Why execution is everything when it comes to brand strategy

Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.
Strong brand strategy is undeniably important for business. It’s the cornerstone of relevant implementation and fundamentally defines the role brand consultants play when helping companies translate concept into action. Good brand strategy is not about brand guardianship or the overused term “brand consistency.” It’s about designing strategic roadmaps that align a brand’s purpose with its actions.

Let’s think about it this way: When customers and stakeholders experience outstanding brands in the marketplace—brands that are not only visually impactful, but that connect with our senses, enhance our interactions, build seamless experiences with outstanding UI/UX, or simply express their purpose truthfully through their content—that is when branding gets real.

That’s when purpose (hopefully intentionally) transforms into action.

The Nespresso boutique in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Nespresso is a good example. Its shops are sophisticated spaces that make us all feel like coffee connoisseurs and quasi-baristas. Or consider Under Armour’s digital content, which connects with consumers even though many of us have never scored a goal in a soccer match or competed in the Olympics. But every time we see the athlete lace up their Under Armour shoes, we feel geared to win against whoever or whatever stands in our way. Let’s also not forget GoPro. From events, contests, and challenges to channels and products, GoPro facilitates unparalleled interaction between consumers and its brand. In the process, it has built one of the strongest brand communities in the world. How? By catering to a brand truth: The majority of GoPro owners may not be professional athletes, but they are just as passionate as the professionals.

We live in an era where ideas are everywhere and overstimulation challenges differentiation. As a result, brand strategists should forecast recommendations based on the plausibility of implementation. Brand execution and experience roadmaps should be as important as value propositions and brand ideas. Ultimately, putting a brand into action is what counts.

Creating and managing a great brand is about much more than merely finding a few key attributes. It’s about building and executing experiences with a purpose—a purpose that helps the brand succeed.

This piece was originally published in Landor (15 November 2017).