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What is Strategy?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Strategy is a fancy word for creating a plan based on research and outlining steps to execute the plan. This is why you can see the word ‘strategy’ attached to almost anything in regard to business. Sales strategy. Marketing strategy. Product strategy. Customer acquisition strategy. Social media strategy. You get my point. If you replace the word ‘strategy’ with ‘plan’, it becomes a little clearer what you’re signing up for. But what ‘plan’ doesn’t take into account is the research and discovery phase, the insights that are gleaned from it, nor the steps needed to execute the plan. So, we go with ‘strategy’.

But let’s peel the curtain back a bit on what a ‘strategy’ project at UnderBelly would look like.

Step 1: Research & Discovery

The research and discovery phase is exactly what it sounds like. It’s part of the project where we dive right in with all questions and no answers.

We research and analyze your competitors.

What is their core value prop? How do they express that to their customers? What are their main marketing channels? Do they have a newsletter? What do they include in their newsletter? How much do they charge? How are the different from you? Are there any trends we notice?

We research your current customers.

We dive into your business.

And more! The goal of this phase is to build our own foundation around your business and the competitive landscape. We want to understand how you fit into the industry and where you can stand apart. We call this the foundational step for a reason. By spending time asking as many questions as we can while being as open-minded as possible, our hope is to provide insights that lead to new opportunities.

Step 2: Planning

In the planning phase, we take all of the information we’ve gathered about you, your customers, and your competition to build out an actionable plan and provide explicit recommendations.

Just as step 1 has a vast array of questions depending on the project, step 2 will be just as diverse. Some examples could include:

A new pricing structure

Are you considered a premium product?

Are you a more affordable option?

A content marketing plan

A new sales pipeline

Brand positioning/repositioning

A new website

The goal of the planning phase is to be as tangible as possible with our recommendations. For example instead of saying “Post to Instagram”, we would say “post to Instagram 2x a week about x,y, and z topics. Your target audience is ______ and in step 3 we will create initial templates to use for the accompanying graphic.” When we say tangible, we mean it.

Step 3: Implementation

The final step is when we actually make everything that we’ve outlined. By the end of the planning phase, we will create a final list of deliverables for the project. I’m sure it shocks you 0% when I tell you, the list of final deliverables in the implementation phase is endless. But here are a few examples:

A brand refresh or update

New colors New logo Updated mission/vision/value New illustrations + icons New icons

New photography

New marketing materials

Content calendar

Brand awareness campaign

Email marketing implementation

New package design

The whole point of a strategy project is to build insights on how to achieve a specific goal, usually around the question: How do we take your business to the next level? And then give you the tools, assets, and confidence to charge forward.


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