Brand strategy

And yes, brand strategy is that simple. ‘A’ is where you are now and ‘B’ is where you want your brand to be – your brand objective. The bit in between is not strategy, it’s the tactics you use to reach your objective. Okay, the concept is simple but I admit that planning and applying it requires a lot of application. Knowing where you are may not be as straightforward as it seems. You need to be objective and step ‘outside the brand’ for a while. There may be a good deal of research and assessment to understand where you are – and where yourRead More →

Free PDF download

A strategy is not a weighty document. It is a single outline of an objective and the means of achieving it. There may be a lot of work behind it – researching, thinking and planning. However, the strategy in itself should be all that hard work filtered down into a simple action plan. The strategy is not and end, but a starting point. Here is a guide to help you gather your thoughts and filter your thinking down into a strategy to help put your export communications plan into action. What market environment facts do you need to consider? What market facts and data doRead More →

Strategy versus tactics

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between strategy and tactics, and it is important for anybody involved in business planning to be clear about them. Strategy is about the identification of the overall business objective and the route or plan to get there. Tactics are concerned with the steps and actions necessary to carry out the plan. All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. Sun Tzu A strategy document should not be a huge tome, in fact it can often be summarised in a single page.Read More →

Absolutely! Card sorting comes from a technique used by trainers and coaches and is a great discipline for helping people think about their business. Business planning can be quite daunting when faced with a blank sheet of paper, the cards give not only a starting point but also stimulate discussion. This allows you as an advisor to point out important topics and guide people towards their goals. It allows you to use a light touch – or sometimes no touch at all – allowing your client to create his or her plan, then discuss and explain their thinking, with you providing input and guidance. OftenRead More →

Cards are great tools for stimulating ideas and getting over that awful ‘blank sheet of paper’ moment, but once you have worked out a great plan you need to remember it and it may not be convenient to leave all the cards spread out on the table ( you may want them for other plans, anyway). You can quite simply note down the titles and positions on a sheet of paper then you have a permanent record. If you need to share it, a convenient way is to fill the titles in on a spreadsheet, using the cells to follow the card layout.  Another usefulRead More →

We’ve tried to keep the cards as flexible as possible and if you want to group tasks we think it is easiest to create your own. For example you may want to group tasks by function – perhaps finance, marketing, sales – whereas somebody else may want to assign groups of tasks to colleagues, so may group them by name – Bob, Sarah, Lucy.  You may want to group them by priority. So, create your own group headers, use blank cards (if you have them in your set), or you can use the backs of the ‘Tips & Hint’s’ cards or the front and backRead More →

No, we have tried to provide as many cards as we can to cover as many possibilities as people may need. However, you may just be working on a specific task or already have completed a lot of items. Feel free to just use the cards you need – remember they are there to help you!Read More →

Every business is different and many have specialised tasks they need to build into the plan. That’s not a problem, the card set is designed to be as general as possible to give your plan a flying start – if you feel you need some extra cards – just make them! Some of our sets have blank cards for just this purpose, or you can use the backs of the ‘Tips & Hint’s’ cards or the front and back pack cards. If you still need more make them out of scrap cards, the backs of business cards or post-it notes.Read More →

When building a plan along a timeline, it really doesn’t matter where you start. Decide which way your timeline is going to run, maybe left to right or top to bottom. Choose a card that represents an important topic for you and place it in front of you. Then, if for example your plan is going to run from right to left, start placing things you want to happen before that topic to the left, and those that happen after to the right. Remember nothing is fixed at this time and you can move the cards around until you are happy with the final plan.Read More →