To avoid a major strategic blunder, brand owners need to ensure the investments their company makes are focused on better enabling their brand promise to be realized. One of the most effective strategy design and deployment tools I have used (and recommend) is the OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, Measures) Framework. It is the process we used at P&G to manage our global business. It is also used by countless other companies and facilitated by innumerable consultant groups.
OGSM is a disciplined way to choose and deploy your strategic choices from top to bottom of your company.
This article will help you see how to connect your brand promise with your brand’s strategic planning process from a high level. However, it will not provide you all the information you will need to actually implant the OGSM Framework. You can find plenty of information about the Framework by simply conducting an online search on “OGSM Framework”.
The OGSM Framework begins with establishing a clear Objective. The objective is a description of what you are trying to achieve. Consultants will position your objective as an “overarching breakthrough vision”. I take a more simplistic view. Your objective is ensuring your brand promise is and remains authentic, relevant and competitive over time.
- Goals are numeric indicators you are on the right path to achieving your objective. Goals are specific, measurable and ideally achievable. Goals may require a stretch, but ultimately, they define the pathway forward.
- Strategies are the choices you are making to ensure your target audience experiences your brand promise. There is an emphasis on the word choice. To be effective, a set of strategies must be sufficient to achieve your objective.
- Measures are numerical benchmarks to help you determine if the strategies you selected are working or need to be altered.
To make the Framework easy to implement, think words (O), numbers (G), words (S), numbers (M).
The really clever aspect of the OGSM Framework is the way you cascade it through your company. The strategies and measures of the higher order OGSM become the objective and goals of the next lower level. Try to have the fewest levels possible to ensure the greatest probability of aligning the organizational work and financial investment against delivery of your brand promise. Note, you should try to get to action planning as quickly as you can.
To illustrate how your brand promise and strategic plan are connected, imagine if your brand promise was to establish a leadership position for the United States in aviation technology and space exploration by putting the first person on the moon. Goals for that brand promise (objective) could include 1) be the first nation to qualify a spacecraft by 1976 that could safely transport an astronaut from earth, allow that person to land on the moon and then make it back; 2) facilitate the building a communication system by 1977 to ensure the astronaut can reliably talk with an earth-bound support team, and 3) direct creation of a fully tested space suit by 1978 that would allow an astronaut to survive in an atmosphere that lacked oxygen.
Your strategies might be to 1) hire the top scientists in the world, 2) adequately fund the project, and 3) use a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving. Your measure would include things like detailed technical performance specifications, the number of pre-identified scientists who agreed to work on the project and the number of times funding became a critical path barrier.
It is unlikely your challenge will be as great as NASA’s was. But hopefully my contrived example illustrated how to connect your brand promise and plan to your company’s strategic planning process by making delivering that brand promise the primary objective of your company.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Ed Burghard and excerpted from his book Building Brands: What Really Matters
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