Brand Leadership (BL) is a strategic brand development initiative I co-developed to empower business owners and senior management to drive and steer their brands from the very top of the organization down and from deep inside of the organization outward to key audiences.
Brand Leadership Makes Great Business Sense
- Brands are business assets: Brands are strategic, highly valuable business assets that build value and equity over time. They make cash registers ring and fuel customer engagement, while helping increase satisfaction, sales, repeat business and referrals — all of which impact the bottom line.
- Brands are foundational: Corporate brands often embody the very DNA, vision or passion of their founders, owners and senior executives. Though organic and constantly evolving, brands naturally trickle down from the top and spread throughout the organization.
- Brands are all-encompassing: Only senior leadership has the level of input and access to drive and steer brands deep within the organization, touching all key points of delivery, such as human resources, marketing/public relations, product development, brick-and-mortar, customer service, etc.
In a nutshell, Brand Leadership empowers organizational leaders, decision makers and management teams to discover and define the brand, then drive and steer it throughout the organization.
7 Steps to Brand Leadership
The Brand Leadership Program is composed of seven essential steps that empower business owners, senior leadership and management teams to drive brand throughout their organizations. See the seven sequentially outlined steps below.
STEP 1 | Brand Discovery
Solving any significant problem begins with the process of discovery. During this collaborative Brand Discovery Exercise session, I guide the senior leadership team as they discuss their personal insights, opinions and visions concerning the brand.
Ultimately, the group is charged with establishing a consensus on the following:
- Target Audience
- Target Audience's Desires
- Frame of Reference (i.e. the market you compete in)
- Points of differentiation (i.e., what makes it unique, special or different?)
- Competition (i.e. to whom or what are you competing with?)
STEP 2 | Brand Positioning
From the data and insight collected during the Brand Discovery Exercise, I will craft a Brand Positioning Statement (BPS). Although the BPS is not excluded from public viewing, it’s predominantly an internal, backroom tool. The BPS is a measure to guide all internal and external communications, as well as impact your organization’s actions, interactions, conversations and products/services. See brand positioning formula I use below.
BPS FORMULA — To/For [target audience] who seek [list of desires]. [Company Name] is the [frame of reference] that delivers [point of differentiation].
STEP 3 | Key Messaging
This step involves the careful creation of Key Messaging that acts as direct support of (or reason to believe in) newly developed Brand Positioning. These messages can be developed and categorized by the organization’s unique audiences or by key notions stated in the BPS.
Key Messaging is the driving force behind the organization’s communications to all audiences (internal and external). Additionally, Key Messaging will guide what you say, how you say it and to whom you
say it — ensuring consistency across all levels of the brand and throughout the organization.
STEP 4 | Customer Journey
During this step, I generate a Customer Journey map — a flowchart-style graphic to visually and comprehensively demonstrate how audiences navigate the organization's many brand touch points. This chart will also help business owners and senior leadership identify any content, collateral, tools or technology necessary to meet customers’ or prospects’ needs or otherwise move them to the next logical phase in your sales or life-cycle continuum.
STEP 5 | Brand Audit
A Brand Audit includes a thorough review of all current internal and external marketing communications, including print and electronic. These items will be measured against the newly adopted BPS, Key Messaging and Customer Journey.
This process will help identify these items’ inherent strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. The audit will result in recommendations to add, update or retire communications or content based on how closely they adhere to the newly conceived brand.
STEP 6 | Brand ROLL-OUT
In this step, I work to develop a roll out of the newly conceived brand to internal and external audiences. This entails identifying the key content/messaging, collateral and support materials, campaign items or sales tools necessary to take your brand to market with confidence.
STEP 7 | Brand Steering
The long-term success of an organization's brand is contingent on much more than what it says it is. It's based on what your audience believes you to be. Brands are multidimensional, having several audiences and multiple touch points. Identifying, aligning and managing these points of interaction are essential to driving brand throughout the organization (top-down and inside-out) and building long-term brand equity.
Creating a Brand Steering Committee is a vital initiative designed to provide executive management teams with the guidance to manage day-to-day implementation of the brand. It also furthers the brand by aligning your desired brand identity with operations that lead to a more positive audience experience.