Direct Selling: Strategy vs. Tactics
You need both a solid strategy and powerful execution to have a successful brand. One without the other is not enough. There have been many good strategies, novel ideas that were poorly executed, where the brands failed over time. Likewise, the best designed brand in the world won’t last long without a solid differentiating strategy behind it.
Here are three keys to executing against your strategy:
1. Be different. Be REALLY different! You must stand out. Period. Your customers don’t view your marketing materials in a vacuum. They are surrounded by marketing messages every day. Other brands constantly are fighting for their time and attention, too. When thrown into this visual mix, does your brand stand apart?
2. Be consistent. Identify all points of contact you have with your customers and prospects. You would be surprised how many different ways your brand comes face to face with consumers. Review all of these various touchpoints and make sure you provide the same experience every time.
3. Be repetitive. We assume our customers know everything about us. Surely they understand what we stand for—what makes us different. But they don’t. We have to remind them again and again. Once you have pinpointed that one thing that makes you unique, tell that story every chance you get. Then tell them again.
Who’s Doing it Right?
When strategy and tactics align, it can be a beautiful thing. Here are a few brands that have managed to do both successfully, and examples of how they achieved it.
• L.L. Bean was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean. His passion for the outdoors was the basis for the company’s strategic positioning. The brand is known as a trusted source for reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice. The tactics it uses to deliver on this promise include the always-present visual reference to nature. It’s no accident that many of its products are photographed in natural environments. And the textures, color palette and typography—even the tone of voice—all communicate a fresh and natural message. What’s more, L.L. Bean’s commitment to quality is brought to life in its famous guarantee.