Ever find yourself caught in a brand strategy tug-of-war within your team? Here’s how you go from chaos to clarity.
At Tiny Wizard Studio, we’ve carved a niche in simplifying the complex maze of brand strategy. Initially, our strategy workshops were exclusive offerings, made available only when a business partnered with us on a project. However, we observed a common hurdle—teams often found themselves in a quandary, unsure of what creative content to commission due to conflicting viewpoints on marketing messages.
Recognising this, we’ve now unbundled our strategy workshops, offering them as standalone sessions to help teams navigate through the strategy storm. But we know not everyone is ready to bring in the experts, so we’re sharing some of our trade secrets in this blog post, to guide you through some DIY brand strategy exercises you can do in-house, with your team to get clarity on your business goals and visions, before you go forth and create.
By doing this, we hope to empower teams to align their marketing messages from the get-go, fostering a culture of clarity and consensus. But remember, while these exercises are a stepping stone to self-managed strategy alignment, we’re always on standby to dive in for a deeper, more thorough strategy session to ensure your brand narrative is pitch-perfect and resonates across all channels.
Without this vital step, you’re bound to encounter disjointed feedback as projects unfold, leading to internal debates that eat away at your precious timelines. It’s often because your sales and marketing teams have different takes on what the customer really wants. But fear not! A well-executed strategy workshop will have all your teams harmonising their messages.
These techniques aren’t just about syncing your external marketing efforts; they also sprinkle some much-needed coherence into internal communications across all departments. Picture it as a spotlight illuminating your team’s perspectives on company culture and how your business values resonate with your employees.
We’ve got you covered; Here are 5 Brand Strategy Exercises You Can Do for Free
1. Explain what you do to a Five-Year-Old
It’s a common struggle, you know your business’ products and services so well that you could reel off the benefits and features in your sleep. To you, it’s straightforward and obvious. But is it the same for your customers? What you believe is simple, often comes across as complex jargon to your audience.
That’s where this strategy workshop technique swoops in to save the day.
The exercise is simple, get everyone on your team to explain what you do as if they were talking to a child. It might sound a bit reductive, but it’s all about achieving crystal-clear communication. The magic happens when you strip away the jargon and intricacies, leaving behind pure clarity.
Surprisingly, you’ll often discover that your team’s idea of a simple positioning statement is different from yours, which brings new ideas and options to the table.
Engaging customers will always be a distant dream if your teams aren’t speaking the same language. A great example is Tiny Wizard Studio’s collaboration with Haydale, a company with intricate scientific processes that allow them to craft some of the world’s most advanced materials.
In their case, the science department and the marketing team were caught in a never-ending loop of disagreement about how they explain what they do. The scientists were all caught up in the magic of the process, and the marketers were desperately trying to simplify to attract investors.
What they said: We bring together innovative technology and engineering expertise to unlock graphene using patented functionalisation technology. Our plasma reactors add compatible chemical groups to the surface of graphene, which enables effective dispersion into the chosen intermediary.
An investor who knows zero about nanomaterials: Eh?
Now explain it to a 5-year-old: We’re changing the world by making everyday things we use stronger, and last longer with our special recipe of graphene and plasma.
Through this process, Haydale managed to distil their complex procedures into a captivating 3D animated explainer video. This transformed their intricate scientific innovations into an easily digestible format. Even an investor with zero prior knowledge of high-tech science can now understand and appreciate the remarkable business that Haydale is.
2. Brand Word Association Game
Ready to add a splash of fun to your strategy session? Gather your team and hand out colourful post-its to each member, and ask them to jot down a word they wish to associate with the brand and one they’d rather avoid. For added options, ask everyone what they’d want the brand to be famous for or how they’d want it to be remembered.
Now, let the walls become your canvas! Have everyone paste their post-its on the wall—this visual spectacle will not only stir up engagement but also spark lively discussions. (Trust us, it can get spicy!)
As the wall fills up, you’ll witness the spectrum of perceptions surrounding your brand. This isn’t merely a game, but a doorway to understanding and aligning your brand narrative. Now, with a wall of words before you, it’s time to sift through and pinpoint the essence of your brand.
Use this collective intel to refine your website copy, content, and marketing messaging, ensuring they resonate with the desired brand persona while steering clear from the not-so-wanted associations. The words on the wall are more than just a playful activity; they are the building blocks for your brand’s story and a compass for your marketing content going forward.
The interactive nature of this exercise doesn’t just fortify external branding but also knits a tighter company culture. And as the post-its unveil the harmony or discord in perceptions, they set the stage for nurturing coherent internal communication, ultimately reflecting how you resonate with the world.
With values aligned, the stats speak volumes—B2B organisations with a harmonised narrative enjoy 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth (Forrester).
So, uncap those markers, unpeel those post-its, and let the brand strategy fun begin!
3. Audience Analysis
You should know your audience like the back of your hand, but Hubspot found that just 42% of marketers know the basic demographic information of their target audience, like their gender and location.
These insights are the secret sauce for achieving that sweet symphony of sales and marketing cohesion.
