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Developing Your Brand Strategy

Conducting robust discovery work is the key to success.

Our discovery phase serves as the foundation of your brand’s success. It provides insight into your business strategy and future vision, along with the current awareness, perception and equity of your brand with your customers.

We start our discovery work by reviewing specific background materials to understand your brand, its current position and how you communicate with your audience. A competitive audit can also assist us in understanding where you sit within the marketplace and how you are or could be unique. Moreover, an audit of your competitive landscape can be tailored toward what you are trying to achieve. We can take an in-depth look at your competitors’ messaging, brand elements and the current industry trends they are adhering to or breaking away from.

Next, understanding the future vision for your brand is also critical for building a brand strategy that takes you there. So, with our crystal ball…just kidding! We usually develop this insight from the key stakeholders within your company. By interviewing stakeholders with strategic questioning, we better understand long-term goals, evaluate various brand strategies and understand the implications of adopting each strategy both today and in the future for sustained success. Having the opinions of business leaders in your company also helps us understand anticipated challenges and overall success criteria.

With this information at the ready, we are equipped to embark on our three-step strategy development process:

  • Create


  • Evaluate


  • Refine


Our three-step approach ensures we develop viable brand strategy options that are specifically tailored toward the success of your brand. Once we have gone through our process of creating strategic options built from an understanding of your business, your customers and our experience, we workshop these with the core team. This team includes experts from different business areas so we can pressure test how the strategy options might play out. In collaboration with your team and their knowledge of the business, we select and refine the best strategies.

And the process doesn’t stop there: We then narrow in on the options to develop personalized recommendations for your brand. Keep reading for an in-depth look:

Narrowing in on the options

Often, successful strategy development requires an additional step to help narrow in on the best option: Seeing what your customers think.

But, since there is not always a singular right or wrong answer, brand strategies can be very tricky to research. For example, if you want to understand if your brand architecture should be organized by functional categories or by audience segment, we can conduct a qualitative survey that asks your target audience how they prefer to purchase. In contrast, if you want to validate brand positioning, it would be best to have a few 1 on 1 conversations with key customers, preferably under a nondisclosure agreement.

In customer research, we also focus on discovering the major pain points and unmet needs of your target audience. We then look to understand if and how your brand can address these areas.

To ensure the best customer research results, brand strategy experts at Addison Whitney are available for consultation throughout the entire process. We’ll help develop the ideal methodology, questions and line of questioning, which means you can feel confident the results will lend to successful strategy development.

Developing personalized recommendations

Once the learnings from both internal and external audiences are collected, we roll up our sleeves to analyze and develop recommendations. The learnings and key insights driving the brand strategy options are organized and shared in a workshop format so you can see how they align with your company goals. The workshop utilizes customized tools to help us collectively flesh out and prioritize the strategies for your brand. For instance, workshopping the pros and cons and playing out the anticipated outcomes are vital for successful strategy development. Future implementation and measures of success will also be considered based on internal goals and current market perceptions.

In this stage of the strategy development process, there are often tradeoffs that need to be made. But keep in mind the most impactful brands do not try to be all things to all people. The best brand strategy will not only be the one that helps you achieve your desired business strategy, but it will also help galvanize your internal audiences around what you stand for and how that purpose is authentic, compelling and distinct. In the end, the workshop results in a collaboratively developed brand strategy—or components of the strategy—for further consideration and refinement.

As you can tell, strategy development is often a long and taxing process, especially when done without outside support. When internally developing a brand strategy, you run the risk of falling victim to internal biases or strong subjective viewpoints. But our team is here to help: We bring a unique and proven method that streamlines the process while collectively working with your team to ensure your brand shines through every step of the way. This approach not only improves your overall brand strategy but sets your brand up for successful implementation and tracking.

How do you ensure a successful launch? Check out Part 2 of our three-part brand strategy series for an in-depth look: Launching Your Brand Strategy.

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