it’s also the perfect time to look at brand strategy. Why? Because brand and business strategies go together like hipsters and cold brew coffee.

    You’ve heard it ad nauseam: your brand is not just a logo and a tagline. If you dig a little deeper and consider what your brand is, it’s not much of a stretch to understand why you should integrate brand strategy into strategic planning for your organization.

    Here’s where it can get a wee bit confusing. There are as many definitions for a “brand” as there are the elements that help shape it. What it basically boils down to is that your brand is an articulation and representation of who your business is and what it stands for. It’s what customers associate your organization with when they think of you.

    This year, as you trap yourselves in a room with caffeine and deli sandwiches to hammer out goals, visions, products, services, performance and all of the other nuts and bolts of your strategic planning, here are the top five reasons you should invite brand strategy to the party:

    1. Your brand needs a group hug from leadership. Your brand should embody the mission, vision and values of your organization. A brand cannot succeed unless it is embraced and encouraged by leadership.

    2. Your brand needs to promise and deliver what you’re actually selling. It won’t end well to try to bury critical business issues in a false brand promise. There’s never a better time to make sure your brand promise is in alignment with your performance than when you are elbows-deep in a SWOT analysis.

    3. Your brand has to keep up with the Joneses. As you look at what the competition has been up to over the past year, you may need to make some adjustments to your brand positioning. Just as shifts can happen in the market, so can the position your brand holds there.

    4. Your brand knows “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” or so said the late business management guru, Peter Drucker. As you assess the talent and resources needed to meet your business goals, remember that how your brand “lives” within your organization shapes its culture and plays into your ability to attract and retain top talent.

    5. Your brand can be the ultimate sherpa. When you align your brand and business strategies, you provide a focused roadmap of expectations for customers and employees alike. With strong alignment, your roadmap will be relevant, differentiated and credible—and lead you in the most direct way toward growth and success.

    Interested in learning more about how you can effectively integrate brand strategy into your strategic planning for 2017? Contact Stacy Stout to get started.



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