All About Strategy & How It Fits Into The Creative Process

Whether you’re an eager entrepreneur wanting to build a business around what you are most passionate about, an established coach or consultant wanting to scale to new heights and become the ONLY viable option in your potential customers eyes, or a startup who is looking to reinvent themselves- especially in today’s ever-evolving market. This is for you!

BUSINESS IS HARD
Most of the time you have a brilliant idea, but breathing life into it can be hard; doing it alone is harder, and being TOO close to your business is hardest of all.

To your credit, you are a master at certain aspects of your business, but there are definitely parts that you don’t know squat about. No shame in it!

After all, world-class entrepreneurs and leaders play to their strengths and bring in the right people to cover their weaknesses. Though the question still remains:

Do you know the primary components that make up your business, and can you clearly articulate it?

Can you confidently describe the mechanics of your business model, the essence of your brand, who your primary customers are, your position in the marketplace relative to your competitors, or your strategic objectives to achieve your business goal, taking YOU to the next level?

Most business owners can’t answer these questions.

How can you (better yet, ANYONE) objectively know what works and what doesn’t work when you’re working in your business rather than on it.

It’s just not possible to see the forest through the trees.

You’ve got a lot on your plate and this “strategy stuff” sounds too fluffy, you can’t be bothered with it.

Imagine if McDonalds did not document their process for making their Big Macs. It would be different every time depending on who made it! That sounds

crazy doesn’t it? Well that’s you when you DON’T have a gameplan. There is a method to the creative madness, you just haven’t discovered it, until today.

ENTER STRATEGY.

That is where Business Development and Brand Strategy play a pivotal role in solving your biggest business challenges.

WHY IS BRAND STRATEGY SO IMPORTANT?
You might be able to get behind the idea of having a roadmap for how you can integrate a strategic process into your business, but I want to give you actual reasons to believe this is right for you.

IT’S MORE THAN JUST ABOUT MONEY
Wherever you’re at in the development of your business. Conveying the greater purpose behind why your business exists beyond “making a profit” is critical. It anchors you, your team, and your customers to support a greater cause beyond yourself and the business you operate.

Takeaway: Learn to clearly articulate your HIGHER PURPOSE.

 

BRANDING IS JUST A BUSINESS WITH A DASH OF PERSONALITY

Knowing the personality behind your brand gives your customers something to connect with. Think of your business like a person, how would you describe them?

Regardless if you’re in the B2B or B2C space, at the end of the day you’re in the business of people. Bottom line: make your brand feel like a person worth getting to know.

Think of Apple’s brand experience and how it attracts a cult-like following of tech enthusiasts. That is no accident, it was meticulously crafted from expert Brand Strategist.

Takeaway: People want to connect with a BRAND that gets them.

EMPATHY SHOULD BE IN EVERY BUSINESS OWNER’S TOOL BELT
You need to understand and empathize with your market and the customer’s who occupy it. Can you clearly articulate their needs and desires; anticipating new needs before they ever happen? Having a way to keep your finger on the marketing pulse is one way to ensure you stand a cut above in your marketplace.
Takeaway: You MUST know them better than they know themselves. NO exception.

MAKE YOUR GOALS WORK FOR YOU!
Are you able to express your most important marketing, revenue-generating, and operational initiatives? Do you know what’s priority number one and what’s busy work? Knowing what’s most important and communicating it to your team is half the battle.

Takeaway: Discern between what’s important and what’s busy work.

FRICTION BE GONE!
Without a clear roadmap that is easily accessible for others. You will continue to operate in the dark, treading in unknown waters in a sea full of other commodities “competing” on price and being the most affordable.

Price IS NOT and should never be your differentiator. Period.

With a tailored plan of action, you’ll become more agile in your marketplace.

You can clearly communicate your value proposition beyond just your price.

You’ll have a greater cause for everyone in your organization to rally behind others than to make a profit.

Customers will feel like you understand them, so they’ll pay you whatever you want (think of that sweet Apple Tax).

Saving money, time, and other resources knowing what’s ACTUALLY important and whatnot.

Overall, the strategy creates alignment with you and other key decision-makers and removes friction in your business; no more guessing what needs to be done, just clarity and execution.

