If you don't know where you're going, don't pay someone to get you started on your trip.
Brand Strategy is closer to business strategy than it is to a marketing plan. It connects where you want to go with the rest of the world. The business strategy comes first, then the brand strategy, then the marketing plan. It’s important to know which drives which. Every now and then someone approaches us who really has no clue what the business strategy is, in which case my advice is to spend time working on the business plan before hiring a branding firm. For this reason, we often we get called right after an organization has gone through a strategic planning process, dictating the need for an updated brand strategy to match the new business plan.
If you want to go on a trip, we can build you what you need to get there, but we first have to know where you’re going. If you need to go down the street, we’ll get you the right pair of shoes or a good bicycle. If you are going to another town, we’ll build you a car. If you are going across the country, we’ll build you a plane. Across the pond, a boat. But if you don’t know where you’re going, don’t pay someone to help you get started on your trip. You’ll end up wasting time and money going all over the place, with no destination in mind.
Business Strategy first.
Brand Strategy second.
Marketing Plan last.