Brand Strategy Group

Strategy Alignment Consulting

We help the C-suite build and review strategy,
and help align teams at all levels.

We work with companies in the CPG (FMCG), Tech, Biotech, Pharma, Financial Services, and Automotive Industries around the world.

We begin with the question: Is it on brand?

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Our Work

Our work consists of four types of engagement:

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C-suite Strategy

What is your strategy?

Why do your customers buy from you rather than from your competitors?

Is there consensus around this question within your organization?

A typical strategy development engagement involves:
Initial contact and issue framingIn-depth interviewsDesign and development of session templatesFacilitation and alignmentReport and reviewC-level coaching

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Team Alignment

Is everyone on the same page?

Are the direct reports aligned?Do all the teams share the same broader objectives?Does everyone understand their position on the field?How deep is the buy-in?Are the metrics of progress and success aligned?
Read: Our Notes from the Frontlines

Typical Process

The typical engagement involves detailing the alignment objectives, followed by a custom-designed workshop or exercises for the teams to be aligned. The goal is to get both cognitive and emotional buy-in.

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Research & Reports

Find the gaps and opportunities

Is your story current? Is it relevant to your various audiences?What are your sources of competitive advantage?Can you uncover new types of competitive advantage?Are your brands positioned to maximize opportunity?Are your competitors narrowing the gap?Are your teams in synch?

Typical Process

The typical engagement begins with a strategic question and an enumeration of the unknowns about the market (customers, competitors and channels), your organization, or your assets.
We do the research and come back to you with strategic options that allow you to move forward with confidence.

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BSG monthly Roundtable

Apply to join our C-Level Monthly Roundtable to meet Executives from other companies and industries and enjoy briefings and discussion on topics relevant to you.

Note: Membership is currently closed but you can apply for a position on the waiting list. We will be expanding the list soon.

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About

BRAND STRATEGY GROUP is a consulting group of business academics that has been working with senior management teams since 1995.
Our clients include large multinationals in a variety of industries in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as start-ups in tech and biotech.

Keynotes

We deliver engaging keynotes that spark thought and conversation.
Topics include:
New forms of Customer InteractionA.I. in Business-Customer Interactions;Competing in the Platform Economy;Downstream Activities as Sources of Competitive Advantage;Brands Online: What's Changed

Some of Our Publications

Our Research on Sources of Competitive Advantage

Our Research on A.I. and Customer Interactions

Our Research on Brands and Competition

Some of Our Videos

TILT: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers.

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Is your Competitive Advantage about What You Sell, or about How Your Customers Buy?

Are your Brands Positioned Where They Should be in Your Cuonsumers' Mind?Are they Positioned Where They Should Be Relative to Your Competitors?

What does the Platform Landscape Look Like?

The Strategic Considerations of Playing on Platforms

BSG: Notes from the Front Lines

Since late June, I have been on the road, on a speaking and listening tour that took me to boardrooms, conference rooms, and lecture halls in Toronto, San Francisco (Silicon Valley), Vancouver, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Delhi, Dubai, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Barcelona, Brussels, and Montreal. On these stops, I met with 30 CEOs and founders, dozens of CXOs, and spoke to audiences varying in size from 10 to 250. Here’s what I learned about what is on managers’ minds, and how their needs are changing.

1. Digital. Digital continues to eat the world. But digital means different things to different companies: anything from AI and blockchain to digitizing historical records. What is clear is that every function in every industry is being transformed as the digital trail of data becomes the tail that wags the business dog. Marketing, in particular, is being rethunk. Listening to customers and influencing them take place in the digital realm; and as companies and consumers are adopting AI. Some companies are leading the charge, others are reacting to it, but there’s no escaping it. Digital transformation is definitely on executives’ minds.

2. Alignment. Increasingly, I am not called into an organization to talk about developments in marketing, or to put into context an article I wrote for the Harvard Business Review. Instead, I find I am called in to facilitate alignment. A six person CXO team wants consensus on a course of action. A COO wants 200 managers in the company to use the same vocabulary when talking about a new product/market opportunity. A CMO wants to bring her direct reports and brand managers onto the same page about a repositioning exercise. These engagements are less about content and more about language and process; less about what goes into an individual manager’s mind than about how the managers relate to each other’s ideas.

3. Green. Products, packaging, and logistics are under scrutiny for their environmental impact. Companies are at various stages of problem recognition and resolution, and we’re rapidly moving beyond green-washing into the real thing. The advice that Dustin Hoffman’s character received in The Graduate: “Plastics, young man, plastics” has come home to roost. Every conversation in consumer goods businesses today includes plastic replacement, lowering transportation weight and bulk, reducing the carbon footprint. Made me think of my own, as I traveled the world. Yes, I’m offsetting, and more ideas are always welcome.

4. How. Managers have less patience than ever for abstract theories or even conceptual-level strategies. Even in the boardroom, where interest in what’s around the five-year corner is common, senior teams are keen to dig into implementation questions. How do we compete against pure-digital plays; how do we position our brands; how do we measure the effectiveness of our ad budgets? It is reassuring to watch a room of CXOs roll up their sleeves and delve into measurement issues based on data from their markets.

Companies are spending resources getting Digital, Alignment, Green, and the How right because it helps them meet critical medium term challenges. Longer term, we’re on an exponential curve; the world continues to change at an ever faster pace. Buckle up.

Contact

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Thank you

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