How To Run A Brand Strategy Session Step-By-Step
Discover the Power of Strategic Branding
Step into the world of brand strategy and discover how an effective session can transform your business. An effective brand strategy session lays the foundation for business growth and competitive advantage. By methodically working through critical steps like discovery, research, and strategy development, you gain keen insights to create a strategic brand. One that resonates with your target audience and differentiates you in the marketplace.
This process illuminates what makes your brand special. It spotlights gaps, opportunities, and positions you to stand out. When done right, it’s nothing short of transformative. What does this journey look like? Let’s peel back the layers and take a closer look. Discover time-tested tips and techniques to run a winning brand strategy session from start to finish.
Phase One: The Discovery Phase – Laying the Groundwork
The discovery phase sets the tone for the entire brand strategy process. This critical first step focuses on scheduling, preparation, building rapport, gathering information, and maintaining structure.
Act swiftly when a prospect reaches out to schedule a strategy session. Provide two appointment options within the next week to create a sense of scarcity. An open-ended question about availability conveys less urgency.
Don’t show up unprepared. Research the prospect’s industry, competitors, and market landscape beforehand. This basic understanding builds authority and trust right out of the gate.
While positioning yourself as an expert, also showcase your human side. Share a relevant story or anecdote about yourself, a client or friend. This personal connection makes you more relatable and approachable.
Have an itinerary of critical information needed to develop the brand strategy. This includes details on operations, target audience, competitors, aspirations and more. Use open-ended questions to encourage thorough responses.
As the discussion unfolds, keep it structured and focused. If the prospect goes off on tangents, gently guide them back on track. Gathering the right intel is critical, so mind the itinerary.
Listen for ambiguity or lack of clarity in the prospect’s responses. Vague answers indicate knowledge gaps to address. Drill down on these areas, underscoring their importance in shaping strategy.
The discovery phase sets the stage for an insightful, targeted brand strategy. Move too quickly past this first step and the entire framework suffers. Use these tips to start strong and build momentum through clarity, rapport and decisive action.
Dig Deep to Uncover Your Audience
The discovery phase provides surface-level intel. Now it’s time to dive deeper into true market research—the lifeblood of strategic branding.
This critical phase focuses squarely on the target audience. The end goal? An intimate understanding of their pain points, desires and journey. Know them and you can craft a brand that speaks directly to their needs.
Leverage market research tools to build out detailed audience personas. Look beyond basic demographics to uncover psychographics—their challenges, values, emotional investments and more.
Once the persona framework takes shape, assign an archetype to define the core audience personality. Are they the Hero? The Sage? The Explorer? Identifying common traits and characteristics will prove invaluable when positioning your brand.
Conduct an in-depth analysis of direct and indirect competitors through social platforms, forums and reviews. Learn exactly how the audience feels about the current marketplace options. Do they have unmet needs? What delights or disappoints them? This intelligence exposes prime gaps and opportunities.
Armed with rich audience insights and an understanding of the competitor set, you can carve out a unique position. Spot the openings and apply creative thinking to develop offerings no other brand provides. Deliver on unmet needs to truly connect with the target audience.
The market research phase transforms surface-level information into actionable insights. Now you can develop an authentic brand narrative and forge lasting connections through shared values and experiences. Just remember—the audience always comes first.
Shape Your Strategic Narrative
The heavy lifting is done. You intimately understand the needs and journeys of your audience. You’ve mapped the competitive landscape and spotted prime gaps. Now comes the fun part—weaving all those insights into a cohesive brand narrative.
This phase focuses on shaping perceptions and cementing your position in the minds of your audience.
Kick things off by revisiting your client’s goals, visions and philosophies uncovered early on. Strategically integrate their beliefs and values into the fabric of the brand itself. This connection sparks instant rapport.
With your unique value proposition shaped, crystallize exactly how you’ll win market share. Apply creative thinking to develop offerings that tap into unmet audience needs and desires better than anyone else. Own that differentiated space.
Move beyond sterile corporate speak by assigning your brand an archetypal personality and shaping authentic opinions and attitudes. Build out the human qualities. Craft messaging around the audience’s hero journey. Make every touchpoint feel like a thoughtful conversation between friends.
Identify the key brand narratives and communication strategies to convey your differentiator. Map out the messages and stories you need to shape perception and cement your position in the hearts and minds of your audience.
Approach this phase as a creative marketer, not a business manager. Shape an indelible brand identity and lean on emotional connections over logical claims. Do it right and they’ll become your loyal brand champions.
Seal the Deal
You’ve guided your client on an insightful discovery into their business, their market, and the needs of their audience. Now begins the critical work of crystallizing those learnings into a strategic brand narrative with the power to transform their trajectory.
This concluding phase focuses on cementing understanding, strengthening rapport, and aligning on next steps.
Summarize key details uncovered throughout your brand strategy session, using your client’s own words and terminology. This shows you were truly listening, and helps confirm mutual understanding while also building empathy.
Additionally, rephrase their goals, challenges and visions back to them using slightly different language. This further validates shared meaning, and creates opportunities to clarify any lingering ambiguity.
With your brand strategy work complete, outline clear next steps for both parties to begin activating the insights and implementing the strategic frameworks established. Show commitment to their success by proactively moving the relationship forward.
Position yourself as a trusted advisor who will remain available to answer questions, offer guidance and provide creative ideas as they embark on bringing their new strategic brand to life. The work doesn’t end here. Your partnership is just beginning.
The Proof is in the Branding
Embarking on a comprehensive brand strategy journey takes vision, commitment and a willingness to question assumptions. It also takes time, energy and resource investment upfront without guaranteed outcomes.
Yet for those organizations that fully engage in the discovery, research and strategy development process we’ve outlined, the payoff can be game-changing.
From first contact to post-session follow up and beyond, every interaction provides critical insights to shape strategic direction. Skipping steps risks misalignment. Rushing due diligence leaves gaps.
While complex, the methodology we employ generates compounding value. Granular audience insights, competitive analysis, differentiation workshops and branding character development intertwine to form a cohesive, resonant brand narrative.
This level of strategic brand development requires dedication and patience to manifest results. But brands built upon robust, human-centered foundations position organizations to outperform competitors for years to come.
The juice is worth the squeeze. Now go squeeze it.
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!