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Your Strategy Checklist

By Brian Byrne     31st January 2020  

I’ve been banging the Brand Strategy drum for a while now, but you find yourself doing that when you’re passionate about something. I’m passionate about strategy because it works. I’ve seen the results first hand, from initial positivity at the discovery stage to clients gaining clarity and insight that ultimately helps them achieve success.

I’ve spoken about how we do strategy at Lands and how it’s built around a core idea, but what actually goes into a brand strategy document? The list below contains what we include in our strategy documents and what you should have in yours.

Your cause, belief, big idea, your ‘why’—what’s the underlying reason you do what you do? As author Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

The company vision is your purpose projected into the future. It should be broad, inspirational and aspirational—why the world will be a better place after using your product or service.

Your mission is a declaration of purpose, who it serves, and why. In essence, it’s how you go about achieving the company vision. It should be something bold and ambitious.

Your company values are aspects of belief and conduct that influence the way that you work. They are a set of guiding principles that govern all behaviour and decision making within your organisation.

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It tells potential clients why they should hire you rather than your competitors, and clearly defines the benefits of your services from the outset.

These are words or phrases that describe key aspects of your brand—its culture, feeling, tone, customers, impact and differentiation. These attributes shape the positioning of your brand.

It’s the process of distinguishing you from your competitors. It articulates what you do, the benefits and value offered, and what place the brand holds in your customer’s minds. It controls outside perceptions and better positions your brand as an attractive and trusted prospect in the market.

Differentiation is what makes you different from your competitors, how you stand out. That special something that only you have that makes you an attractive prospect to the customer.

This is an analytical assessment of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. It provides context to seek out opportunities and how you can outperform the competition in terms of visual identity, messaging, website, advertising and social media.

Client personas are fictional profiles for current and aspirational clients. Creating these personas is a way of understanding the different types of clients you have based on their particular needs and why they engage with your company.

An assessment of actions you can take that will increase revenue streams, heighten brand awareness and make the running of your business more efficient in the short term.

A list of objective, measurable goals that will take your business where you want it to go in the next three to five years.

Some of you might have a number of these elements others mightn’t have any. But If you have all of the above, clearly defined, articulated and compiled into a document then congratulations you have yourself a brand strategy!

Let me know what you have what you don’t, and if you have any questions please, write to With your permission we’ll use the newsletter to discuss. Let’s start a conversation!

Brian Byrne is a graphic designer and founder of Lands.
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