Is a brand strategy really what we need?
Brand strategy is a North Star. If you already feel clear on your North Star — the specific and differentiated promise you make and fulfill, and it is multiplying your value — then you likely do not need us. If what you are seeking right now is not a strategy but a marketing campaign, then this would not be that. Brand strategy is upstream of messaging. It forms the strategic direction for your marketing campaigns and other messaging.
How is brand strategy different from brand identity or brand guidelines?
Brand strategy is the stake in the ground for what you want to mean to your audience. It is articulated through a precise promise and a precise character. Brand identity is how your brand appears through your logo, colors and imagery. One is your heart and soul, while the other is the clothes you wear. Many businesses seeking a brand strategy already have a compelling visual identity and are looking to crystalize their brand positioning so that they can perform at their best for the next growth stage.
How is a brand strategy different from a mission statement?
Created with care, your mission statement and your brand strategy will overlap and reinforce one another. They go hand in hand. Your brand strategy is what enables fulfillment of your mission. It is what you will lean into in order to realize your mission. It is “closer to the ground” than mission, specifying your target customer, your unique promise to that customer, why they should believe your promise, and how your fulfillment of that promise advances your larger mission.
Will we walk away with a brand strategy?
It depends on how you engage us.
If you engage us for the Ironclad Method™, then the answer is yes. You will walk away with a brand strategy deck, with the executive summary being your positioning statement.
If you engage us to do the Workshop, then the answer is no, as the Workshop “teaches you to fish” rather than “serving you the fish dinner.” You will walk away from the Workshop not with a finished brand strategy but with the frameworks and confidence to build or refine your brand strategy yourself.
Why might I choose Ironclad rather than some other method?
We encourage you to build a brand strategy — period! Using any approach! We like the Ironclad Method™ because as brand strategy specialists, we have honed the method over 100+ companies with the goal of pinpointing what will unlock the most economic value. That said, we believe the most important unlock is in “deciding to decide” on your brand strategy, regardless of the route you take.
What if I cannot afford a brand strategist? Can I pay you for an hour of your time?
Unfortunately, no. However, you may want to read, Forging an Ironclad Brand, which Lindsay wrote in order to empower anyone to do brand strategy, regardless of budget and marketing background.
Do you work with B2B and B2C companies?
We work with both B2B and B2C companies, pretty much half and half. Brand strategy lies upstream of business model, so it applies to B2B and B2C companies. While there are profound differences in B2B and B2C organizations in the way that brand comes to life (the marketing channels and tactics are different, the org structure is different, the budget implications are different), the process of brand strategy itself is not different.