I’ve been meeting with some really smart people this year, most of whom are in the strategy business. Some are brand strategists, others account planers, a good deal digital strategists. Strategy is such a rich word. “I’m working on the strategy for a Belgian beer” said the head of a hot web boutique. On probe, he admitted it was the web strategy. “We handle digital strategy for the world’s largest technology company” said the head of strategy at a very forward- thinking global direct and digital agency. Ads for the tech company are handled by another multinational. At P&G a ranking digital officer suggests: “Brand strategy is in the hands of the consumer.” An insight, also, shared by the chief strategy and innovation officer at a multinational promotional agency.
It’s not war, it’s marketing.
Sun Tzu might have said there are war strategies and battle strategies — and they can be different — but marketing isn’t war. In uncle Steve’s world (that’s me) there is a brand strategy and the tactics used to support it. Campaigns, tactics, analytics and sales fluctuations will always be around. As will smart people. But brand strategy should be the business driver. Of everything. This includes production, product innovation, hiring, etc. Until all the silos and all employees and their agents really understand the company brand strategy and its simple dimensions, we will have branding anomie. Peace it up!