Clients often tell us that they want to deliver a strategic roadmap that elevates insights and guides their teams to greater success, but they find it challenging to know where to begin. Brand teams can also get derailed by urgent or short-term needs that distract from addressing critical strategies issues.
Our Brand Growth Navigator lays out 8 strategic issues that will drive brand growth.
But, how does a brand team decide which strategic issue should serve as the foundation to their plan and how will that feed into a roadmap that both drives growth and addresses pressing needs along the way?
Based on our experience, across various industries and competitive circumstances, we have seen that the best approach consists of these four components. This approach works because it identifies the right starting point for your business and determines how to build from there to create a holistic growth plan.
1. Take Stock
Highlight priorities that are being touted from the highest level of your organization, including at shareholder meetings. Speak to key brand, marketing, and product constituents to find out what is directing their focus—what are they being asked to achieve for the organization? While this may be something you do already, and may sound like an obvious first step, it’s one that can’t be overlooked. Without this phase, the remaining steps become meaningless.
2. Review Existing Information
This will help you consolidate what you’ve gathered into a core set of issues that are strategically important to your business. By looking at what information you have, in relation to addressing these issues, you’ll be able to narrow your focus to which strategic needs should form the foundation of your plan.
This approach works because it identifies the right starting point for your business and determines how to build from there to create a holistic growth plan.”
3. Seek External Thinking
Share your thinking with a trusted partner, or two, as a way to expand your perspective on what you need and what is achievable. By stepping back and engaging an impartial, outside point-of-view you will be able to coalesce around the area or areas that are most critical as starting points for your plan. So, who are these trusted partners, agencies, MR Firms, consultants like BCG?
4. Build a Plan
Commit to a lead strategic area to serve as the foundation of your plan, based on what you uncovered in the first three steps. In doing so, think beyond just this foundational area and build linkages to the subsequent areas you’ll need to address. While getting to a starting point is essential, looking forward is equally critical to success. No strategic area lives on its own, as they all intersect in some way, so identifying which pieces will make sense as steps 2, 3, 4, etc. is as essential as finding the right starting point.
Identifying Growth Starting Point:
Tech Case Study
Here’s an example of how we guided a tech company in identifying the right starting point for growth:
Step 1: Take Stock
- Through discussions with leadership, along with priorities laid out by their CEO, the brand team determined that the company was putting a priority on driving acquisition for one of their services.
- Through deeper discussions with stakeholders, the brand team came to understand that the need stemmed from low retention rates for this service. That realization helped the team settle on the fact that strategic guidance was necessary to help them boost retention and drive acquisition.
Step 2: Review Existing Information
- The brand team first looked at initiatives the insights team had recently put in place that could relate to the issue of driving acquisition.
- Both the completed work and the new work in process would help guide the team strategically. For instance, there was feature development and prioritization work that could be used to help guide decisions around what the service could deliver to better meet needs and, therefore, drive acquisition.
- This assessment made it clear that Innovation/Product Development could be taken off the table as a strategic need.
Step 3: Seek External Thinking
- At this point, the brand team came to Radius to share more about the need and what gaps they felt existed.
- We brainstormed around what issues the brand team might want to tackle.
- We identified a core priority as being analyzing the Customer Journey, recognizing that becoming clearer on the path to acquiring and switching services would be an important starting point for identifying strategic opportunities.
Step 4: Build a Plan, with Customer Journey as the Foundation
- Together with the brand team, we devised a plan that started with Customer Journey as the foundation but wove together other strategic areas that could be addressed in conjunction with the focus on Customer Journey. So, even though Customer Journey was the foundational need, it was clear that other things could be addressed as we explored the Journey.
- Using the Brand Growth Navigator framework, we knew we could easily build in Targeting Strategy to help them more precisely implement acquisition and retention strategies identified in the Journey work. We also found a way to tie in Market Landscape, as there would be a need to connect drivers of selection and differentiation to any efforts they put in place for retention/acquisition.
This structured, comprehensive approach to strategic planning can lead to the right starting point and, critically, build a roadmap for brand growth.”
The brand team was able to identify the lead strategic need, as well as the ancillary strategic needs that would logically stem from this starting point. It meant a more comprehensive roadmap with a clear, meaningful foundation in Customer Journey that built out into other issues. The result is that the brand will be able to deliver a true strategic plan for his team to address immediate needs as well as drive growth in the future.
This structured, comprehensive approach to strategic planning can lead to the right starting point and, critically, build a roadmap for brand growth.
Want to discuss finding the right strategic point for your brand growth?