Yeti, Apple and Crocs Inspire and Succeed
In my experience a strong brand strategy template drives internal alignment on three core components:
- What the brand will stand for?
- How the brand will be positioned in the marketplace?
- What are the long -term goals and vision?
Brands can inspire generations – successful, iconic brands carry value and stand for more than the product they represent. In today’s complex world, consumers demand transparency and want brands that share their value system and speak their language. They are also more skeptical and have unlimited access to information and choices like never before.
As a result, building a strong brand that is authentic and meaningful takes extensive foresight and exceptional execution, starting with persuading employees. It is important to take the time to think through the three core components above and pressure test them with internal teams – after all, a brand strategy that does not first inspire employees is destined to fail in the execution phase.
Below, we will explore the three brand strategy template components and examples of companies that are getting them right.
Brand Strategy Template: What Will the Brand Stand For?
This part of the brand strategy template is all about creating an authentic brand identity, mission/essence, and personality. It includes addressing critical questions, such as:
- What is your brand story?
- What is your brand’s mission?
- What are your brand’s core beliefs and values?
- If your brand was a person, what personality would it have?
- How does your brand create value for target consumers?
Yeti is a brand that launched in 2006 and is now a billion-dollar business. They are a great example of a brand with an authentic brand story and strong brand identify visible throughout their website:
|Brand Story||Dedicated page on website – personal and concise|
|Brand Mission||“Build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed”|
|Brand Values||Passion & love for the outdoors Appreciation for wild game, unfamiliar territory, and high standard gear|
|Brand Persona||Rugged, Outdoorsy, Entrepreneurial, Expert, High Standards|
|Value to Consumer||Committed to Quality – reliable products that “won’t break” & go through extensive expert in-field testing|
We wrote a complete Yeti brand strategy case study, if you’d like to dig deeper.
When thinking through this step, it’s also important to outline what the brand will NOT stand for. This will provide organizational clarity and equity guardrails as teams flesh out brand strategies.
Brand Strategy Template: How Will the Brand Be Positioned in the Marketplace?
This next step requires understanding the competitive set for your product and the unique functional and emotional benefits your brand will deliver to the core consumer.
A strong brand positioning should be
- Compelling and relevant to target consumers
- Differentiated versus the competition
- Ownable and believable for your brand
Brand positioning is important because it sets the foundation for marketing efforts and ensures that your communication is in line with your overall brand vision.
Apple is an example of a brand with strong positioning – it is one of the first lifestyle brands that is associated with creativity and being unapologetically different
|What Sets Apple Apart||Product performance and simple design|
|Positioning||Apple has positioned itself as an innovator in the technology space – leading the way with high quality products that are designed to deliver a simple but superior end user experience.|
|Target Consumer||Creative students & professionals|
Check out our other disruptive brand positioning examples.
Brand Strategy Template: What Are the Brand’s Long-Term Goals and Vision?
A brand strategy is essentially a roadmap. To plan the map, you first have to be able to articulate your end goal. After three to five years, what will your brand accomplish? These goals can be financial as well as brand equity objectives.
Defining the end of the journey will help you outline the different brand strategies that can be employed to achieve those objectives. For example, an established brand might want to drive double-digit growth by expanding into a new category. A new brand might simply want to capture a fair share of the market. As with any project, clearly articulating the end objective and setting milestones to reach it will ensure teams have what they need to further flesh out the actions and investments needed to get them there.
Crocs is an example of a company that recently underwent a major restructuring. As part of the restructuring effort, they redefined their brand strategy to include:
- Refocusing resources on core brands, streamlining their operation and portfolio offerings
- Repositioning their brand against new and younger target consumers with their “Come As You Are” Campaign, including highly-successful celebrity collaborations with Post Malone, Bad Bunny and Justin Bieber
In the case of Crocs, to achieve double-digit growth they had to reinvent themselves, drive focus, and target younger consumers. Our full Crocs’ growth strategy case study dives into more detail.
Defining what the brand stands for, how it will be positioned and the long-term brand objectives are critical components to any brand strategy template.