‘Straw man’ brand strategy

Making sense of everything

Our next step in the branding process is to make sense of all the insights and information to establish a straw man brand strategy from which to develop the creative.

In the spirit of the ‘minimum viable brand’ the idea of the straw man is to enable creative work to quickly build off a core foundation that’s grounded in evidence and insight. But crucially, it acknowledges that this will sharpen and may well change, as the brand and service develop through the test and learn process with users.

Embracing change

It’s important that the strategy doesn’t railroad SH24 in a direction that might conflict with how users want the service to work and experience the brand. So, essentially we’re providing an initial direction, but with the opportunity to sharpen or pivot later down the line. This process also allows for the brand concept to inform the strategy as tackling things visually often helps to unlock problems and surface the brand's essence.

Brand strategy framework

Our straw man is based on a brand framework split into three areas, that we see as the essential components:

  • Audience profile: identifying key segments their needs and behavioural characteristics
  • Business proposition: SH24’s vision, business objectives and business philosophy
  • Brand proposition: the purpose (what SH24 stands for), functional benefits (what we offer and how we do it) and emotional benefits (reasons why people will care)
  • Brand personality: brand principles that shape the experience and personality of the brand along with qualities that define how the brand should look and sound.

Defining the strategy

The triangulated findings out of the discovery phase are attributed to an area of the framework. We then group together common aspects to form an initial set of assumptions. These are further refined and then defined in layman’s terms.

A workshop with key stakeholders, help to sense check the assumptions and build in any missing nuance.

The strategy is then summarised (deliberately) in a Google doc, where it can be referred to and edited during the process.