How to Use Your Brand Strategy to Revive Your Business After a Major Life Change

When things are smooth sail­ing, it’s easy to stay in focus, meet your KPI’s, keep the momen­tum going, and show up to your busi­ness with con­ta­gious ener­gy and commitment. 

But what hap­pens when life throws you a curve­ball and you lose momentum?

While we all try to keep busi­ness and per­son­al lives sep­a­rate, we know that major changes in our lives will impact how we run our business. 

As a com­pa­ny made up of mil­i­tary spous­es, we are inti­mate­ly acquaint­ed with these types of changes—ones that often hit us hard, forc­ing us to start all over in new states or coun­tries every few years. And yet, despite these chal­lenges, we persevere.

How to use your brand strategy to revive your business.

One of our team mem­bers recent­ly endured a chal­leng­ing pro­longed move, nat­u­ral­ly los­ing momen­tum as they wait­ed months to set­tle in their new home. Mov­ing is anoth­er job in itself—between nav­i­gat­ing inven­to­ry for house­hold goods (yes, that’s a thing—you have to inven­to­ry your home items and take tons of pic­tures), man­ag­ing pack-out and unload­ing, secur­ing new hous­ing, and tem­po­rary home­school­ing as your child is tran­si­tion­ing schools, you get a hot mess of con­fu­sion. But we keep going, adapt­ing, and learning. 

You may not be in the mil­i­tary or have fam­i­ly mem­bers who serve, but we know that at some point, life will throw you tough chal­lenges that affect your busi­ness. It might mean a com­plete piv­ot in your offer­ings, paus­ing oper­a­tions, or some­thing in between. 

When life hap­pens and we lose focus, we need a com­pass to guide us. And no, this is not your busi­ness plan. It’s your brand strat­e­gy. A brand strat­e­gy is not just a set of guide­lines; it’s a roadmap that defines how you com­mu­ni­cate and man­age the mean­ing behind your brand. It keeps us on track and you can even use your brand strat­e­gy to revive your brand after a major life change. 

How to use your brand strategy to revive your Business after a major life change

We believe in lead­ing by exam­ple, so as we hit some road­blocks post-move, we referred to our brand strat­e­gy to lead the way. But before we share some behind-the-scenes for our­selves, let’s dis­cuss the core ele­ments you need in your brand strat­e­gy document. 


5 Things Your Brand Strategy Document Needs 

Peo­ple often think of brand strat­e­gy as the visu­al direc­tion of your brand and mar­ket­ing as the pro­mo­tion of your brand. In real­i­ty, brand strat­e­gy serves as the com­pass that ulti­mate­ly directs your mar­ket­ing efforts. A brand strat­e­gy is a long-term plan you cre­ate to out­ma­neu­ver your competition. 

The terms brand, brand­ing, and brand strat­e­gy are often con­fused. We total­ly under­stand! They are thrown around a lot and some­times used like they are inter­change­able (they aren’t). 

A brand is how consumers, customers, or shareholders perceive a product of service.

A brand is how con­sumers, cus­tomers, or share­hold­ers per­ceive a prod­uct of service.

Branding is an ongoing action. It’s how we influence a brand’s perception.

Brand­ing is an ongo­ing action. It’s how we influ­ence a brand’s perception.

Brand strategy is your long-term approach to stand out from the masses by managing the meaning associated with your brand.

Brand strat­e­gy is your long-term approach to stand out from the mass­es by man­ag­ing the mean­ing asso­ci­at­ed with your brand.

Start with brand self-awareness:

One of the most impor­tant fac­tors in your brand strat­e­gy process is clar­i­ty and self-aware­ness. As you start or refine your brand strat­e­gy, begin with these core ele­ments to get you start­ed on the right path. 

  • Who you are: Why do you exist beyond mak­ing mon­ey? How does your brand, prod­uct, or ser­vice seek to make an impact and why does it matter? 

  • What makes you dif­fer­ent: What dif­fer­en­ti­ates you from oth­ers? What sets you apart in a sea of sameness? 

  • Belong­ing: Think about how you will cre­ate a brand that aligns with your ide­al cus­tomer’s sense of belong­ing. How are you pro­vid­ing a prod­uct or ser­vice that aligns with their desires? 

