Richard Rumelt’s ‘Good Strategy. Bad Strategy’ is right up there on my list of the top 3 books on strategic thinking. According to Rumelt, relentless focus on a narrow objective with disproportionate resources is what great strategies are made of. This focus ensures that every little detail of execution surprises and delights customers. Ultimately, it ends up being so fundamentally deep and different that there are no alternatives. It is truly UNIQUE; which is what a “brand” is at its core.
Yet, it is incredibly rare to find an organisation with a STRATEGY. You hear many slogans and a lot of talk of ambition, but very little strategy. Often, budgeting and financial forecasting are touted as strategy.
However rare coming across an organisation with a clear strategy may be, it is extremely important for those in charge of its brand-building, to not only understand strategy, but to be able to differentiate it from other functions of the organisation.
We, the brand advisors, don’t give ourselves the permission to question the foundational material on which the business is trying to build a brand. We are expected to provide a kind of retrospective coherence to an unremarkable, undifferentiated core.