So what does this all look like at a high level? Read on!

THE DISCOVERY PROCESS
Discovery consists of three phases: Facilitation, Researching, and Briefing. Below explains in further detail how we work. You’ll get a taste of what it’s gonna be like to work with us.

 


THE BEST IDEAS START HERE
Discovery begins in the form of a workshop that is facilitated with a brand strategist either in person or remotely via Zoom. During the workshop we cover a variety of topics, here are some of our favourites:

Model: A 30,000 ft. view of your business. We cover your:

  • Products and services.
  • Primary, secondary, and tertiary customers in your marketplace.
  • Key business operations and the systems you have in place.

Purpose: The core of why your business exists. We cover:

  • The High Purpose Theme behind your life and how that story plays a role in your business today.
  • The What, How, and Why of your business. Most businesses know what they do, they even know how they do it, but none know why. We’ll uncover that for you.

Brand: Businesses are viewed from multiple lenses. There are six different perspectives we use to view any brand:

  • Culturally
  • Through the eyes of the customer
  • Visual aesthetics
  • Verbal communicate
  • Tangible benefits of your business
  • What sets you apart from everyone else.

Users: We uncover who your primary customer is, We cover:

  • What are their demographics?
  • What is their story?
  • What are they struggling with?
  • What do they need to make their life easier?
  • Where do they hang out?

Goals: How do you prioritize everything that can be done to achieve in your business. What’s most important and what can wait? We cover:

  • How do you market yourself to build awareness?
  • How do you generate revenue?
  • How do you operationally become efficient?

Preferences: We’ve considered just about every aspect of your business, but what about your personal preferences? We cover:

  • What do you love and downright hate (example: you can’t stand the colour orange). That’s good for us to know.
  • What other brands do you admire, engage with, and don’t like?

There are additional framework exercises to potentially work through (again, this is customized to your specific needs).

A Discovery Workshop could happen over the course of 3 to 6 hours, but rest assured. We leave no stone unturned. Your success is our success, and the only way to ensure quality is by understanding your business the way you understand it. No exception.

SUMMARIZING OUR INSIGHTS

We combine our findings from our workshop and external research into a comprehensive brief that is presented to you live.

This document contains 3 visual directions in the form of mood boards. Three marketing summaries (from one sentence to one paragraph) that can be used on your website, social media, or other marketing materials.

ONE GIANT LEAP IN YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY

Understanding strategy is just a part of the creative process.

Looking ahead, there is the art of translating strategy into design. There is also taking your design assets and distributing them across marketing channels into a branded campaign.

It’s about finding that happy medium of reaching your business objective as well as creating delight in your industry.

This stage of the strategy is just scratching the surface, what we call Discovery, is just a concise version of what could be covered.

More in-depth strategy may include understanding the Founder’s Mission, Vision, and Values. On the other side of that there is also the aspect of product innovation (usually done in the form of a Sprint; creating a functioning prototype of your product or service, and validating it in the market.

Stay tuned for more in depth articles about these advanced topics.

Take the Brief and treat it as a living document. Have it easily available for you to reference at all times.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
You are beyond passionate about what you do. There is no doubt about that. I want you to share that passion with others. You should find clarity on your Higher Purpose (the reason beyond just making money), Brand Essence (how you describe your brand in different contexts, such as culturally, the way it looks, or the way it sounds). Who your primary customers are and how they are affected by today’s trends, and your business objectives and how to prioritize what’s important and what’s just busywork.

Strategy is the best way to discover those very things.

DO THIS RIGHT NOW
Though I had to suggest one actionable step it would be to identify your customer(s). Ask yourself:

Who are they?

What is their story?

What are their biggest challenges?

What do they need to solve their biggest frustrations?

Where do they hang out?

Document this, you know your customer better than anybody else because you interact with them on a daily basis.

Make sure you base any important decision off the needs of your customers, because at the end of the day they are the lifeblood of your operations.

Understanding your customers is just one of the main things we discuss with our clients when developing their brand in our discovery workshop.

It’ll take you from A -Z into the discovery process.

If you’re interested in our process and want to know what it might look like for you.

We would love to talk to see if it’s a good fit.

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