Foun­da­tion ele­ments you need in your brand strategy:

Defin­ing your brand strat­e­gy will take time and can get com­plex depend­ing on your needs. We rec­om­mend start­ing small and build­ing your plan in phas­es. Here are some areas to con­sid­er includ­ing in your brand strat­e­gy document: 

  1. Your pur­pose (why you exist beyond mak­ing money)

  2. Brand val­ues

  3. Mis­sion & vision 

  4. Per­sua­sive & dis­sua­sive language 

  5. Analy­sis of your competitors 

  6. Insight on your con­sumers, clients, and customers 

  7. Brand posi­tion­ing (how you will out­ma­neu­ver your competition) 

Don’t for­get, we have a FREE Brand Build­ing Starter Guide that you can down­load to guide you through the steps to build this document. 

Grab your free download of our brand building starter guide to help you build your brand strategy

And if the sound of cre­at­ing your brand strat­e­gy doc­u­ment sounds over­whelm­ing or scary—that’s nor­mal. Doing this whole process for your­self can be daunt­ing, and we’ve always found that our clients see a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive when work­ing with us rather than when they did it on their own. If you rather part­ner with us to co-col­lab­o­rate and devel­op your brand strat­e­gy, we’ve got you!

When we reviewed our brand strat­e­gy, we were very inten­tion­al. We did the same thing we do when host­ing a brand strat­e­gy ses­sion for our clients. The key was to remem­ber that we were doing this for the busi­ness, not just a per­son­al approach.

How We Ran Our Own Brand Strategy Session

Since we weren’t cre­at­ing a strat­e­gy from the start, we were able to nar­row our focus by refer­ring to our exist­ing strat­e­gy doc­u­ment we cre­at­ed inside Miro. We’ve done this enough to know the gaps we need­ed to revise (this is anoth­er rea­son it can be help­ful to work with some­one who has done this before!).

We reviewed and updat­ed our brand strat­e­gy using our exist­ing Miro board

  1. Dis­cuss Our Gaps and Chal­lenges: 
    We dis­cussed the gaps and chal­lenges that occurred in the busi­ness while we were in a mov­ing tran­si­tion. Since our goal was to increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and opti­mize our time, we nar­rowed our focus to 3 chal­lenges we need­ed to solve and wrote the oth­ers on a side­bar in our Miro board. 

  2. Review Our Cur­rent Brand Strat­e­gy:
    Next, we focused on review­ing and recon­nect­ing. We spent 10 min­utes review­ing our exist­ing brand strat­e­gy. Each of us took notes on how our cur­rent brand strat­e­gy either helped or harmed our select­ed challenges. 

  3. Eval­u­ate and Pri­or­i­tize The Changes Need­ed:
    Then, we came togeth­er to eval­u­ate what changes need­ed to be made. For any changes that affect­ed our ser­vices or offer­ings, we made sure to eval­u­ate how this would align with our audi­ence and poten­tial clients. We also con­sid­ered explor­ing new approach­es to solve exist­ing prob­lems.
  4. Divide and Con­quer:
    To pre­vent com­mu­ni­ca­tion gaps, we divid­ed our tasks among our team while mit­i­gat­ing poten­tial pit­falls that could cause delays. Our strat­e­gy also allowed us to trust each oth­er in the process with­out need­ing fre­quent approvals.

  5. Define Our Time­line:
    Our last step was to break down our due dates into small­er, more attain­able tasks so that we could move for­ward. Then, we man­age these tasks in our project man­age­ment software.

A brand strat­e­gy is an essen­tial doc­u­ment for any busi­ness. It is not some­thing you write out once when you start your busi­ness and nev­er revis­it. Brand strate­gies can shift and evolve the longer you are in busi­ness, and you will need to adjust to sup­port your new direction. 

When we dri­ve in a new city and we don’t know the area, we rely on GPS to guide us. Imag­ine launch­ing a new prod­uct or ser­vice for your brand, but you don’t adapt your brand strat­e­gy to sup­port that. How will you know where to go? How much time are you will­ing to lose try­ing to fig­ure things out with­out a brand compass?

We saved a lot of grief and mon­ey by hav­ing a brand strat­e­gy that helped us recon­nect and evolve past this sea­son. And while we wish you don’t endure tough busi­ness sea­sons, we hope that imple­ment­ing these prac­tices will help you in the future.

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