There are two things you need to develop a strategy:
- Define where you want to go.
- Know where you stand today.
Coach Sarah often says, “You can’t build your strategy unless you know where you are.” She uses this simple analogy to illustrate her advice, “Google Maps can’t give you directions if it doesn’t know your current location.”
The same is true in business strategy. If you want your team to reach a goal, but they don’t know where they are, it is difficult to create a plan.
The irony is in business knowing where you stand today can be elusive. We focus on the future without understanding where the business and the brand are in the present.
In Sticky Branding’s strategic planning work we are constantly anchoring on a company’s current location. We do that in two ways:
- 360° Brand Assessment
- Slingshot Scorecard
360° Brand Assessment
An effective way to establish where you are is by assessing your brand positioning. This creates a baseline.
Small- and mid-sized companies need to balance the external (brand metrics) and internal (business capabilities) perspectives to assess where they are today.
Look externally. How is your brand positioned today:
- Brand Awareness: Is the brand well known in the marketplace?
- Brand Preference: Do customers choose the brand over the competitive options?
- Brand Reputation: Is the brand well regarded? Does it have high perceived quality or value?
- Brand Differentiation: Does the brand have a point of differentiation?
- Brand Loyalty: Do customers come back again and again, and are loyal to the brand?
Look internally. How is your brand performing:
- Volume: Does your marketing generate predictable leads and demand? How many inquiries or leads does your brand generate per month?
- Velocity: Does your brand provoke customers to buy? How fast do customers take to transition from inquiry to purchase?
- Value: Does your brand command a price premium? How is the brand priced (or discounted) compared to its competitors?
- Lifetime Value: What is the total amount of revenue a customer spends in your business?
By looking internally and externally you can clearly establish a strategy to grow. More importantly, it sets your goals and vision in reality. Big dreams can be derailing if you are spinning your wheels.
I recommend conducting a 360° Brand Assessment annually. It’s a powerful baseline to set strategy.
The Slingshot Strategy is Sticky Branding’s branding and growth strategy methodology. It’s how we help our clients achieve explosive growth targets, and how we’ve helped companies bounce back from the pandemic stronger than ever.
A critical component of the Slingshot Strategy is the Scorecard. Data drives visibility and results, and it anchors you in the present.
Slingshot Scorecards tend to focus on key business drivers, and are separated into Lead and Lag Measures.
- Won Sales
- Shipped Orders
- New Leads or Inquiries
- Sales Quotes
Lead Measures provide a behavioral indicator of what will move your Lag Measures (results).
Knowing Where You Are Sets Reality
One of the hardest things for a leadership team to face is a strategy that won’t deliver. You may have set an annual growth target, but halfway through the year realize there’s no way in hell you’re going to achieve it.
This leaves the team with a choice:
- Power through and hope things will get better in the second half; or
- reframe the strategy.
Data gives you a picture of where you are at. It’s your destination on the map. With a Slingshot Scorecard, each week you can see your performance and how your business is tracking to achieve its goals.
It’s like Google Maps. A vision gives you a destination, a strategy gives you a route, and a scorecard tracks progress. And if you’re off course you can change directions or pick a new route.
Are You Ready?
Are you looking to grow your brand to the next level? Sarah and I are taking on 3 new clients. If you’re interested contact us. I will be happy to give you a demo of the Slingshot Strategy.