The following items are part of a series called The Strategy Game. They were written as part of a talk on branding in youth culture. We will be dropping new strategic items in this space each month.

1. Find your DNA


Defining DNA and living by it’s code is one of those simple – complex things brands spend too little time on. A brand is a collection of people brought together to create products for a market place. In the thousands of decisions taken every day to service that goal, a clear set of commandments defining what the brand stands for, and what it’s core purpose is, is essential. Written and circulated. Unbreakable.

2. Blind Spots

Nobody owns all the skills needed to succeed. Every brand, no matter how successful, needs an occasional set of fresh eyes to identify the blind spots in the company’s process, places where the company is not using it’s best practice or is simply unaware of an alternative way of doing something. The result is money left on the table...

3. The Brand MRI

Think of a golf course – there’s 18 holes. The first 9 relate to revenue. The back 9 relate to expenses. Do you know what par is on all those holes? What are the benchmarks and where are you out of formula? Most companies focus on sales as the yardstick of success, but profits are all that count. So where are you losing money and why – I’m speaking big picture, not a line item that spiked. I’m speaking profitable segments of your business vs. the unprofitable ones.

4. Sync Your Touchpoints

We live in smaller spaces and have less time to tell our story so it better be a good one. Otherwise all the effort runs the risk of being unnoticed, or even worse, being ignored. Today brands have to make the assumption the consumer isn't paying attention and that every customer interface, every touchpoint, is a limited time offer to change that mindset. What does that mean? It means synching your touch-points - aligning your brand message across all media, making sure athletes are speaking in the same voice, designing all retail platforms with consistent imagery, its all those pieces in the illustrated wheel of fortune you see below brought together in unison to tell the same story. And you would be shocked to see how many brands don't do that...