Brand strategy is a bit like plumbing. The theory is nice but it’s the real pipes and engineering that carry the water. I say this because when I read or see many people interviewed about branding they often answer with authority, but generically. Sure brands need an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. Sure they need visual and style directives. Of course, they need to promote values that help sell and satisfy. But the real business of branding can only be discussed in depth, with alacrity, when the strategy itself is known.
To ask a so-called brand expert questions about branding or tactics, sans actual strategy, is like asking president Trump about policy. All you get is “wonderfuls” or “disasters.” You don’t get meaningful, actionable insight. To going back to the original plumbing metaphor, you get discussion about pipes, elbows, resin and leaks. Brand experts, me included, need to dole out advice citing actual strategic examples. Not generics.