Is Your Brand Strategy Made of Straw?

If you have great creative but no strategy you're probably struggling. Because creative without strategic isn't a brand. And can’t stand for long.

A brand strategy is not your product or service or logo or great graphics.

A brand is the intangible stuff. How you are perceived. Your brand is what lives in their hearts and minds about you. It’s what makes them trust and want you. Your product is what’s on the shelf to be bought and brought home. It’s simple but not always so easy. Take “The Three Little Pigs.”

A mother pig sends her three little porkers out into the world to “seek their fortune.” They are forewarned about the The Big Bad Wolf, (your competition, the harsh realities of business). The first two Little Pigs are lazy and lazier. The first builds his house of straw. The second, a tad more ambitious goes for the sticks but still gets blown down and swallowed by the BBW. But the third Little Pig goes for the bricks, builds his house and saves the day.

However, the house of brick is not the brand. With all due respect to the iconic Pig No. 3, just because he chose bricks, doesn’t make him Frank Gehry. In fact Frank Gehry’s buildings with their many curved and shiny surfaces don’t make Frank Gehry a brand, either. It’s how those buildings' brick, aluminum, straw and otherwise make people feel. Do they make people feel something more than what is baseline expected: shelter? Are they meaningful and relevant to them? Do they excite them? Make life even better?

For all the times I read “The Three Little Pigs” the thing I wanted was never the brick house. The safety for me was the Third Pig’s courage to stand out from the crowd of pigs, do things differently and get rewarded for it. He was more than not just a lazy pig. He showed me a way I could be, too. He was a leader.

And that’s what a brand is - a leader even when you are not the first or only brick house on the block. Leadership needs a consistent strategy. Do you have one?

Your most organic, creative and marketable brand strategies will come first from your story. Believe it. If you can show and tell a story that’s as simple, memorable, repeatable, requested and chosen as Disney to Harley Davidson to Shrek to name a few; you can build a brand strategy that nobody can blow down.

And I can help you get there.

I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for reading.