What meaning will your brand carry in the future?

Brand strategy and business strategy need to work in tandem for sustainable growth to be realised.

Great modern businesses know that they need to constantly evolve themselves to better address the needs of their customers as the future unfolds.

Business strategy looks to the future and offers clarity and guidance as to how the nuts-and-bolts of the business value could grow in time. It's safe to say that a lot of time and brainpower is spent fine-tuning this more analytical side of strategy. Executives tend to feel more comfortable with spreadsheets and focussing on optimising the operational efficiencies of the business.

What's often overlooked however is how a brand's meaning should also evolve in partnership with the business strategy which is being followed.

This process involves exploring how the perceived value and emotional meaning that the brand communicates ought to evolve in the minds of the people that matter.

It's about developing a clear vision of what that brand should be in the future; how people will build trust it and experience it. How it will tangibly build this value, and then understanding how you might, over time, create it.

The core of the idea is to close the gap between business strategy and brand strategy; developing and creating symbolic value which then translates into business value.

Brand strategy and business strategy need to work in tandem for sustainable growth to be realised.

As an example of this, think about how the Netflix brand has evolved from when they were simply mailing DVD's to customers in the US, to being the biggest global online video streaming and production service in the world.

The Netflix brand also needed to evolve and be optimised to facilitate new revenue streams and products, not just build trust as a content platform.

Apple used to just sell desktop computers, but the business as evolved over time to take advantage of multiple product streams. The brand facilitates this growth by focusing on design and experience rather than just the technical features of the hardware, which is a far cry from where it was 20 years ago.

When future business aspirations are skilfully combined with high-level strategic brand transformations you create a dance between the various faculties of an organisation that powers it towards its ideals.

Each complements the other in a kind of left brain / right brain collaboration which looks like art. but is a modern master skill to be aware of and constantly practice.