In this series, Christophe Fauconnier & Benoit Beaufils, respectively CEO & founding partner of brand consultancy Innate Motion, present the tools that the company uses to develop purposeful, mission-driven brands with their clients. Here they describe the fourth tool, the Brand Deep Dive.
"Paul Smith had 20 minutes to sell the CEO of Procter & Gamble, and his team of managers, on new market-research techniques for which Mr. Smith's department wanted funding. As associate director of P&G's PG -0.39% market research, Mr. Smith had spent three weeks assembling a concise pitch with more than 30 PowerPoint slides.
On the day of the meeting, CEO A.G. Lafley entered the room, greeted everybody and turned his back to the screen. He then stared intently at Mr. Smith throughout the entire presentation, not once turning to look at a slide.
"I felt like maybe I hadn't done a very good job because he wasn't looking at my slides like everyone else," says Mr. Smith, who also noticed that the other managers didn't seem very engaged. "It didn't occur to me until later that he did that because he was more interested in what I had to say than in what my slides looked like."
Recent study from the annual Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey indicate several common grounds for both employees and leaders. Fundamentally employers have a key role to play in unleashing potential and talent and creating a working environment where employees can freely be themselves and go beyond the call of duty. This post from my friend @tshnall points to a key industry trend in employees being considered as brand ambassadors. This in turn becomes the key success ingredient to attract customers and build brand loyalty. Kudos Tal!
Brand architecture serves as the corporate roof under which a business can protect and unify its brand portfolio. Fortune 500 companies, e.g. the P&Gs, Krafts, and Coca-Colas of the world, utilize brand positioning strategies to protect their numerous brands from external market forces, as well as to unify brands in order to enhance consumer associations and perceptions. The process of developing brand architecture is a strategic one, based on identifying threats and creating strong corporate bonds amongst brands that work to mitigate the risk of brand failure. These risks can come from not only consumer preferences, but market fragmentation, competitors, and the pressure to extend existing brand recognition across multiple products. With threats like these in an ever-expanding and competitive global marketplace, companies with weak brand infrastructures will struggle to compete.
Hostess, maker of the iconic Twinkie, is a recent example of a major brand failure. The company’srefusal to modify its product line in order to adapt to changing consumer tastes is cited as a major reason why Hostess plummeted into bankruptcy. Since the company’s collapse, private equity firms Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Group Management have purchased Hostess with the goal of building a stronger and more stable corporate roof under which the Twinkie, Ding-Dong, and other Hostess brands may again flourish. The two private equity firms will need to decide how to best position the brands in order to mitigate the risks posed by the many volatile and unpredictable market threats. If industry best practices are any indication, Metropolous and Apollo Group will position the Hostess brand by modeling one of the four most common brand positioning strategies, shown in the infographic below.
Articulation and persuasion, the ability to embrace change, to spot opportunities and adapt strategies quickly, and also being passionate, curious and hungry to learn. All are the essential skills of the modern marketing revolutionary.
Back in ancient times (let's go with 1970s or 1980s) when mainframes ruled the world and “friends” were people you actually knew, the rules of engagement were very different. Companies and customers met when a transaction was taking place. Otherwise, everyone went their separate ways and did their own thing. [...]
There’s comes a point in the lifecycle of most brands when they hit critical complacency. The marque has mainstreamed to the point where it effectively blends with its surroundings to form part of the amorphous middle.
The death of the tagline may be overstating the situation, but there’s a growing school of thought that considers taglines as bygone marketing relics. There’s certainly evidence that taglines have diminished in importance.
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