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Using Scenario Planning Today To Manage Your Brand Tomorrow

Strategic planning is essential to the foundation of any strong brand. It helps determine the direction for communication plans, product launches, personality, tone and much more. Building and maintaining a sound strategic plan is often a major undertaking. The external and internal influences that affect a brand's success change over time and the plan needs to change with them.

While that may sound daunting, not to mention expensive, it doesn't always have to be. Certain strategic exercises are designed to quickly and efficiently bolster strategic plans for clients. One of these exercises is called Scenario Planning.

What Scenario Planning Can Do

Scenario Planning is a method for telling rich, data-driven stories about tomorrow that can help brands make better decisions today. Its purpose is to:

  • Prepare for the future, but not to pinpoint its exact details
  • Understand any uncertainties and what they might mean
  • Create a strategic road map for flexible, long-term plans
  • Give you the ability to recognize and react to visible forces as they unfold

How We Do It

For Scenario Planning projects, an in-person working session involving both the agency and client associates is the most effective and efficient method. Getting all parties together in the same place at the same time helps the team to focus on the task at hand and allows everyone to walk away with valuable insight.

When beginning a Scenario Planning project, the first step is to identify the future for which the brand is trying to plan. For example, we might want to look at the future state of an industry as a whole and figure out how a particular brand fits into the mix.

The next step is to start to build the scenarios by working from the outside in. At a macro level, you need to look at the state of the world in general as it pertains to political/regulatory, social, technological and economic issues. Then you can begin to narrow in on the brand and analyze the brand's consumers, competitors and customer segments.

At this point, you look at the brand itself to:

  • Map out a SWOT analysis
  • Evaluate business goals and objectives
  • Determine customer needs

Once all of these details have been mapped out, scenarios are then developed for all of the potential future states that have been identified. After all of the potential scenarios are determined, a brainstorming session is held to create strategies and tactics that will help the brand succeed in each case.

How It Can Work For Your Brand

Scenario Planning is an effective tool to help:

  • Re-think assumptions about how and why an industry may be evolving
  • Identify new opportunities for growth before they become mainstream
  • Spot and manage risk earlier
  • Create a more learning-oriented, adaptive and creative organizational mindset

To find out more about how your brand could benefit from Scenario Planning, contact hfa today at the link below.