Article / Hunter’s guide to... Series
Hunter’s guide to…
Strategy is often compared to the plans of a new building, with strategists playing the role of architects. Their task is to simplify and synthesize information, providing a solution or plan that is logical and resonates. Now let's delve into Hunter's approach.
What’s the business problem, challenge or opportunity?
Developing a strong branding strategy requires careful consideration and a deep understanding of your business problem, challenge, or opportunity. It involves identifying the issue, conducting thorough research, and exploring possibilities. Take the time to write down your thoughts in the form of a hypothesis, articulating what the problem is and why it exists. Get your team involved for greater insight and buy-in.
Allow time to research and deeply think about the problem, challenge or opportunity.
While you may have a good understanding of your business, it's important to push aside preconceptions and look at everything with fresh eyes. Examine the broader market, observe competitors, and consider consumer and category perspectives. Look beyond your industry and explore adjacent categories or other industries for new ideas and viewpoints. Keep an eye on trends and consider their potential implications for your business. Encourage others in your company to do the same and gather everyone's findings. Remember, no idea is a stupid idea at this stage, so consider all possibilities and avoid dismissing ideas too quickly.
Narrow down your thinking
So you’ve done the deep dive. Now bullet-point the findings. With salt&peper, we looked at what UBER was doing. The idea that more and more people were ordering food via UBEReats meant mealtime was less formal and more casual. The notion of families has changed and ultimately this was impacting homewares and traditional meal times. When you narrow your thinking, start connecting dots and asking ‘what if we did this, what if we did that?’ To unleash your creative thinking, pick an entrepreneur you like and ask ‘what would they do in this situation?’
Test your strategy with the market
After narrowing down your options, test your strategies with the market. Seek feedback from consumers through focus groups, online surveys, or direct conversations. If you sell to retailers, ask buyers for their opinions. If you're a direct-to-consumer brand, consult a select group of loyal customers. Pay attention to their reactions and use their feedback to refine and improve your strategy. If one direction
Can you stand for one thing?
An essential aspect of a successful strategy is to stand for one core value that represents your brand. Look at Volvo as an example: they are known for making cars, but they are synonymous with "safety." This one-word brand equity has remained with them for years and is a foundation for their company. For your own brand, identify one word that encapsulates what your company is about.
When you know it’s right, everything will start to flow
When you have a clear core value, it becomes a springboard for ideas. It allows you to connect the dots and develop plans that make sense and align cohesively. Every touchpoint along the customer journey should reflect and reinforce this core value. If your brand is about making things "easier," ensure that your product or service demonstrates that, and strive for seamless customer experiences. If you're a budget brand, embrace a "no frills" approach in your communications, emphasising cost savings.
A well-developed branding strategy requires a deep understanding of your business challenge, thorough research, and testing with the market. It should aim to stand for one core value that resonates with consumers. When implemented correctly, this strategy becomes a springboard for ideas and enables seamless integration of brand messaging. It aligns your business with its target audience, creates a distinct identity, and fosters meaningful connections with customers, ultimately leading to success in an ever-changing market.