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The Difference Between Strategy And Tactics And Why You Need To Know

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Imagine your business mission and vision as a mountain in the distance.
Your strategy is the route map—the path you choose that’s going to take you to that mountain.
Tactics are the steps you take on the journey to advance your way along that chosen path towards the mountain—thus realising your vision.

MISSION AND VISION—Where you’re going and why.
STRATEGY—How you’re going to get there.
TACTICS—What you do along the way.

Let’s say your mission and vision is to create a cafe that builds a sense of community, one that becomes ‘a third place’ between work and home, inspiring and nurturing the human spirit.

The strategy is to open beautifully designed cafes that support this vision—serving great coffee in strategic neighbourhood locations. (You may not know in the beginning that this will eventually become 15,000 stores in 50 countries).

The tactics are many and varied. You need to source the best coffee beans, install comfortable seating and provide world-class training programs for your staff, in order to deliver the best customer experience.

When it comes to business we spend a lot of our time working on the tactics.
We agonise for weeks over perfect taglines, choosing logo designs and installing fixtures, often without fully understanding if and how those tactics (the things we spend most of our time doing), are helping us to get where we want to go.

You can’t start buying the ergonomic chairs until you know why you need them.

Image by David Nutter.