Growth Insights for CEOs

4 Steps to Developing a Strategic Plan. Did Mitt Get it Right?

Posted by The Chief Outsider

romney ryan 600 3In case you missed it, Mitt Romney surprised everyone over the weekend with the announcement of his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan. While it was a surprise to many, it was very expected by the people behind the scenes managing “Brand Mitt”.

in business or in politics, developing a sound strategic plan is critical to managing a brand or business or in this case “Brand Mitt”. 

So what are the four steps to a developing a Strategic Brand / Business Plan. 

  1. Situational Analysis – During the initial phase, it is critical to conduct an in-depth analysis of the market and the competition, customer / consumer insights and effectiveness of the plans over the past year.  This process will identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the brand / business is facing, as well as, the key drivers of what is working.  Ultimately, the goal is to identify 3 to 5 key issues or opportunities that are critical to address over the short and long term.  For “Brand Mitt” the selection Paul Ryan came at the end of an extensive vetting (analytical) process meant to select the best candidate to strengthen “Brand Mitt”.  The selection of Paul Ryan, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee will help ensure the focus is on the economy and the budget according to the Wall Street Journal
  2. Planning – The focus here is on developing the long-term strategy and the key priorities for the short term. It is also important to determine the competitive marketing strategy --- Is it to remain the leader, attack the leader, reposition the leader to your advantage, focus on a new benefit, target a specific group of consumers / customers, or pioneer a new approach?  Once chosen the annual objectives and strategies are created that support the competitive marketing strategy.  For “Brand Mitt”, his campaign will focus on attacking or repositioning the leader and the disadvantages of staying the course for another 4 years
  3. Implementing – Once the plans are in place, next begins the actual execution of the plan.  The activities for the short term, typically one year, have been identified, budgets are created and sales targets are established. For “Brand Mitt”, the plan included revealing the new VP at the “Swing State” stop in Virginia and was timed to kick off the launch the  America's Comeback Team campaign prior to the Republican convention in a two weeks.
  4. And Finally Monitoring –It is critical to monitor how the plan is received by your consumer / customer and make adjustments to the plan, as appropriate.  “Brand Mitt” kept the announcement a secret until the last minute and it has been reported that his selection is serving to “energize the Republican base”.  We will see over the next few weeks how the reset of the campaign unfolds and if “Brand Mitt” is able to energize the “undecided” voters as well.

As an avid politiac (someone who enjoys political news according to Urban Dictionary), I am personally looking forward to the next several weeks.  While I am bit disappointed “Brand Mitt” did not choose Chris Christie, the Governor of my home state for his VP running mate.  (As I do believe Chris Christie would have made the political scene very entertaining.) I can understand why Romney made the choice he did.

As a business leader, you will need to make tough choices on the strategic direction of your brand / business.  One of the keys is using a thorough planning process for determining how best to proceed to build long term sustainable growth.

What do you think of  “Brand Mitt’s” VP selection?  Did he get it right with Ryan?
(Be sure to also see my commentary on President Obama's FORWARD campaign)

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Topics: Product Strategy, Business Growth Strategy, CEO Choices, Family Business