If you’re involved in the brand planning process, you’ll know that long-term brand planning is critical to setting out your growth plans but can be repetitive, complex, time-consuming, stressful and arduous (especially whilst still delivering your in-year plans)
A lot is expected nowadays from the marketing function to set and be responsible for the commercial agenda. From our experience, the opportunity to think broadly and strategically is gratifying, but the admin, organisation and short timelines can be a headache.
We want to help and so we’ve pulled together our top tips to support and inspire your brand planning process…
10 Brand Planning Tips & Tricks
- Clarity on where you want to get to
Spend the time up front getting clear on where you want to get to and a time frame. Create ‘From and to’ statements before exploring any strategies and tactics.
- ‘ROUTINE SWITCHING’ to kick start creative thinking
Find inspiration by switching your routine; it could be holding the meeting in a different venue or even changing your journey to the office (interestingly, research says the optimum environment for creative thinking is the kind of buzz you get in a Coffee Shop…)
- Recruit a Cross Functional team
The benefit is that you will be able to identify challenges and opportunities from outside your current function for broad organisational thinking (across all functions not just category and insight). Plus you’re more likely to get those departments on board and advocates to make it happen if involved from the start. Highly recommend involving an external team with strategic experience that can inspire and stretch your thinking without previous hang-ups.
- Seek out diverse perspectives – get your team ‘CLUE HUNTING’
Look in diverse places for inspiration and fresh perspective on your challenge. For example, don’t just look at what your brand’s fans are saying about you, you can often learn more from what the cynics or detractors are saying – embrace their view too – what does it inspire?
- Think broad
Research and discover broader trends within your category and beyond – Macro trends, Challenger brands and Substitutes. How are they meeting consumer needs and what can you take-out from this?
- Adopt a ‘BUILD AND IMPROVE’ attitude
Ensure your team embrace the ‘yes AND’ not ‘yes BUT’ attitude. Bring positive energy, share views and suspend judgement of ideas until after the ideation session.
- Stay strategic before jumping into tactics
Stop yourself from jumping into tactics before you have the clarity on the strategic choices your are making i.e. which segments market are you going after / Who target audience is / How you’re positioning yourself or what the proposition looks like.
- Play more!
Get out of the room to help your team embrace a more playful mindset, as playfulness is directly linked to creativity. Examples include creating a playful environment for a project space with props & decorations or play with the ‘product’ and see what ideas emerge.
- Talk the Board language
You are more likely to gain senior leadership buy-in if you are speaking the same language – demonstrate how you will lead and deliver the commercial agenda, measurements (units / volumes / sales) and the strategy.
- Break some rules!
Make a list of as many ‘rules’ or conventions you can think of, that currently exist in your category or in the broader market or about your audience. Then ask of each RULE in turn ‘What if we did the opposite or challenged this rule?’ And see where it takes you…
Looking to ‘Refresh’ your Brand Planning process…?
- Although we have been involved in brand planning for many years (both as clients and consultants), we have officially launched our Brand Planning Refreshed service with a range of bespoke support for marketers involved in brand planning.
- Read more about Brand Planning Refreshed
Get in touch with your brand planning questions and challenges:
Call Vicki Pledger 07740193939
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