A quick look in my Brand Strategy Toolkit

Watch This Episode of Mwah Tv about Brand Strategy Toolkit

In this episode of Mwah TV, I want to share A quick look at my Brand Strategy Toolkit. Part of my attempt to explain in easy-to-understand detail exactly what I do as a Brand Strategist on any Brand Strategy project. you can have a go at using any of these in your own branding.

I’ve just seen @laurapcreative #MwahTV episode looking at the tools in her brand strategy toolkit. My fave is ________ Click To Tweet

Which Way Do You Learn Best?

  • Some people understand how something works if you sit and explain it to them.
  • Others understand something only if they can have a bash at it themselves.
  • And then there are others. The people who need to understand how the sausage is made.

That’s why I am sharing what I keep inside my toolkit as a brand strategist this week. I want to show you the different tools I use and give you a bit of an introduction to 3 of my favourites.

It’s also worth pointing out that this is my toolbox with my tools that I really do use all the time when doing different DIY jobs.

At the time of recording this, I’m at the beginning of upcycling my Auntie’s old dining table and chairs which was passed onto me after my cousin her son was done with it.

Different Names for the Same thing in A Brand Strategy Toolkit

There are hundreds of different tools that a brand strategist can use.

What makes this bit a bit trickier is that different creative agencies and different brand strategists from different creative backgrounds call the same tools by different names.

This can make it more confusing when you are trying to figure out tools for yourself. I liken this to using photoshop. There are about 50 different ways if not more to sharpen up an image. This makes the world of photographic retouching a really hard one to communicate about. I guess the main point to focus on here is the result. The final result is a sharp image that looks aesthetically pleasing not jarring, and in today’s case – brand strategy facts and findings that are accurate and threaded together with a coherent strategy.

TOOL 1 In My Brand Strategy Toolkit – Competitive Auditing

Competitive Auditing is one of the most unsexy tools to use in branding. People tend to avoid using this as much a possible for several reasons.

This can trigger a lot of feelings about imposter syndrome. Exposing yourself to trying to take an objective view of what everyone else is doing the same as you will make you feel bad about not doing things the same way as the rest.

A Scraper 

The scraper is a great manual tool to represent competitor audits to me. When it comes to tackling competitive auditing with a brand focus, it’s all about scraping the veneer off from each of the competitions’ branding. Layer by layer you can uncover exactly why a competition business has chosen to build the brand in the way that they have. It’s this deconstructed layer view that I would present to my client to help them assess objectively all the building blocks of what everyone else is doing so that we can re-build the strategy of their brand better, faster, stronger, and of course so much more beautiful. Not to be confused with benchmarking. Which is more focused on a like for like comparison on prices. A benchmarking exercise is yes looking at the competition. But you are looking at the competition with a different focus.

TOOL 2 In My Brand Strategy Toolkit – Creative Anchoring

Creative anchoring is one of my personal favourites from my branding strategy toolbox. If you have seen any of my brand photoshoots case studies here on the channel, then you will know that I love to try and find a wide and thick collection of reference points whenever I work. For me, grasping at cliché ideas and imitating what everyone else kind of does feels lazy and half-arsed.

When I am building up a collection of inspirations it is so much more efficient to share these references with the rest of my creative team. This means I can trust them to take that inspiration in for themselves and then come back to me with considered and thought-out recommendations about that creative anchor – based on their unique area of expertise. Let me give you a quick example of this, so you get what I mean.

Years ago, I was planning a shoot for a client, and we got into a chat about adding some fresh flowers as a prop in some of the photos we were planning. The client loved tulips, so we decided together to go with tulips. Sharing this tiny titbit with my stylist on the crew resulted in her pulling different petal-like silk fabric in one of the tops and incorporating a couple of tulip shape cut skirts. The make-up artist used this information to inform the dewy look she recommended for the client’s skin. In short, this anchor brought things together into a subtle coherence.

Anchoring Screw and Countersink Drillbit

Naturally, I picked this Lil beauty.

This is a countersinking drill bit and a countersunk anchoring screw. When used together your screw will sit flush or just beneath the surface that you are screwing into. It gives things finesse. My carpentry buddies out there will appreciate this. This is just like using creative anchors. Documenting all the creative inspirations that inform why your brand is the way that it is. With the intention that you can give this smorgasbord to any creative supplier to feast on, research in their own way and then come back prepared with their considered recommendations on how to execute their piece of work with a finesse you could never have imagined yourself.

TOOL 3 In My Brand Strategy Toolkit – Brand Pyramid

The brand pyramid tool is one of the most “out-there” tools in my opinion. It can feel like giving birth when clients meet this for the first time. I’m going to go straight into my physical tool because I think it really helps with the explanation here.

Contour Profile Gauge

The idea of the pyramid is that you are levelling up the meaning and ultimate point of the brand you are considering. You take things from their most simple form up into a fundamental or spirit-state. So, the first level of your brand could be selling sweets to kids from a small shop. The next level up is providing a child-centric service that delights parents and guardians. Then by the time you work your way up to the point you find that the spirit-state of this brand is about the heritage of childhood nostalgia. This is such a potent matter to be grappling beyond selling a 10 pence mix up. But at this level, you can begin to get really sophisticated with those creative anchors we just looked at.

Up Next

If you’ve enjoyed learning about how the brand strategy sausage is made with me today, then you may find these episodes perfect. They follow on from here beautifully so that you can explore what brand strategy really does for your business.

What is Brand Strategy?

How Long Does Brand Strategy Take?

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