Create a brand plan

Business benefits

Build an effective, flexible plan to grow your brand, and set up a measurement system to make adjustments over time.

Identify your current brand maturity stage to guide your brand plan.

The items you list under each step may differ based on whether your current stage is unbranded, reference, personality, or icon.

Outline your brand foundation, including your vision, purpose, values, and brand idea.

List the company goals, growth goals, target audience, and business problems your brand can solve. Get input from your CEO, leadership team, and other stakeholders.

Answer questions like:

  • What are your company’s financial goals?
  • What are your growth drivers?
  • Who are your growth audiences?

Conduct a SWOT analysis to outline the current marketplace situation and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

  • Strengths: What is working in your favor to be leveraged?
  • Weaknesses: Where are your internal vulnerabilities?
  • Opportunities: Are there any new product launches in the industry, or cultural macrotrends?
  • Threats: What are external market or audiences factors that could jeopardize your success?

Work with a large, cross-functional team for a more comprehensive picture of your brand’s strategic foundation.

Outline 3-4 key strategies to achieve your objectives and imperatives.

Answer specifically what your brand plan should achieve to satisfy your business goals and situation. For example:

  • Attract more users by investing in building awareness of our offering.
  • Test more effective ways to attract highest-value customers to our business.
  • Build a defense plan against new category entrants.
  • Nurture our community to increase customer retention and lifetime value.

Pick tactics to support each of your key strategies.

Tactics can vary widely based on your strategies, including advertising, PR, social media, partnerships, sponsorships, events, and content creation. Choose tactics based on your strategies and your audience habits and preferences.

Develop a measurement plan to identify exactly when the brand plan has achieved success.

Measure the KPIs most closely associated with the tactics you’ve chosen. You can also engage in brand testing, sentiment analysis, social listening, brand lift studies, and brand tracking.

@lsmous

This step is just an intro in disguise.

It’s not reviewing if this is the first the reader has seen about brand maturity stages. Why not identify?

I don’t think this needs to be stated.

The quoted part of the step explanation works better as the step text. Don’t fall into the trap of a grand-sounding heading-step followed by a plain-language explanation; the step text itself should also be in plain, clear language. Company goals that should drive your brand plan might not sound as impressive, but it’s far easier for a beginner to understand than define your business imperatives.

Combine these two sentences into the step text, as the SWOT analysis is the key action point.

Threats?

Use for example where possible. Consistency is really useful in this sort of format – where it would be boring or repetitive in blog posts or articles – because it helps people to skim-read.

This seems vague. How about something like Pick tactics to support each of your key strategies?

Did we actually set any concrete goals in the brand plan that would constitute success? Will every reader need a full-on measurement plan? Or is it more appropriate to say something like Decide what you’ll measure and the methods you’ll use to track the performance of your brand plan?

Numerous edits made to address feedback and make steps clearer