Look for seven R’s in your brand strategy

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What should you be looking for in a strong brand strategy? A great brand strategy combines ‘the logic and the magic’ – that mix of rational and emotive elements that, together, combine to give a brand engagement, connectedness and distinction. There are 7 factors to look for: the seven R’s in your brand strategy …

We talk a lot these days about needing to position a brand beyond reasonable doubt – and by that we mean looking for brand performance and potential on more than just logical grounds; positioning it in such a way that it ‘calls’ to customers rather than just rationalising itself to them.

Together, these seven R’s in your brand strategy work to shift understanding and expectations in good ways:

The first three R’s position you to win


How will the new strategy galvanise people from the inside-out? Is it inspiring? Does it align with the vision and the purpose? Will it bring focus and substantiation to the conversations taking place internally? How does it squarely and fairly say “We heard you” to internal stakeholders who were consulted? Does it give permission?


Is it radical? Does it have stretch? Will it make people sweat (in a good way)? Is it disruptive enough to reset the competitive markers? Or is it just rearranging the deckchairs? What nuances does it unearth? What new angles about the business does it cover? How exuberantly does it challenge the status quo?


How strong is the strategy competitively? Does this really give the competition something to ponder and react to? Does it front-foot them in the marketplace? If not, it’s wallpaper. Just as importantly, for recovering brands, does it mark a clear way back and a strong way forward?

The next two R’s elicit response


How will people react? Brands need to elicit an emotive reaction. So what’s the emotion that’s being generated here and how intense is it? Does it talk to people’s needs in ways that feel personal, relevant and wonderful?


Does it still have the brand’s DNA? Despite everything that’s being proposed, everything that’s being challenged, does it still feel like an iteration of the brand customers know? Is there enough here for them to recognise and enough here for them to get excited? It may be an extension or an expansion, a shift or a reinforcement but the connection points still need to be there and the departure absolutely needs to go to a better place for customers (which means there’s still clear comparison points with what it was).

The last two R’s increase your standing


What difference will it make? How will it change the bottom line, contribute to the business strategy, earn its keep? Is it going to make its numbers? And if it doesn’t make those numbers initially, where’s the Plan B in the strategy to fix that?


Will it spread? Are the ideas in this strategy capable of great take-up? Will they get people talking? Will they move the brand beyond the confines of where it now finds itself? Is there a story embedded within the strategy that people will really want to hear.

Need to improve the seven R’s in your brand strategy?

A confident and ambitious brand strategy underpins your ability to focus your culture and tell the stories that will make you outstanding. If you’re worried that your current strategy lacks what’s needed, talk to us about developing a Plan to Thrive.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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