Building Brands

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

Today’s business environment is both exciting and challenging, particularly if you are interested in growing your business to its next stage of growth. Have you developed a "Core Strategy" that defines the specific strategic initiatives you need to achieve your goals?

Having a clear vision of what you want your company to achieve and how it is going to exploit its plan is the last major key to growing a company successfully. Incremental changes are safer to make, of course, but will rarely produce the rapid growth that a daring strategy can.

Strategy has become an often-used word that is applied to many circumstances and areas of business. There are strategies for sales, technology, marketing, HR, and the list goes on and on. As a strategist I actually welcome this, however, it seems that its constant use has somewhat changed its meaning over the years.

The question you have to ask yourself today is, am I prepared for the future? Hopefully the answer is yes because the business world is becoming increasingly harsher and less forgiving to even the best-known companies.

A smart strategy will provide you with the basis for a sound strategic plan that can lead to significant growth. If your organization is going to survive the many market changes and fierce competition it faces, you need to plan and manage with the clearest path from Point A to Point B you can muster.

Research shows that approximately 90 percent of all U.S. businesses lack a formal strategic plan and of those organizations with them, only 10 percent say they fully implement it throughout their organization. So if you and your organization find yourself in the majority you should consider asking yourself the following.

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