Airplanes take the runway. Pole vaulters get a running start. Archers carefully aim.

The point is, every big endeavor, every important decision is preceded by thought, preparation, and strategy. When it comes to your business, that means a strong brand strategy.

What does your business need to grow? A new product line? A new website? What about more employees, SEO, or content marketing? Every single one of those important activities requires the same thing. They require that you Start with Brand™.

Your brand strategy is your business’ very best friend. It’s part coach, part conscience. Part parent, part partner. Judge and jury. Conductor and station agent. Most of all your brand strategy keeps you focused on who you are, what you do, and how you do it differently than anyone else.

What your brand strategy impacts

A Drives decisions
B Influences decisions
C Guides teams
X Little to no impact on brand

Marketing campaigns | A, B, C

What is the overarching value proposition and how does it connect emotionally with customers?

Employee benefits | B

What benefits do we need to offer to stay an employer of choice? What benefits align with our brand’s promise?

Employee communications | A, B, C

Language is contagious. Are we using the same tone with employees we want them to use with customers?

Content marketingA, C

What is our unique voice?

Hiring | B, C

Which professionals will connect with our brand’s promise most enthusiastically?

Advertising | A

Do the channels and media, as well as the messages, align with who we are?

Web design | A, C

How much information do we offer, and how?

Pricing | B

Is our pricing in line with what customers expect from us based on who we are?

Community involvement | B, C

What work can we do in the community that reinforces our brand’s emotional drivers?

Product design | A, C

What will make our products relevant and competitively differentiated from the competition?

Customer service | A, C

How can we support our customers in a relevant and competitively differentiated way?

Product naming | A

What can we name the product to evoke the right levels of understanding and excitement?

Product launches | A, C

How do customers want to integrate our products into their routines?

Partnerships | B

Does association with this partner reflect positively on our brand?

Office design | B, C

What should our physical environment look like?

Mergers and acquisitions | B, C

Is this deal a distraction or an advancement?

Sourcing | B, C

Does this vendor conduct its business to the same high standards we do?

Coffee station | X

Hey, as long as there’s caffeine, we’re good.

Not starting with brand, is akin to a jumbo jet starting at the end of a runway. Or a swimmer starting a relay while already in the pool. Doesn’t sound promising, does it?