Why strategy should come first in your next project.

By Athlon
13 Nov 2023

In the quest to take new ideas to market, clients are understandably eager to hit the ground running. However, experience has taught us that the key to a successful brand or product launch lies in prioritising strategy over haste.

Athlon strategist, Joe Browning delves into the reasons for placing strategy at the forefront of your brand or digital product development.

Good planning can save precious time, align stakeholders and place value creation at the heart of your project.

What is strategy, and why is it the bedrock of successful projects?
Well, the answer might not fit into a neat, one-size-fits-all package. Strategy is a chameleon; it shapeshifts to adapt to the unique demands of different projects.

It’s the art of defining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ that underpins your project’s roadmap. However, despite its pivotal role, it’s often underappreciated.

We treat strategy as the North Star of our projects, helping our clients and teams navigate from ideation to delivery.

In essence, it answers the pivotal questions of “why are we doing this?” and “how will we get there?”.

Here are three ways we’re using strategy in our projects.

Setting Clear Objectives & Measurable Goals

A well-defined strategy provides clear objectives and milestones to gauge progress.

This direction inspires confidence and unity across teams, ensuring that everyone knows the collective purpose and ambition. Something that everyone can get behind.

When launching a new brand and price comparison website for Everything Energy, we set clear metrics for our conversion strategy, aiming for 18k unique visitors per month.

By establishing measurable KPIs, we were able to identify a need to focus on a long-term SEO and content strategy, complemented with tactical paid Ads. This informed our approach to design and website functionality.

Understanding audiences

The key to the success of your project lies in understanding your audience. Knowing who they are, what they want, and how they make choices is essential.

This is where creating personas comes into play.

It involves delving into the intricate details of your target audience, going beyond surface-level demographics. You should aim to uncover their thoughts, behaviours, preferences, and underlying motivations that drive their decisions.

When working with a startup accelerator, we conducted in-depth interviews with Founders and CEOs of companies at the seed stage across Fintech, Healthcare, and Environmental sectors.

This allowed us to gain insights into their companies’ challenges, and create personas needed to recommend unique accelerator services for start-ups.

In an age where personalisation is paramount, understanding your audience is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. It enables you to tailor your brand or product to connect with the very people it’s intended to serve.

Accelerating design

The effective use of teams and resources can be the difference between merely launching a product and delivering resounding success.

Having a robust strategy empowers you to make well-informed decisions about where and how resources should be directed.

A good strategy will ensure that every effort and investment aligns with your overarching objectives.

For example, in our work with E1 World Championship for rapid delivery, our strategy team collaborated with designers at the start of each design sprint to accelerate the UX process.

This approach saved time, as designers were aided by a pool of competitor and comparator examples collected during the strategy process. We also provided early content and functionality ideas to mitigate potential delays.

The real magic happens when you recognise that strategy allows you to channel team resources where they will have the most impact. It can help identify the critical areas that drive your project’s success.

This means your time, budget and talents are invested in the places that matter the most.

Adopt strategy for the win

In the world of brand and product development, where the pace can be frenetic and every investment counts, strategy can be the steady hand guiding teams to success.

Strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a versatile tool that adapts to the unique demands of each project.

Looking to take a brave idea to market?Book in a 30 min meeting with our strategy team


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