A Guide to Picking the Right Brand Strategy Consultant

What To Look for in a Brand Strategy Consultant

By Bridget CunninghamJan 18 /2024

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”

When you put it like Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, the thought of investing in a brand strategy consultant becomes even more enticing. With their support, businesses can develop a compelling, consistent story that differentiates them from competitors and acts as a playbook for all marketing efforts.

Of course, the outcome of your brand strategy investment is a product of your partner. To help guide you down the right path, here are some key qualities to keep top of mind.

They understand your industry’s dynamic

The ultimate goal of any brand strategy is to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way. A brand strategy consultant well-versed in your industry’s consumer behaviors can help you better position your brand to resonate with potential buyers. If you’re a SaaS tech provider, for instance, look for a consultant who understands your industry’s rapid nature and can speak the same language as those you want to reach.

They have a well-defined framework

A solid brand strategy doesn’t come together overnight. It’s a multi-layered process that a consultant should clearly outline to help drive efficiency and success. Ideally, the framework will include a competitor analysis, internal and customer interviews and audience insights. Discoveries from these efforts should culminate in the development of brand personas to help you understand the motivations and challenges of your ideal customers.

They’re enthusiastic about your success

When a brand strategy consultant is genuinely invested in a company’s success, it shows. Their enthusiasm lends itself to proactive efforts that move the needle forward. Monitoring competitor activities is one example. If you’re a medical device manufacturer and one of your key competitors launches a new product, a proactive consultant will use those insights to drive further recommendations around how to differentiate your brand.

They embrace a collaborative approach

While a B2C or B2B brand strategy needs to resonate with an external audience, the same goes for the internal audience. Involving key stakeholders in early conversations and interviews sets the tone for strong collaboration, but it goes beyond that. A consultant should regularly check in with companies to get their feedback so they can refine and validate the brand strategy. These open lines of communication support alignment at every step.

They practice what they preach

How a consultant approaches their own brand strategy is testament to their work. Do they lead with a clear value proposition? Is it clear what differentiates them from other consultants? Are there visuals and messaging consistent across various touchpoints?

A consultant’s brand should be an advertisement for their brand strategy capabilities. It’s tangible evidence of how they put their words in action.

They know when to adapt

Alongside evolving competitor activities, other changes in industry dynamics may prompt brand strategy consultants to change course. Let’s say a temperature monitoring system provider that caters to the life sciences starts being approached by customers in the construction and food/beverage industries. A consultant can account for market growth by revisiting your brand messaging and visuals to speak to a broader audience. The more flexible a brand strategy consultant is, the more sustainable your brand becomes.

They don’t hesitate to push back

It’s natural for businesses to come in with assumptions to shape their brand strategy. While well-informed research and analysis can push back on some of these notions, you also want a brand strategy consultant who isn’t afraid to push back based on their own instincts. An idea for a value proposition may be bold and eye-catching, but if it doesn’t educate your target audience on what you do, it can fail to drive them to action. 

They have a comprehensive portfolio

The past success of a brand strategy consultant is a nod to what can be expected of them in the future. A consultant should have a strong portfolio of work that validates their expertise. From scenarios and challenges they’ve encountered in the past, they’ll have access to valuable insights to help drive more effective strategies for your brand. In many cases, a portfolio will include client testimonials that offer added assurance.

They embrace creative thinking

Standing out in competitive markets requires a creative approach. While you can find inspiration from those companies you admire, you need a brand strategy consultant that can look beyond the conventional. Consider this in the context of the competitive EHR landscape. Rather than leading with the list of services included in an EHR, the better play may be a brand strategy that leads with a success story from a long-term partner clinic. While humanizing the brand, which is especially important in healthcare, this approach helps a business draw on a competitive advantage: long-term partnerships.

They’re people you want to spend time with

A brand strategy consultant is essentially an extension of your team. To that end, it’s important that they’re a good fit for your company culture. Shared values, standards and vision allow for more effective collaboration between your business and a consultant. A positive rapport contributes to your team’s commitment to the brand strategy process and a relationship that will last for many years.

Choose Kuno Creative As Your Brand Strategy Consultant

At Kuno Creative, we strive to help companies we believe in outpace the competition. We combine industry expertise with a full-service team of experts to amplify our creative and marketing capabilities. Working side-by-side with your team, we work together to help you achieve your brand strategy goals and produce results.

Be our next brand strategy client success story. Schedule a consultation where we can discuss your needs and goals.

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Bridget Cunningham
The Author

Bridget Cunningham

Bridget uses her journalistic experience to successfully engage with technical minds. Prior to Kuno, she managed the blog program and assisted with social media efforts at COMSOL, a high-tech engineering company that offers multiphysics software solutions.