Understanding the business strategy process and how to go about developing a business strategy that is robust is crucial for any company.
Components of a successful business strategy
Before we look at the steps involved in developing a business strategy, it’s important first to think about the three key components that are needed. These are:
- Your business objectives
The first key component of any business strategy planning stage is setting out what your business objectives are. By identifying short-, medium-, and long-term goals, you will be more easily able to track your progress against them.
- Your target market
Identifying and understanding your target market is a crucial part of the business strategy process. It will allow you to conduct market analysis that highlights opportunities for innovation and informs your marketing strategy later on.
- Your strategic management plan
The final component needed when developing a business strategy is the strategic management plan. Put simply, this is how you actually intend to implement your learnings and deliver on your goals and objectives.
How to develop a business strategy: Steps for success
When it comes to developing a business strategy, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each strategy will be unique to your business and your goals. There are certain steps and trends which you can focus on to help you:
- Focus on Purpose
COVID-19 saw great shifts in consumer and business behavior – particularly around purpose-led strategies. It is important for businesses to continue to take these changes seriously and react to them accordingly: consumers want brands to drive change and make the world a better place, but it must feel authentic.
Common ways you can include purpose in your business strategy include:
Focusing on sustainability: Consumers are increasingly focused on buying from businesses who are eco-conscious. Assessing your eco credentials and taking action to improve them is good for the planet, good for consumers, and good for business.
Ensuring diversity: Consumers are increasingly calling for diversity and better representation in society. Including diversity in your advertising is shown to support and drive brand growth but again, it must feel authentic and not just a token gesture.
A great example of why purpose is an important part of brand strategy can be seen in our work with Dulux, who were able to grow their market share by developing and implementing a new brand purpose and strategy.
However, it’s important to avoid the pitfalls around purpose, such as simplistic portrayals of social issues. Simply declaring your brand is purposeful doesn’t mean consumers will view you as such. Remember: actions speak louder than words.
- Ensure flexibility
Now more than ever, business strategies need to be flexible – organizations must be able to respond to changes in the market and society to achieve a competitive advantage. If you are too rigid in your strategy, you could be left behind. Keep an open mind and track current affairs, trends, and changes that may impact you.
- Validate your strategy with up-to-date research
We are living in volatile times and businesses need to ensure that the data they are using is relevant and accurate. Using data from early 2020 would provide a completely different view to the post-COVID-19 world we are living in today.
By using up-to-date search and social data in the right way, we helped a client in financial services increase their searches from advertising by as much as 98% – and all without adding to their budget.
- Keep testing your strategy
The business strategy process isn’t a one-time thing. Instead, it needs to grow and evolve over time by adapting to changing goals, influences, and market trends. To make sure your strategy is supporting these elements, it’s important to test your strategy regularly.
Are you consistently delivering a constant brand experience? Are you focusing on the right strategic elements that will deliver growth? These questions will be pivotal in assessing your success. See how Kantar can help you assess your brand strategy and impact against the right KPIs.
Business strategy planning: Setting your business up for success
Having a well-put-together business strategy is important, but it can’t be implemented to the fullest if you are not set up to do so. Elements that will help with this include:.
- Leadership: A successful business strategy needs to come from leadership. If those at the top don’t have a clear idea of what your business objectives are or how you plan to achieve them, you are less likely to succeed.
- Culture: Having a supportive company culture is key to getting your business strategy off the ground. If the company culture is positive, implementing your strategy will be a whole lot easier.
- Systems: Finally, it’s important to have the right systems in place and resources available to deliver everything effectively. Whether it’s a dashboard to help with brand tracking, or the tools to ensure your brand positioning is clear and authentic, the right systems can save time and money while driving results.