Importance of Brand Planning

September 9th, 2019 -

When you think of successful entrepreneurs or brand teams what are the first things that come to mind for how they became successful? At first glance, you might attribute their success to things like smart, confident leadership, a great product, competitive drive, or a great marketing campaign. However, the unsung hero, the backbone of their success is often their brand planning. Planning is not sexy, it’s not the part that people talk about and share, but it universally serves as the guide they follow to achieve success.

Planning is not a one-size-fits-all process, some may have more elaborate plans than others, but regardless of the size of your business, you still need a plan that lays out even a basic roadmap for how you will achieve your goals.

Why is brand planning important?

A brand plan aligns everyone in your organization behind the same vision, strategies, tactics, and costs needed to make your brand or business venture a success. In this cluttered world of overwhelming options, writing a brand plan will help you and your team stay focused, guide the way you allocate your limited resources, and consistently express your brand offering to your target consumers.

What should your brand plan include?

  1. Business Analysis & Issues – specify how your brand or business is currently positioned in the marketplace. Who are your current and/or potential customers? What are their needs and wants?  Who are your key competitors and how are they performing? What are your current strengths and weaknesses? What potential opportunities and threats exist that could impact your brand. 
  2. Objectives – your plan should spell out what it is you want the brand to achieve.  Your objectives can be defined both in terms of long and short term goals, for current or future customers and/or specific business outcomes like sales, market share, brand awareness, brand image, customer loyalty or more. 
  3. Strategies – here you will lay out how you plan to achieve your goals, what channels and tools you will use and how you will focus your resources.  Depending on your product or category, key decisions to align on could include which product you will prioritize, how will it be designed or positioned, how will it be sold and priced, and how will you engage your target.
  4. Tactics – stemming from your strategies, tactics are the specific tasks you and/or your team will execute to work towards your goal. What will your team work on, what are the resources available and what is the budget and timeline you will allocate to each task.

You may only write your brand plan once a year but as a business leader you should always be in planning mode, that is to say, you should always monitor your brand’s performance, identify key learnings and areas of improvement.   As you learn more about your customers and your key competitors, you can adapt your plan to help you stay on track and keep working towards achieving your goals.  

– Emma Medina, Director of Brand Strategy at Smith Design

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