Do the count-test

To provide direction brands often use a model describing the ‘core brand values’, ‘brand concept’, ‘brand compass’, ‘brand key’, ‘brand DNA’, or whatever it is called. These documents describe the desired situation and are used as briefings. They can be very helpful, but most of the time the quality is very poor. The world record of strategic chaos, to our knowledge, is a brand strategy describing 11 ‘core values’, each of which could be interpreted in many different ways. It was a story of hope and being admired and loved by everybody, but there was no essence, no choice, no coherence, no difference. Probably it was an attempt to please everybody in the company. The document was produced by a high-end brand consultancy (see visual below).

Often these documents are interchangeable, very confusing and over ambitious. In the case above the ‘strategy’ document implied there were 39.916.800 (11 faculty) different possible combinations of values.

Do a simple count-test to start with. Count de number of values/benefits in your strategy document. It is a simple way of establishing if you have a strategy anyway.