brand strategist

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There are a number of brand strategy consultants out there I hold in high regard. They totally get insights and market conditions, are quick studies in business categories, have keen understanding of meaningful metrics, and possess indefatigable bullshit barometers. Sadly, I’m seeing a trend among this crew where they are reinventing and repositioning themselves away from pure brand work into other aligned areas. Customer experience. Team optimization. Digital transformation. Culture plotting.

Why is this?

Well, that’s what the market sparks to. Most marketers and business owners don’t think they need a brand strategy. They want measurable results on sales. Higher top line and lower bottom lines.  What they don’t understand is that those things are directly tied – or can be tied – to a smart brand strategy. When you define brand strategy as “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging” you begin to understand how brand strategy can impact bottom lines. And top lines.

Tomorrow I’ll share some business metrics side-by-side with brand metrics. I encourage you to tell me which are more actionable.



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Not every product or service is perfect. Some have warts. Better alternatives are often available. So how do imperfect marketers move on? Well, they can and should try to improve the product; that said, Pepsi will never learn Coke’s secret formula. So what do they do?

When called in as a brand strategist in these imperfect product cases, I dive in looking for all that is good. My framework is about customer “care-abouts” and brand “good-ats.” When the two are aligned, we have a plan. When not we have work to do.

Have you ever walked past a person on the street with a magnetic sense of style? Attractive but not pretty or handsome? They are accentuating the positives. They’re not hiding unattractive qualities, they’re celebrating what they have. With panache. That’s what brand planners do. They find an organizing principle for product or service that is loveable and admirable. And they help find ways to celebrate it. Experience it.

As a child, I was not a fan of clams. My west coast uncle came to town and with a few slurps, some facial expressions and a excited description or two, changed my whole perception. His love came through.

This is how we do-oo it!




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