The Legacy Effect: Brand Strategy Planning

Wouldn’t you like to roll out a brand strategy plan—and remove the competition—without reading a 200-page document?

Learn why most brand strategy plans fail—and how to create a plan that frontline employees feel they own and can carry out.

Branding confuses many people

Let's be clear:

  • Your brand is not your logo.
  • It's not your tag line.
  • It's not something that lives only in the marketing department.

A brand is your company's overarching image. It's what people think, feel and expect whenever they interact with your company.

It's the culture of your company, your message and your operations.

So what is brand strategy planning?

This is a process where new brands are developed or existing brands are rejuvenated and relaunched. It brings together all the components of your brand.

How do typical brand strategy planning approaches work?

Upper-level management determines that it is time to "fix" the brand. Traditional brand strategy approaches begin by examining the current state of the brand, crafting a desired future state and creating action steps to get there. This can be done in-house or by an outside consultant.

After interviewing customers and researching the competitive landscape, a plan that maps the future brand and how the company should get there is presented to management.

While this approach sounds reasonable, it can have problems:

  1. Consultants have their own ideas of what everybody should do and what plan will work.
  2. Employees executing the brand strategy don't have ownership of or believe in the new direction.
  3. The plan has flaws and is poorly executed (or isn't executed at all).

So how can these problems be avoided in order to roll out a successful brand strategy?

Introducing The Legacy Effect™ Brand Strategy Planning Process

I come in and explain exactly what branding is. I make clear that we are not just creating a new logo and tagline.

Branding is about changing everything from management-level operations down to frontline employees. This creates consistency and ownership.

We meet with everyone—from the CEO down to frontline employees. I explain what branding is, what this exercise is we'll be doing together, why it's important and how each person will be involved.

We talk about the brand and what we would like it to be. The company will have done some research, but I also work with you to conduct more. I talk to your customers and suppliers in order to get a clear picture of what people think about you. I also look at the competitive landscape from different angles.

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Employees—not consultants—create your brand strategy. I don't tell a company what to do; we work on this process together.

brainstorm-001I bring in visual tools to capture everyone's ideas. We brainstorm. Everyone shares what they would like the company to be. The employees—not I—determine how to position the company in the future.

Then we work out how to get there. I help put this all together, and if needed, I help communicate and implement the strategy.

Why is this approach so effective?

I rely on the employees' knowledge in order to shape their new strategic direction. I'm not telling them what to do. The employees own the plan, the action steps and the new direction, so they have an emotional investment in seeing their ideas successfully executed.

Key features and benefits

Visual facilitation

Ideas are easily lost if they're not captured in an engaging way, so we use plenty of visuals. We hang large pieces of paper on the wall in order to gather information, literally drawing the landscape of the current company so everyone sees the problems and challenges they face. This way we're able to create and see new solutions and new ideas. Visual facilitation increases clarity, engagement of the group and ownership of the strategy.


Visual one-page summary

Most brand strategy plans are large Word documents with graphs and charts. We use a visual summary—a one-page document that can easily be shared throughout your organization. It also gives everyone a clear picture of the road map ahead.

Brand rollout facilitation

Consultants often come in and present a PowerPoint with a plan summary. We use big visual charts, simplifying complex words so everybody understands them and is clear on the brand's new direction.

What else will you discover?

  • How visual brand planning uncovers bold new ideas—and why working visually helps participants see trends, simplify complex ideas and make new connections
  • Why branding is more than just a logo, a tagline and a marketing function
  • When it's time to spruce up your brand—and how your customers, suppliers and the public will let you know what your brand image is and when to change it
  • Why branding is everyone's job—and how employees represent and defend the brand
  • Why being distinct and different is important—and how examining successful branding case studies teaches you to stand out from the competition
  • How to eliminate all your competitors by developing a truly differentiated brand so you occupy a niche in the marketplace

But isn't overhauling a brand expensive?

Let's look at your brand as an asset: You're either investing in it and getting a return or you're not investing in it—and losing value.

If you're not constantly monitoring your brand and well positioned in the market, you risk becoming a commodity in a "sea of sameness." And mistakes with your brand are not easily forgiven. The investment in creating and protecting your brand is clearly worth the cost.

What's unique about my brand strategy planning

I'm there to help your team co-create their brand vision.

Typically, a company hires an outside consultant who walks management through his or her own branding process, drafts a plan, presents it and leaves. Because employee engagement is near zero, this creates a poor (and often failed) strategy.

I rely on the knowledge and expertise of the employees in order to create the future they envision. I help them clarify that vision and create a plan to get there. Since the employees own the vision, they have a greater investment in its success.

Is your organization a good fit for my approach?

Successful brands are all about being bold and different; they can't be afraid.
Small to midsized businesses, entrepreneurs, visionaries—people who are not afraid to take risks—are great candidates for this type of brand strategy planning.


Call or email me to discover how you can successfully implement a brand strategy created by your whole team, from the CEO to frontline employees.

We'll talk about:

  • What you find intriguing about this process
  • Where your organization is today
  • Why you think you need a brand strategy plan

We'll also talk about how the process works, and we'll see whether this resonates with you and your organization's goals.