Advanced Brand Strategy Masterclass – Week One

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by: Idris Mootee



Finally, it’s started, the first week of our Advanced Brand Strategy Masterclass. Here we will start with the definitions of branding and I will be introducing a few tools. Over the next eight to ten weeks, you will acquire an advanced understanding of branding within the context of business strategy. We will not discuss downstream activities such as identity design, naming, and nor will we go into brand measurement and analytics. We can do that another time if there’s interest for it. In week three and four, you will be introduced to a brand strategy process when you will learn how to create, build or reposition brands. Week six I am considering whether to use it for luxury goods branding or technology branding. Week seven and eight we will explore web 2.0 and its implications on branding. We all agree that when properly managed, brands can be a company’s most valuable asset (other than it’s people).

Combining the latest thought-leadership and the collective wisdom and curiosity of this group, with dialogues and practical exercises, this eight week program will allow you to equip new skills, advance some of your thinking and make some new friends around the world. Our friends in Netherlands starting a study group and there may be interest for people in North America for the same. We have a few folks from Australia too. I suggest you to spend some time going over the slides (you can see it in full screen mode if you’re on the slideshare site). Here are some of the questions I’d like you to think about:

• What is your definition of a brand?

• In your opinion what separates leader brands from the rest?

• Pick a brand that you personally feel attached to and answer the questions on slide 26-28.

• Slide 29 is a very important slide, and people often got off the wrong footings because of this. Why do you think this slide is important? Please make sure you understand that and if not please post questions and we can discuss it here.

• On slide 30, it talks about people often making the mistake of letting the brand image derive the strategy, what do you think is the problem with that?

• On slide 32, it talks about the basic logic that guides branding decisions from business strategy perspectives, post questions here if you have any. I will post some questions tomorrow to start a discussion thread. Or feel free to start one anytime.

Some suggestions for critical thinking and maximizing return in open-learning

The key benefit here is to be able to develop "critical thinking" capabilities and apply them on the subject of brand strategy. The process needs to begin with a statement of what is to be studied, proceeds to unrestricted discovery and consideration of possibilities, and concludes with a pattern for understanding. Here are some suggestions:

1/ What do you want to get out of this Masterclass? 

Define your destination, what you want to learn. Clarify to yourself on what are the key questions that you need answers around the subject. What is it about this subject that you want to talk confidently or be seen as expert? Then start with a list of those questions. Some just to get some updated knowledge and some want to advance their own thinking.

2/ Think about what you already know about the subject.
What do you already know that will help you in this study? What is the knowledge of foundation that you already have? Write them down and think how you want to use those foundations here during the program?

3/ Think in terms of how you would demonstrate your learning in a tangible manner.
Look for new discoveries and new knowledge. You may end up knowing less ten weeks later because of the fact that you have been exposed to more. That is just fine. It is always a good idea to create a deliverable of some sort as a means to crystallize what you get out of the learning. By week three you should start to think if you have to create a deliverable to demonstrate your knowledge (and most important of all your own point-of-view) in this subject, what would that be and how would that look like. Do you want to do this on your own of should you collaborate with someone.

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