In today's hyper-branded environment, the brand decision is critically important; it makes the difference between ubiquity and irrelevance. The brand is the customer's perception of the company, and so the purpose of the brand must be clear.

And yet, many of the companies I've worked with simply let brands happen. Setting the brand strategy requires engaging in self-reflection about who you are. And, in turn, answering that question entails conducting organizational soul-searching to identify unique skills and resources.

Therefore, as you consider your brand, you must ask two important questions:

  1. Who are we?
  2. What are we good at?

The answers to these questions can neither be vague nor narrowly focused on the here and now. Your organization and its markets are complex systems in a constant state of change; defining the brand and the strategic capabilities of the organization that supports it must be forward-looking exercises. It's vital to consider not just what the organization and brand stand for today, but also what they will mean in the future.

This chapter helps you frame and answer these two questions. Together, they enable your brand choice.

Who Are We? Brand Architecture Enables Customer Choice

The traditional definition of a brand is that it is a symbol or logo that identifies the company's products and services, as distinct from competitors’ offerings. But for decades, marketers have correctly argued that a brand is not simply identity. And yet, most business-to-business ...

Get Big Picture Strategy now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.