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Working on developing a brand strategy for a client’s brand re-launch, we were brainstorming potential phrases for its brand promise and brand dimensions. We were starting with an extensive list of words we’d developed through a variety of brand-related strategic thinking exercises. While trying out word combinations to describe our client’s brand, we happened upon a new branding exercise.

Brand-IntersectionWhere Does Your Brand Live?

Here’s the scenario for this strategic thinking exercise:

Imagine your brand is relocating to an intersection in a new part of town where you get to select the names of the cross streets that will make up your brand address. With that freedom, what are the best names for the two streets where your brand lives?

As an example, we were at the seemingly ubiquitous Panera Bread for our meeting. You can imagine Panera Bread being located at the intersection of:

  • Soups and Salads
  • Meetings and Greetings
  • Scones and Smoothies
  • Drinks and Links (i.e., networking)
  • Comfort Food and Uncomfortable Booths

Each of those intersections says something different about the Panera Brand brand – and that’s the point.

Don’t confine yourself to one set of cross streets. Imagine a whole variety of cross streets that could potentially be the current or, more importantly, the ideal address for your brand.

And once you have a long list of street name combinations, think about the possibilities relative to these questions:

  • What others companies would be located near this intersection? Are they in your industry or other industries?
  • What are the intersections where your competitors are located?
  • How busy is your brand intersection?
  • Is this intersection a prime location? Are property values around this intersection rising? Why or why not?
  • Do people live in this area or do they just visit and leave?
  • Why WOULD customers want to visit this intersection in this part of town?
  • How likely is it that your intersection will, as other famous intersections have (think 12th Street and Vine), be immortalized in a song?

The answers to all these questions should help you look at your brand and its strategic position relative to competitors and customers in a new and different way.

Strategic Thinking Exercises from the Brainzooming Lab

Most of the strategic thinking exercises we share have been well tested in client sessions.

This brand strategy exercise, however?

Well, we just came up with it last weekend! We’ll be trying this branding exercise out and welcome you to see how it works for you. If you take a shot at it, let us know how it works for helping clarify your new or existing brand strategy. – Mike Brown

 

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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7 Responses to “Strategic Thinking Exercises – Where Does Your Brand Live?”

  1. Love it! Definitely going to leverage this exercise in the future!

  2. Emma Alvarez Gibson says:

    I would add that Panera exists at another intersection as well; that of crappy food and noisy atmosphere.

  3. Mike Brown says:

    Barb – I’d be fine you wanted to do a brief recap of it with a link back to the original post here. Thanks for asking!

  4. Jim Joseph says:

    Love it, Mike. If you are cool with it, I may blog about it too and link back to this post. Cool? Cool. JIM