But what’s audience analysis, really? It’s understanding what makes your customers tick. It’s about figuring out what they want, what they need, and what they like. Then, you take that understanding and use it to create marketing strategies that really connect with them.
You see, we all like to think that our sales and marketing teams share a vision of the same dream client. But over time, these visions might drift apart. Sales could be witnessing a surge in one demographic while marketing sets its sights on another. It’s a classic case of misalignment.
Gather everyone on the team and have them pick a specific individual – it could be an existing customer, a dream customer, or even a past customer. With a persona in mind, dive into questions exploring a bunch of different angles. What challenges are they facing? What goals do they have?
What are their preferences and demographics? Where do they get their news, what social media platforms are they on, what keeps them up at night, and how do they usually engage with brands? The workshop leader should then make the rounds, chatting about the personas that each member came up with. If you’re discussing multiple products or services that cater to different demographics, you’ll likely need to run through this exercise a few times. Each round should help paint a clearer picture of who the brand should be chatting up for each product or service. This way, your marketing messages can hit home, addressing the personas directly based on all the juicy insights you’ve gathered.
4. Digging for Content Gold through Customer Queries
Now that you’ve tightened the bolts of alignment with the previous exercises, it’s time to tune into the rhythm of your audience. Let’s dig into the goldmine of customer queries to shape your content strategy. Rally the team and have a chat about what questions they’ve been getting from customers, both the ones who chose you and the ones who glanced elsewhere.
This chit-chat is your shortcut to a treasure trove of content ideas. Blog posts, FAQs, snazzy videos, infographics, or catchy social media snippets—every question is a content opportunity waiting to be unearthed. And remember, the more content avenues you explore, the better you connect with your audience.
Given that B2B buyers cosy up with 3-7 pieces of content before engaging with the brand, imagine smoothing out that call by having your content answer their burning questions ahead of time (KURVE). This exercise is all about making your customers feel seen and heard. You’re not just doling out info; you’re showcasing that you’ve got their back, answering their questions even before they’ve hit the dial.
This strategy is invaluable as it fosters a customer-centric content approach. By addressing real questions from your audience, you’re not only creating relevant and engaging content but also building trust and showcasing your brand as a helpful resource.
This proactive approach to content creation can significantly enhance the user experience, lead to better engagement rates, and ultimately, foster a stronger connection between your brand and your audience. Moreover, it can also lead to improved SEO as you’re likely to cover keywords and topics your audience is actively searching for. By understanding and addressing your customers’ inquiries, you’re making strides towards a more effective and resonant content strategy.
5. Zero Budget Ideas
Budget constraints? No problem! This exercise is about squeezing out the genius from every team member, sans a hefty budget. Picture John from accounts and your newest marketing maven bursting with ideas yet to see the light of day because they’ve never been asked these questions. This is the stage for such hidden gems!
Let’s kick things off with a ‘sky’s the limit’ mindset. Encourage everyone to dream big, irrespective of budget constraints. You’d be amazed at the wave of innovative ideas that flood in. Some of these ‘big sky’ ideas might even morph into achievable goals with a little tweaking.
Now, switch gears. It’s time for the ‘zero budget’ round. Ask your team, “If your budget was zilch, what would you do?” This shift in perspective often uncovers hidden gems, simple yet impactful ideas that are easy to execute. These could range from leveraging existing content to engaging with audiences on social media, or even internal expertise for creating valuable insights or webinars.
This two-step brainstorm nudges out the grand ideas, then hones in on what’s achievable without a dime spent, marrying creativity with resourcefulness. It’s a blend of blue-sky thinking and grounded, practical ideation that could unveil the next big win for your brand.
What’s truly astounding is that all these opportunities are often lying in plain sight, just waiting to be harnessed. Best of all, most of them can be executed in-house, thanks to your dedicated and resourceful teams. So, wave goodbye to the notion that creativity comes at a steep price—your zero-budget ideas are here to save the day.
This is just the tip of the brand iceberg…
But wait, there’s more to explore! These five exercises are just the beginning of your journey towards unlocking your business’s true potential. And you don’t have to navigate this path on your own.
When you partner with Tiny Wizard Studio, you gain access to a wealth of expertise in crafting marketing materials that transform complex messages into clear and compelling narratives. Our seasoned team of professionals will be your guiding light as you delve deeper into refining your brand’s messaging and tone of voice.
The workshops take place in our studio, at a venue of your choice, or we can host virtual workshops if needed. They last between 4 to 6 hours depending on the scope of your work and the size of your team. We’ll help you bring your concepts to life, leave inspired and excited for the rest of the journey, and with a few extra ideas under your belts!
As well as agreeing next steps, you’ll receive a post-workshop summary document which is perfect for sharing with board members or the wider team to update them on the progress and creative journey. So, shall we get you booked in?
Or if you’re eager to elevate your brand identity further, our sister studio, Alchemy Branding, is your destination for achieving brand greatness.
Before you go! Here is a little thank you for reaching the end of the blog – your very own logo cheat sheet, courtesy of our sisters at Alchemy. Never again will you have Carol from conveyancing ringing you asking why the PDF logo keeps crashing Word. Click download you won’t regret it.