First question, “Do you have a brand?” Most marketers will answer yes.
Second questions, “Do you have a brand strategy?” Those same people are likely to pause then offer a less than emphatic yes.
Third question, “Can you articulate your brand strategy?” This is where the homina-homina kicks in.
It’s a simple fact that most brand practitioners (client side marketing or brand managers) have brands but not tight articulations of brand strategy. And most agencies don’t follow a tight articulation of brand strategy — because one doesn’t exist. Brand strategy is the least scientific business tool in commerce. It’s viewed as an ideal. Not a framework.
Brand strategy is an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging; all three of which are marketing’s domain. Brand strategy framework comprises one claim, three proof planks.
Ask Interbrand, Landor, Future Brand, Siegel+Gale, Lippincott, Brand Union and Wolff Olins what their framework for brand strategy is and all you are likely to hear is brand-babble, talk about process and case studies. They are long on smart people, insights, approaches, logos and style guides, but not frameworks. No binary approach where you are either “on” or “off” brand strategy.
When you have a framework that shows when work is on or off strategy, you have found the brand building grail.